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Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekly Wag # 25:
CGC Test Number One Tips

by Carrie Boyko, CEB

Note: Test Two located here
© Mika via
Your Goal: No Reaction

Test #1 is "Accepting a friendly stranger". The best way to practice for this very tough behavior is to get your dog out in public frequently. Camp out at the entrance to your local pet superstore and you'll have plenty of opportunity for practice.

Here's the drill. Fido will have to allow a total stranger to approach you and speak with you in a casual way. He may not bark, jump, show extreme excitement, hide behind you or show fear in other ways. In other words, he has to stay put and shut up.

This one reminds me of that awful rule I had to abide by while a child out to dinner with my family: "Children must be seen and not heard."  Your dog may feel the same way.

For friendly dogs and puppies, this is one of the toughest parts of the test. Although it may seem unreasonable, in order to get a CGC certification, your dog will need to acquire the ability to remain calm in all situations, including social ones that may otherwise bring out his exuberance.

Weekly Wag ButtonTanner and Oliver, both intensely social dogs, each struggled with this practice. We spent hours greeting people as they entered a pet superstore, and I learned much about the type of person that appeals to each of my dogs. This is one of those learning experiences that does not have a shortcut. The more you practice, the more you will understand how to help your dog manage this calm distance he must project while you chat with a stranger.

Training treats when proper behavior is accomplished, along with calmly praising your dog will help him understand the target behavior. Practice cannot be overdone. Bring a chair and meet your neighborhood!

Happy tails,

Please note that our Weekly Wag's quarterly drawing will occur on July 1. Entries are made by comment about your Weekly Wag experiences at the inaugural post. You will find it easily by clicking on the Weekly Wag button. Good luck!

This post is part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume. You are welcome to link up here, or check any of their sites for their rules of participation. Happy hopping! 


Anonymous said...

Hey Tanner, Hey Oliver, Jet here. Hi Miss Carrie.

Another fine tip...

BTW, head over to our post today for some well deserved recognition. :)

Pamela said...

This is such a tough thing for Honey. All her breeding (besides her natural personality) tells her to show love love love to everyone she meets.

Although I want Honey to greet people politely, I'm not sure I really want her to show no reaction. Her interest in people is something I find very appealing.

That said, she's very good about listening to "leave it" when people are not at all interested in meeting her.

It's also interesting to see what kind of people raise a reaction. I find Honey gets very excited by people who flutter their hands. And an awful lot of people seem to do that, to my chagrin.

Cherie K. Miller said...

I think PEOPLE need more training on how to approach a strange dog. I work adoptions every weekend and I'm amazing that people will have their toddler pet a dog that's chewing on something without giving that dog space.... arrgh.

Dropping by on the pet blogger hop today!
Sometimes when I work in dog rescue, which is almost every weekend, I come across a dog that needs a special home or a special family. Right now we've got Skylark, a six month old deaf puppy, to place. That's why I really liked the family that has Lola the Pug. Enjoy their song about Lola, the Pug who Cannot Run at

How Sam Sees It said...

This was a tough one for Sam too, who managed to get his CGC on his first try. The other difficult one was one I had to leave him and disappear behind a wall.


Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Great comments from everyone. Keep 'em coming!

Pug Daddy said...

Great tip. I would love for Bunk to be able to do that one day. Once we get more time I'd like to get him to some classes.

FANCY the Red Standard Poodle said...

Hi Y'all,

Just wanted to stop to see how your week went. Hope it's great! Wishin' y'all a great and a wonderful summer and a relaxing weekend! Stay cool!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

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