by Carrie Boyko, CEB
|courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via Flickr.com|
In Your Dreams, Tanner!
A brief chat with each may make a world of difference in getting your pup through this tough examination. Feel free to ask questions about things that may concern you. Now is your chance to get a feel for the evaluator and venue that may work best for you and your dog.
Having agreed to perform the exam at a nearby park where a lovely dog-friendly walk circles a lake, we arrived for the exam just as a rainstorm struck. As the down pour continued, my worries were more for Oliver and Xena and their anxiety over thunder. I didn't give Tanner a thought, as he is oblivious to storms.
Fortunately the rain passed after a 30 minute wait in the car. The evaluator, his helpers, and my threesome all met under the trees at the lakeside just as a flock of water-loving ducks descended on the area for bathtime, along with a little frisky action to spice up the evening.
You may know that Tanner is a Golden Retriever, a breed intended to collect downed ducks for hunters. Tanner's DNA kicked into high gear and his attention was clearly not on the exam. Although he was able to pass some parts of the test, in general it was an epic failure as he struggled to move closer and closer to his quarry, craning his neck around every bush we tried to work behind.
Looking back on this experience I now realize that I could have prevented it by recognizing that I chose a time of day and location that were prone to storms. Add the presence of a lake and I really shot the bulls eye. A venue indoors is often tough to locate, as strangers or helpers are needed to complete portions of the exam. If your evaluator is able to provide these, you could potentially test your dog in a home or business location.
Obviously, if you select a trainer/evaluator with an indoor training facility, all they require are a couple of volunteers to help with the exam. Keep this in mind as you seek out the perfect person to test your dog.
Finally, you may wish to tune into the preferences of your examiner in terms of dogs. No examiner will give this up in so many words, so you may need to ask around. Some fancy show dogs, while others prefer big dogs. Still others like to see bully breeds or tiny pocket pups earn their stripes. Without knowing it, most examiners have preferences that they probably do not even realize. We discovered this with Oliver's first examination when a class full of toy-sized dogs all failed merely because of an overly-rough examination of their paw pads.
I'll be back next week with a video example of a simplified exam. Join me for this helpful visual and a wrap up. Any questions? I'll be happy to address them as best as I can.
- Introductory Tips to Getting the Canine Citizen Certification
- CGC Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger
- CGC Test 2: Sit Politely for Petting
- CGC Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
- CGC Test 4: Walking on a Loose Leash
- CGC Test 5: Walking Your Dog Through a Crowd
- CGC Test 6: Sit/Stay or Down/Stay
- CGC Test 7: Come When Called
- CGC Test 8: Reaction to Another DogTest
- CGC Test 9: Your Dog's Reaction to Distraction
- CGC Test 10: Supervised Separation