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Ok, Emmett's nearly done with his first obedience class, and he LOVES going to class. So I'm thinking of what to do next... maybe CGC, then advanced obedience or agility or flyball. I don't know which way to go or when is the right time to go...

One thing I will say, is he LOVES going to Lowe's. He simply adores meeting older folks, and totally tolerates their head patting and side thumping. Little kids seem to startle him, but he loves him some old folks! maybe he might enjoy going to independent living facilities and work his way up from there.... would he need to be a "therapy dog?" how do I do that?

obviously I have a lot of 'maybes' in my head, any input would be appreciated!
 

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i would do advanced, THEN CGC. it gives you a chance to really get your commands solid. if its anything like the one i run we also add in a lot of distraction. agility and flyball probably do after that so you can really have your dogs focus. you need to be a therapy dog to do nursing homes and things like that. mostly because once you are the dog is covered by them.
 

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i would do advanced, THEN CGC. it gives you a chance to really get your commands solid. if its anything like the one i run we also add in a lot of distraction. agility and flyball probably do after that so you can really have your dogs focus. you need to be a therapy dog to do nursing homes and things like that. mostly because once you are the dog is covered by them.
to clarify, I was thinking like go in and visit people and get pets... not rehabilitate or be a service dog for anyone...

we have deer, bunny rabbits, foxes, toads, and coyotes on our daily route. He's just about got them all mastered, except the bunnies, and I kinda want to chase them too. :)
 

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The trainer with whom we took puppy class told us which class Hamilton could take next (for her classes, it's Good Behaviors II) - it focuses a lot on placement and stays and extended stays. He loves the trainer, so I figured we'd just go through the classes she offers, then pursue some agility or something.
 

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even so, most of those places wont let you in without it. then any joe schmoe with his dog could walk in and whos to say that dog isnt going to attack someone going by in a wheelchair? this is why they have the testing done, safety.
 

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Ask your trainer's opinion. A lot of times they have a good eye for evaluating the types of activities dogs (AND their people) might be good at or enjoy.
 

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Little kids seem to startle him, but he loves him some old folks! maybe he might enjoy going to independent living facilities and work his way up from there.... would he need to be a "therapy dog?" how do I do that?

obviously I have a lot of 'maybes' in my head, any input would be appreciated!
The "usual pet training" sequence is a basic obedience class - which you have already completed - followed by an advanced obedience class which also includes some preparation for the CGC test.

After this sequence, many teams - even relatively inexperienced ones - will pass the CGC test on the first try. A few teams - but definitely not all of them - will also be able to pass a therapy dog test administered by one of the Therapy Dog organizations.

However, most dogs will require more training to pass a therapy dog test. Having gone through this with your dog - and assuming you paid attention during the classes - you should be able to self-train for a therapy dog test even if you are relatively inexperienced.

Simply passing the therapy dog test may not make you a complete therapy dog team, though. There's often much more to it than that. For example, some teams get into trick trainng and incorporate the tricks into their therapy visits. The fact is that less than half of the dogs thst pass a therapy dog test do anything more than a few nominal visits.

I'm concerned about your dog's reactions to 'little kids'. Most therapy organizations want their dogs tested with children as well as adults. Even if you avoid visiting actual children's facilities, you may encounter children during any therapy visit and it is important that your dog not react adversely to them.

Notice that I don't say anything about 'puppy training' or 'puppy kindergarden' - which could be considered a sort of prerequisite for any training.

Good luck with your training whatever you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'm concerned about your dog's reactions to 'little kids'. Most therapy organizations want their dogs tested with children as well as adults. Even if you avoid visiting actual children's facilities, you may encounter children during any therapy visit and it is important that your dog not react adversely to them.

Notice that I don't say anything about 'puppy training' or 'puppy kindergarden' - which could be considered a sort of prerequisite for any training.

Good luck with your training whatever you do.
Emmett just seems unsure about kids, he'll stand still, looking at me like "what is that?" Whereas with an older person, he just trots right up, tail wagging like "hi, I'm Emmett. aren't I dashing in my little tuxedo?! Let's cuddle!" Emmett just doesn't seem love little people like Zoey does, she goes looking for little kids at the pet store.

We don't know if Emmett went to Puppy school, he's about 4, we just got him a few months ago from the shelter. Somebody has worked with him a bit, in fact, he does better with his commands IN class, than when we are at home on our morning walk.



Does anyone know if there is a specific interval of time between classes? like are you supposed to take a few months off between classes to really firm things up?
 

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I'd skip the CGC, personally. Not my cup of tea. If I wanted those skills, I could train them myself at home (and out and about). It's a piece of paper that doesn't mean much, in the end.

There's probably not a waiting period after your class finishes before you can start another. But if you think you could use the time to cement things before moving on, then by all means! I took about 6mo between the end of our basic obedience class and our first agility class. I wanted my dog to mature physically and mentally before we tried another challenge. I used the time to work on focus and impulse control, as well as to build a better bond. It paid off: we were middle-of-the-pack at best in our basic obedience class, but in every class I've taken since then, Kit shines.
 

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I'd skip the CGC, personally....It's a piece of paper that doesn't mean much, in the end.
All dog titles are 'pieces of paper'. And dogs can't read them.

But they are indicators of actually having reached a goal. The risk in striving for a goal is to think that one is 'close enough', and to stop striving to get there. As your friend Goethe said, "Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal."
 

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Does anyone know if there is a specific interval of time between classes? like are you supposed to take a few months off between classes to really firm things up?
Most successful trainers NEVER stop working with their dog(s), and as long as the work is positive, most dogs love to work. In other words, some sort of working becomes a daily activity for both of you.

So long as you keep up the work, you could take some time between classes if you wanted to. But why would you want to? If you are both are ready to move on, then do it. Physical impediments aside, your dog doesn't need the break - he's happy to be working. If you are going to take the class anyway, and there are no other impediments in the way, you may as well take the classes without a break.
 

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I'd skip the CGC, personally....It's a piece of paper that doesn't mean much, in the end.

All dog titles are 'pieces of paper'. And dogs can't read them.

But they are indicators of actually having reached a goal. The risk in striving for a goal is to think that one is 'close enough', and to stop striving to get there. As your friend Goethe said, "Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal."
It seems like a lot of dogs could pass a CGC without much/any work at all. Others will never get there, and not because their owners won't put in the time, but because there's something about that specific dog's personality. I've known dogs who earned it easily who I don't trust, and others who I'd trust with my life who could never earn it. Seems like a pretty arbitrary "title" to me. I guess I prefer titles that are earned by doing activities that the owner actually has to work to teach the dog: performance-based titles.

I feel the same way about nosework: I'm certain that we'd pass our odor recognition test (ORT) and I'm fairly confident we could manage a nosework1 title. But the title doesn't mean squat to me, and it's expensive to trial, which I feel is especially stupid since I could orchestrate the whole thing myself. So why pursue it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
CGC is more about me... it's about proving to myself that I've reached a new level as an individual. For 34 years, I went undiagnosed with ADHD, that's a lot of failures and incompletes in life. Training a dog is something I never thought I could do! I've failed at it before and we paid someone else to train our dogs and then train us to work with them. But this time, I'm doing it. CGC or agility is just proof for me that I can be a whole guardian on my own. Even if Emmett doesn't get it, I still completed the steps and I did the work. Pass or fail, if we did that work, it would be a big confidence boost!

There's just one more week in our training class, so I'll ask the trainer his opinion of whether or not we should move on. I'm only taking one class myself next quarter, so it would be a good time to do another class with Emmett.
 
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