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Took Zero to a Memorial Day get together with a bunch of friends at the park today. I was shocked at how well he behaved. One of my friends has a one year old and at one point the kid crawled over to where Zero was laying on the grass and started smacking him the rump. Zero looked at the kid, then went back to staring at whatever he was staring at and ignored him completely. He politely greeted just about everyone and got everyone there to toss a tennis ball for him. It got me thinking that he may be a good candidate for the CGC, but I do have some questions about the process. I guess question one would be - Is it possible to observe another dog going through the test to see exactly what I'm dealing with?

1) Accepting a friendly stranger - Zero likes to jump on people if he's extremely excited or he feels like he's not getting enough attention. He does not jump on me ever. I've broken him of that habit. He does however jump on strangers. I'm single and live alone. None of my friends are dog people. How can I train this by myself?

2) Sitting politely for petting - Zero will have no problem with this. People were put here to love on him.

3) Appearance and grooming - He has no issues at the groomers I don't see him having any problems here.

4) Out for a walk (on a loose leash) - Question: Is this a straight loose leash? i.e. the dog never, ever, ever pulls? If I change direction can the leash go taut long enough to get the dogs attention? We may need to work on this. I assume the dog must stay in more or less a heel position at all times?

5) Walking through a crowd - It almost sounds that this is just the dog on a leash walking by 3 or more people. Is that accurate? I don't think we'd have any problems here. Zero will definitely show interest, but I don't think we'll have any issues beyond that.

6) Sit and down on command and staying in place - We need to work on this a little bit, but I don't think Zero will have a lot of problems in this area.

7) Coming when called - Question: will the evaluator and others working with him make attempts to distract the dog during this test? Am I going to have to get my dog to come while someone is waving a T-bone at him? or is this just a recall in a low to medium distraction environment?

8) Reaction to another dog - I need major help in training this. Zero loves other dogs more than anything in this world. He lives to play with other dogs. He will pull, tug and drag to get to another dog and nothing in the world excites him more. If we walk by another dog he's going to go nuts. Where do I need to start to train this?

9) Reaction to distraction - How big of a distraction are we talking about here? If the dog is startled and jumps back, but then approaches the distraction with natural curiosity does he fail? If he yips, but this is fine, does he fail?

10) Supervised separation - I honestly have no idea how my dog will behave in this situation. He behaves perfectly for me, but I don't know about others. How can I test this to see if this is something I need to work on? Again, I'm single, live alone and have no friends who are dog fans.
 

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Sounds like you need new friends. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds like you need new friends. :)
Yeah. At most they're ambivalent about dogs. I have one good friend who is terrified of all dogs (even a 15 lb cocker spaniel) and my brother hates dogs for no reason at all. None of my friends are dog owners. :( That's another thread though.
 

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Sounds like with a little work you could not only have a CGC but could become a Therapy dog. Do you have a kennel club or some training facility in your area? I live alone too (other then the pets) and I take my dogs to the kennel club to train. I also take them to pet stores and other public places to practice training. First I train from afar and then in more crowded areas.

sorry, should have answered some of your questions as well.

The evaluator is not trying to make your dog fail. They are not trying to distract the dog during the recall. On leash walking should be on loose leash but if your dog tightens up a little and then loosens the leash without big corrections it is all good.

This test is really not as hard as most folks make it out to be. It is just a basic temperament test of sorts. They are just testing to see that the dog has a solid enough temperament to be in and around people safely.
YOU CAN DO IT!!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Another question related to loose leash walking - How long of a leash are we talking about? Four? Six? something else?

There is a local kennel club that I found on-line, but their website is pretty crappy and gives very little information. They also want to "further the advancement of all purebred dogs." That's fine, but my dog may or may not be purebred so I don't know if they'll let him participate in their events or not. He's also fixed so is not show worthy. I'm not exactly sure what they do just from looking at their web site. There's also a local dog training club that offers classes in everything from puppy kindergarten to flyball (which Zero would probably also love doing). The classes seem to all be taught by members, but I don't know what they do beyond that.
 

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Our Kennel club wants to further the advancement of the purebred dog too but all dogs are welcome to train there. We have many mixed breed dogs that train there and they are treated just as any purebred would be. We also promote spay/neuter so that is a non issue. Give them a chance maybe they will be a good place to get some experience.

As far as the leash a 6 foot leash but the dog is heeling at your side or walking loosely by your side. I coil my leash up so the dog stays closer to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When you say you go there to train, what do they offer you that you can't get without them? Facilities? A fenced area? What exactly?

Also, on the recall, does the speed the dog returns to you matter? I had Zero off leash at the park today and his recall was fine except it was slow at times. My mom commented that he was like a kid. He would come, but he would take the long way to get there.
 

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22 other dogs working in an arena and for the most part under their owner's control. It gives you the opportunity to work with all kinds of distractions. If you can get your dog to work comfortably in that situation you are further ahead.

The dog has to return immediately but it doesn't have to RUN back. It can't stop and sniff and get lost along the way either. lol
 

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Took Zero to a Memorial Day get together with a bunch of friends at the park today. I was shocked at how well he behaved. One of my friends has a one year old and at one point the kid crawled over to where Zero was laying on the grass and started smacking him the rump. Zero looked at the kid, then went back to staring at whatever he was staring at and ignored him completely. He politely greeted just about everyone and got everyone there to toss a tennis ball for him. It got me thinking that he may be a good candidate for the CGC, but I do have some questions about the process. I guess question one would be - Is it possible to observe another dog going through the test to see exactly what I'm dealing with?

1) Accepting a friendly stranger - Zero likes to jump on people if he's extremely excited or he feels like he's not getting enough attention. He does not jump on me ever. I've broken him of that habit. He does however jump on strangers. I'm single and live alone. None of my friends are dog people. How can I train this by myself?
You teach your dog to sit politely at your side then shake hands with the person.

2) Sitting politely for petting - Zero will have no problem with this. People were put here to love on him.

3) Appearance and grooming - He has no issues at the groomers I don't see him having any problems here.

4) Out for a walk (on a loose leash) - Question: Is this a straight loose leash? i.e. the dog never, ever, ever pulls? If I change direction can the leash go taut long enough to get the dogs attention? We may need to work on this. I assume the dog must stay in more or less a heel position at all times?
Leash can go taut at times. You can't drag your dog around or give hard corrections.

5) Walking through a crowd - It almost sounds that this is just the dog on a leash walking by 3 or more people. Is that accurate? I don't think we'd have any problems here. Zero will definitely show interest, but I don't think we'll have any issues beyond that.
The crowd will be doing all the normal things you might encounter in the park....everything from tying their shoelaces, laying on the floor (looking up at the sky), stretching, jogging...but, nothing noisy or intended to sucker punch the dog.


6) Sit and down on command and staying in place - We need to work on this a little bit, but I don't think Zero will have a lot of problems in this area.

7) Coming when called - Question: will the evaluator and others working with him make attempts to distract the dog during this test? Am I going to have to get my dog to come while someone is waving a T-bone at him? or is this just a recall in a low to medium distraction environment?
This test is just you, your dog and the evalutor in the ring.

8) Reaction to another dog - I need major help in training this. Zero loves other dogs more than anything in this world. He lives to play with other dogs. He will pull, tug and drag to get to another dog and nothing in the world excites him more. If we walk by another dog he's going to go nuts. Where do I need to start to train this?
You and your dog cross the ring and meet the evaluator half way with his/her dog. You both stop, have the dogs sit and then you shake hands/exchange pleasantries and then continue on your way. Dog must focus on you and cannot turn around to follow the evaluator or the other dog.

9) Reaction to distraction - How big of a distraction are we talking about here? If the dog is startled and jumps back, but then approaches the distraction with natural curiosity does he fail? If he yips, but this is fine, does he fail?
There are two distractions...one sight and one sound. They are administered separately and are common, everyday events...a pan being dropped, a kid coming by on a scooter, an umbrella being opened. Normal reactions...curiosity, slight jump are OK....trying to leave the ring or uncontrollable barking will not pass.

10) Supervised separation - I honestly have no idea how my dog will behave in this situation. He behaves perfectly for me, but I don't know about others. How can I test this to see if this is something I need to work on? Again, I'm single, live alone and have no friends who are dog fans.
Go to a coffee shop and have a friendly/trustworthy stranger hold your dogs leash while you grab a cup. Watch from inside but, don't let your dog see you. Dog cannot whine, howl, try to climb into the handlers lap, pester the handler or try to constantly get away. The evaluator will not talk to the dog or try to engage them...they just hold the leash. Leash can be the standard 6' but, 4' or 3' is OK too.
 

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I guess question one would be - Is it possible to observe another dog going through the test to see exactly what I'm dealing with?
I was able to. If you contact your local dog training club they may be able to let you know a date that they're holding a test. It was very very helpful for me to go and see the test before I actually took it.

1) Accepting a friendly stranger - Zero likes to jump on people if he's extremely excited or he feels like he's not getting enough attention. He does not jump on me ever. I've broken him of that habit. He does however jump on strangers. I'm single and live alone. None of my friends are dog people. How can I train this by myself?
Pet store. Ask employees if they could help you out by petting your dog. If they sound weirded out, tell them why.

4) Out for a walk (on a loose leash) - Question: Is this a straight loose leash? i.e. the dog never, ever, ever pulls? If I change direction can the leash go taut long enough to get the dogs attention? We may need to work on this. I assume the dog must stay in more or less a heel position at all times?
Doesn't have to be exactly heel position. If the leash goes taut lets say, once, but the dog is fine otherwise, no one except a ridiculously strict evaluator will fail you. It's not formal obedience - it's to just see that the dog is under control and responds to you.

5) Walking through a crowd - It almost sounds that this is just the dog on a leash walking by 3 or more people. Is that accurate? I don't think we'd have any problems here. Zero will definitely show interest, but I don't think we'll have any issues beyond that.
Mine was about 5 people just mulling around. The evaluator usually has you make left turns, right turns, etc. through the crowd and looks to see that your dog does not try to jump up or bark at strangers.

7) Coming when called - Question: will the evaluator and others working with him make attempts to distract the dog during this test? Am I going to have to get my dog to come while someone is waving a T-bone at him? or is this just a recall in a low to medium distraction environment?
I'd say low to medium distraction. The evaluator holds your dog, you call him, if he comes, you're good.
8) Reaction to another dog - I need major help in training this. Zero loves other dogs more than anything in this world. He lives to play with other dogs. He will pull, tug and drag to get to another dog and nothing in the world excites him more. If we walk by another dog he's going to go nuts. Where do I need to start to train this?
I'd start by HEAVILY enforcing the leave it/watch me commands.

9) Reaction to distraction - How big of a distraction are we talking about here? If the dog is startled and jumps back, but then approaches the distraction with natural curiosity does he fail? If he yips, but this is fine, does he fail?
They will usually present you with two distractions: visual and auditory. For me, the visual distraction was a jogger going by, and the auditory was a book dropping. Don't know about the yipping but being slightly startled is fine as long as the dog recovers.

10) Supervised separation - I honestly have no idea how my dog will behave in this situation. He behaves perfectly for me, but I don't know about others. How can I test this to see if this is something I need to work on? Again, I'm single, live alone and have no friends who are dog fans.
Work on loooong down stays. Then proceed to out-of-sight down stays. I put my dog in a down-stay when we took the actual CGC and I think it calmed her down.

Honestly, the best piece of advice I can give you is to take Beginner Obedience classes. They help tremendously! Even if your dog knows all of their basic commands, beginner classes will test how well they respond to you amidst distractions.
 

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Watch it, sometimes "the crowd" will bang bows or even softely drop them on the floor.

I think you can get that CGC, just need a little more work. They don't have to be angels on the seperation part. My sister's bitch barked the whole time out of sheer joy and having fun, and still passed.

I just put the CGC on my puppy bitch, am now prepping my junior dog for his test this summer. Never take training classes. Just get up and do it ourselves. A TON of work, but a ton of fun.
 

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I think you can get that CGC, just need a little more work. They don't have to be angels on the seperation part. My sister's bitch barked the whole time out of sheer joy and having fun, and still passed.
That depends on the evaluator...some would fail that. Web's evaluator was even not happy that he basically just sat still and ignored everything, just staring fixedly at the door through which I had disappeared. If he had barked he would have been failed.

But they were lenient on other things...a dog blasted by the owner on the recall but she got control of him quickly and he didn't go far so they let that fly :confused: you just never know...best to train as if you will have a picky evaluator who's having a rotten day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I'm putting together a list of what I need to work on. I need to get my mitts on a 20 ft lead which is easy enough. I think I'm going to work on the easy stuff first and leave the hard stuff for last so what I need to work on is:

1. Stay while I walk 20 ft away and then return.
2. Recall of 20 ft without stopping to sniff or getting distracted.
3. Leash walking on a loose leash and not getting distracted.
4. Greeting people.
5. Greeting people with dogs (this is going to be extremely difficult)

The first three should be very easy for him. #4 is about a 6 on a 1-10 scale and #5 will be about a 15. He sees another dog he goes nuts and wants to play with the other guy. I know how to train the other stuff, but don't know how to train the last one. Zero forgets everything he knows when he sees another dog.
 

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Just like one would desensitize a dog to something it is afraid of slowly and from a distance, I think you can do the same thing for excitement around other dogs.

Take him to the park. Sit in a quiet place with dogs going by in the distance, probably 75/100 feet or more away. Get his "watch me" and "leave it" commands perfect there. Slowly move closer and closer into higher traffic environments. Could be over days, weeks or months. Just don't rush it.

This is why I love the training class environment.. because in a training class your dog HAS to ignore the presence of other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There are several dogs in the neighbor that are kept fenced. Zero goes nuts when we go by them. I'm wondering if I could start distraction work with him there.
 

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For desensitizing your dog to other dogs...

Instead of training a "watch me" command, try the "look at that!" game instead. It can be found in the book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt, and honestly was the best thing I ever did with my dog. Like yours, my dog was INCREDIBLY focused on othere dogs, and I was very frustrated in trying to gain her attention.

Instead of typing out the instructions, I will give you a link to a discussion that took place a while ago. Scroll down to Shaina's post; it is probably the best description of "look at that" that I have read.

http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/50578-lokk-segues-into-did.html

We have been working on "look at that" with Libby for a while now and we hope to do her CGC in June.
 

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We tried some training in the front yard. Did not go so well. I'm a little discouraged. We practiced the part of the test where I make him sit, walk the length of the 20 ft lead, then turn around and come back. He got up halfway most of the time. We finally got him to stay if I walked backward. If I walked away with my back to him, he fell in step after 3-4 steps. Recall was fine, but he sniffed the ground the entire way back to me. I've been told this will fail him. I don't know how to work on this. If I call him, he comes to me in a straight line and at a good pace, he just has his nose down sniffing the entire way. To make things worse, my stupid neighbor let both of his golden retrievers out in the middle of our session. The came bounding into our yard, nearly knocked me over and jumped all over like they were wanting to play. Of course two dogs who want to play with him are going to distract my dog. Ruined the whole session. He could no longer focus as he was constantly looking around for the other dogs. :(

I now feel I'm going to really struggle with the dog obsession/fixation/whatever. I also think it's going to take some serious time and effort to train the sit/stay thing too. I was doing it to where I would walk away and when I got back, he got clicked/treated. This worked about 20-30% of the time we tried it. The other times he got up. Every time he wasn't focused on me the entire time he was checking things out. I don't know if this would fail him or not. The front yard was pretty distracting as the neighbor across the street had her dog out and a couple of kids on bikes kept riding by. This was what I was aiming for though.
 

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Go to a coffee shop and have a friendly/trustworthy stranger hold your dogs leash while you grab a cup. Watch from inside but, don't let your dog see you. Dog cannot whine, howl, try to climb into the handlers lap, pester the handler or try to constantly get away. The evaluator will not talk to the dog or try to engage them...they just hold the leash. Leash can be the standard 6' but, 4' or 3' is OK too.
Wow, do any shepherds ever pass the CGC? lol
 

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Wow, do any shepherds ever pass the CGC? lol
The Supervised Separation is often the hardest part of the CGC for dogs to handle. As dog owners, we don't often get the chance (or want to take the chance) of leaving our dog in the hands of a stranger in a strange place.
 

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Wow, do any shepherds ever pass the CGC? lol
I think a lot of shepherd people have to do what I did with Webster...train an out of sight stay and put them in a stay then leave. Otherwise they will often try to find you to make sure you are okay long before the 3 minutes is up.

Not that Webster is a GSD but he has many GSD characteristics (think GSD + Terrier)
 
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