Countdown to CGN testing August 9, 2014

So at nosework they have offered the chance to take the Canadian Good Neighbour test in August. I’m always looking for things to do with Ranger and figured it would give us something to work on at home in the obedience category (as opposed to nose work and agility training). Ranger’s day-to-day manners are passable and people comment on how ‘well trained’ he is, but looking through the list of requirements I know we have a lot of fine tuning to do. We have almost two months before the testing so hopefully we can get it worked out. The full test can be seen HERE

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

1.As the evaluator approaches, the handler may tell the dog to sit and quietly reassure the dog.
2. The handler may not hold the collar tightly or in any other way restrain the dog.
3. While it is not necessary for the dog to be sitting, it is important that the dog does not break position, move toward or interfere with the evaluator.

This I think we can do. He tends to want to move toward people to greet them, but if he’s put in a sit-stay he will hold the position. Not saying he won’t lean toward them, but we’ve had enough experience in classes and such that he’s used to people coming up to us…as long as they aren’t holding a treat bag. Will need to brush up on holding his sit when people are close enough.

Test 2: Politely accepts petting

1. The dog is to be sitting beside the handler (either left or right side is acceptable).
2. The handler may talk to his/her dog throughout the exercise.
3. The dog does not have to maintain the sitting position but must remain in place.
4. If the handler commands the dog to sit and the dog does not respond, the handler may lightly touch the dog on the hindquarters but may not physically force the dog into a sitting position.
5. The handler may not physically restrain the dog either by use of the collar or any other method.

We’ve been working on this a lot now that the summer is here and neighbourhood children want nothing more than to “pet the doggy”. Luckily, most listen that they need to wait until he’s sitting down before coming up to him and he’s been generally good about holding his position as long as they don’t dither too much. Will need to work on this more with a completely loose leash (and some willing volunteers).

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

1. The handler will provide the evaluator with the grooming tool before the test begins.
2. The dog is not required to maintain a sitting position.
3. The handler may encourage the dog during the test.
4. The handler may use light collar pressure in positioning the dog, but no physical restraint.

I’m not too worried about this part. Ranger likes being groomed and I (and others can handle his feet, tail, mouth, and ears without issue. I could see him moving his head a bit for the teeth check, but otherwise no issues here.

Test 4: Out for a walk 

1. The dog may be on either side of the handler.
2. The handler may speak quietly to the dog throughout the test.
3. The dog is required to walk near the handler without pulling or straining.
4. The leash should be loose in order to demonstrate that the dog is under control and is not being steered by the handler.
5. The handler and dog are required to walk a straight line, make at least one right and one left turn as well as a 180-
degree turn.
6. The dog is not required to sit when the handler stops walking.

Ok…so now it gets a little trickier. Ranger is pretty good about walking, but I mainly use his Easy Walk to prevent pulling. In his collar he wants to walk up ahead of me using with slack. Speaking of slack, I’ve been slacking on his LLW skills with a heel. This will need work and tonnes of reward until we get it down.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

1. The dog may be on either side of the handler.
2. The handler may speak quietly to the dog throughout the test.
3. The dog is required to walk near the handler without pulling or straining.
4. The leash should be loose in order to demonstrate that the dog is under control and is not being steered by the handler.
5. The handler and dog are required to walk a straight line, make at least one right and one left turn as well as a 180-degree turn.
6. The dog is not required to sit when the handler stops walking.

So this is my second most worrisome part of the testing. Walking in heel on a loose leash. With BIG distractions. And no treats allowed in the testing. If we went in to do this today I think he’d spend his time bouncing from slightly ahead to slightly back depending on whether I’ve just talked to him or we’re coming to a new person. I am going to be working hard on this one and we might spend some time in downtown Halifax to work on people distractions.

Test 6: Sit/down on command and stay in place

1. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and may you more than one command to sit and down the dog.
2.  The handler may gently touch the dog in an effort to assist the dog in assuming either the sit or down position.
3. The handler may not physically place or force the dog into position. The handler may repeat a command and use signals and gestures to assist the dog as well as a light touch.
4. Once prone the dog must stay in place.
5. Once the dog is in either a sit or down position, the handler is to command it to stay, then walk away from the dog to the end of the long line.
6. Once reaching the end of the long line, the handler will turn to face the dog and without pausing return to the dog.
7. The handler is not required to walk behind the dog in returning to heel position.
8. The handler is not required to walk behind the dog in returning to heel position.

This one we have no problem; we actually do a lot of this in our training at home and while waiting for classes to start.

Test 7: Come when called (long line)

1. The dog may change position, but must remain in place when waiting for the command to come.
2. When called, the dog must come at a reasonable speed without stopping to sniff or wandering off.
3. The dog may drop its head to sniff, but must continue towards the handler.
4. The dog must come close enough for the handler to touch it but is not required to sit.
5. The dog must come close enough for the handler to touch it but is not required to sit.

This is done at a distance of 8-10 feet. My only concern is him not being able to stop haha.

Test 8: Praise/Interaction

1. The handler may use any combination of verbal praise, and playful postures, gestures or actions to engage the dog in play or in the performance of tricks.
2. When calming the dog, the handler’s voice may be firm but must not be loud or angry.
3. The handler may use more than one command to calm the dog but the dog must display an attitude of controlled behaviour following calming efforts on the part of the handler.

Rile him up and settle him down. This we can do. They say you can play, ask them for fun tricks, etc. and then you need to return to a calmer state. I figure a few spins, a back up, a couple bows is enough to get him barking and excited before a settle command. This will either be our best part of the test, or a disaster. We’ve already been practicing settle in different places so should be good.

Test 9: Reaction to passing dog

1. The handler should command the dog to hell before beginning to walk toward the other handler and dog.
2. Upon reaching the other team, the handler should command the dog to sit, thereafter greeting the other handler and chatting briefly.
3. The dog may not be restrained.
4. The dog may show mild interest in the other handler and dog but may not move toward the other dog, or exhibit shy or aggressive behaviour.
5. The handler may use additional commands to ensure a response from the dog but may not jerk or grab it.

Soooooo, yeah. This is what we need to work on so I need to enlist people with dogs to help me out. He’s not aggressive in the slightest, but is definitely going to want to say hello to the other dog and possibly the person. It would be better if I could put him in a settle (since laying down provides less options for leaning) but we’ll be working on this often in the coming two months.

Test 10: Reaction to distractions

1. The handler may command the dog to walk at heel while the individuals walk by.
2. The handler may speak encouragingly to the dog, but may not steer the dog with the leash nor attempt to restrain the dog.
3. The dog may startle but should recover quickly.
4. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity.
5.  The dog may bark once or twice.

Ladders, strollers, canes/crutches, and bears oh my! This shouldn’t be a problem for us as Ranger is pretty level about most things and has experience with people on crutches (me) and baby strollers (definitely not mine). Once again the only issue would be LLW.

Test 11: Supervised isolation

1. The dog does not have to maintain position or place with the assistant evaluator.
2.  The dog may not show signs of excessive stress.
3. Mild stress or nervousness is acceptable behaviour.

3 minutes with me in a different room leaving him with a stranger (or hopefully someone he’s met before). I am going to practice this a few times at home and in different areas, but I don’t think it should be a problem. Haven’t decided if putting him in a down would be better or if he would do better unstructured.

Test 12: Walking through a door/gate

1. The handler may talk quietly to the dog as they approach the opening.
2. If walking through the opening simultaneously, the dog should maintain a loose leash throughout and should not lunge forward in an attempt to pass through ahead of the handler.
3. In the event the opening is too small, the handler may quietly command the dog to wait (or sit and wait) while the handler goes through.

We’ll brush up on this, but Ranger is pretty good about not being pushy (we do this with the doors at home all the time). Once again, the LLW part is what we need to work on.

dog running to camera

practicing recall

In all, I think this is something that we should be able to manage so long as I take the time to practice. We might run into some hiccups along the way, but two months is a lot of time to work on 12 specific criteria (even if some of them are difficult for him). We’ve been invited to hop onto the last fifteen minutes of the obedience class directly before nose work so that will help with the people/dog portions that are more worrisome.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s