Halleluia!!! Last night, Cooper passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. I thought I’d give a short run-down of each part of the test.
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
Cooper was so busy orienting himself in this strange room and looking around at all the unfamiliar people (particularly the strange guy over in the corner rolling idly back and forth in a wheelchair) that he needed several minutes to settle down. The evaluator was very patient.
Finally I got Cooper in a sit, and the volunteer “friendly stranger” approached from the side. It looked like Cooper was going to stand up, so I moved slightly to put more of myself between the woman and Cooper, and Coop settled down again. The woman and I shook hands. Coop stretched his neck w-a-y out to get a better sniff, but stayed sitting.
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
And he stayed sitting while the woman petted his topknot briefly. The evaluator reminded me to breathe.
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
Cooper is actually quite practiced at this, having let many, many people brush him. He just stood there and let his ears be looked at and a brush be run down his back. He was less happy about having his two front feet picked up, but he allowed it.
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This one was easy — it took place in a big empty room. I put Cooper in a “right here” (our version of a loose heel), and he walked right with me: right turn, left turn, about face, stop and sit. We practice all of these a lot on our daily walks.
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
Cooper is also used to gaiting in circles from being in the show ring. What was less familiar was doing this calmly so close to people. I told Cooper to “right here” again, and we walked very quickly around each of three people who were milling around.
The evaluator reminded me to breathe again.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
Oh, Cooper is beautiful at this. He sat and downed just wonderfully. Then, I put him in a Sit and Wait, and walked the 20 feet away. When I turned around to come back, he was sitting there, straight and proud, just like the leader of a pride of lions.
Test 7: Coming when called
He LOVES this one. I put him in a Sit and Wait and walked the 10 feet away. I turned around to see that proud lion pose again, and when I called him, he put on his burst of speed, and ran to me, right to front. We practice this one a lot, too. Particularly when he’s on the porch, waiting for me to call him to get into the beloved car.
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
Glory and oh, happiness. Walking in control around other dogs has been a big, big challenge for us. In this test, we had to walk up next to another person/dog team, then have Cooper sit, me shake hands with the other person, and then both teams walk on. The other dog was very calm. Cooper was curious about the other dog, and it took a few very long seconds before he “heard” my command to sit, but otherwise, he did fine.
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
OK, here comes that strange guy in the wheelchair. The wheelchair guy rolled around behind Cooper, and Cooper was curious, but fine with it. Then, when Cooper looked away, the guy dropped a large, heavy book, making a big booming noise. That made Cooper startle and look around, but he didn’t (oh, thank you!) bark, lunge, run away, or make a scene. I’m so happy I got to practice on the fellow with the shopping cart.
Test 10: Supervised separation
Cooper doesn’t like this one. As soon as he recognized what we were going to do, he asked me if we could go now. But I told him to “go visit,” “sit,” “wait,” and “I’ll be back,” and then walked away out of sight. This was a very long 3 minutes for me, but he did fine. Just sat there and waited for me to come back.
I showered Cooper with praise and an invitation to jump up on me. And then I reminded myself to breathe.
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