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The Canine Good Citizen class and test consists of 10 tasks that your dog must complete to be awarded a certificate. The tasks help your dog suceed as a therapy dog. Each class focused on one of the tasks with the test being a culmination of everything learned over the course. Some tasks are easier than others. Derby is a talkative dog who has a lot to say. Tasks that involved being quiet were the hardest for him. Poor guy!
If you’ve been following along, you know Derby has completed the many different training classes available at our local Petco. Read about the different puppy classes in this post here. The adult training classes are found in this post here. We continued our dog training with the Canine Good Citizen class with hopes to pass the test. Spoiler alert… he passed!
Task 1: Accepting a Stranger
I asked Derby to sit next to me as the class instructor came up to greet me with a handshake. Derby’s job was to sit quietly and basically do nothing. The sit cue and then stay to help him remember what was expected from him.
Task 2: Sit for Petting
This was an easy one for Derby. Sit, stay and let the evaluator pet you. Not too hard at all for Derby.
Task 3: Appearance and Grooming
Derby doesn’t mind his teeth being looked at or feet being touched. He does not like to be brushed. It’s getting better with peanut butter, but sadly was not allowed. Derby was asked to sit as we slowly worked up his tolerance to being brushed by the evaluator. It was hard…
Task 4: Walking on a Loose Leash
Derby did a great job with this task. We walked around the room with a loose leash. Derby did well with treats, and we slowly weaned off how many treats were needed. No treats are allowed during the test… only verbal praise and petting.
Task 5: Walking Through a Crowd
Poor Derby… this was hard for him to do. So many smells and people to distract his puppy brain from the task at hand. It took a lot of practice before and after class to get this task. But by the end of the class, we were able to loop around the store without treats. Derby stayed by my side with a loose leash. We probably had to walk a little faster than normal…
Task 6: Sit, Down, Stay
Derby was really good at this task. I gave him the sit command, and then called him to come. Then I gave him the down command followed by the stay command. Then I called him to come. He had no problem with this task.
Task 7: Come When Called
Task 6 and 7 went together. Derby is good at coming when called. A long 15 foot leash helps for practicing. I used this leash during training. We are still working on this one outside the house.
Task 8: Reaction to Another Dog
This one was fun. My classmate and I walked towards each other with our dogs. We stopped and gave our dogs the sit command and stay command. Then we chatted, shook hands, and continued on our way. Both dogs did a great job. They just had to sit and stay.
Task 9: Reaction to Distractions
Derby had no trouble with this task. The evaluator had to do a visual distraction like running near Derby, and then a sound distraction like clapping. Derby sat for this task.
Task 10: Supervised Separation
This was the hardest task by far for Derby. I had to leave Derby with the evaluator and be out of his sight for 3 minutes. Longest 3 minutes for both of us. He could not stop barking at first. We had to practice this a lot. We started with a short amount of time and slowly increased to 3 minutes. It was hard work.