Okay so as most of you know, Ace and I are hoping to do his CGC test soon.
We need to start working daily to improve our current training. He can sit, stay, stand, wait, leave it and come on command. (He knows other commands, but those are mostly trick commands). It all could be tightened up obviously, but I know consistency is key there.
Walking on the leash is our downfall. He's slightly improving, but the problem is he is rarely leashed. He's great off leash, and at our home property is rarely leashed for our outside adventures. He's recall is pretty strong, but obviously for an 8mo old puppy, it can always use more practice. Everything could always use more, never-ending practice. We have started training by any time he pulls, I stop. I need to get much better about this myself, but i have noticed him being slightly better.
If there is any one thing that is "MOST" important about taking the CGC it is going to be on leash walking with your dog So bite the bullet and make it a point to walk him, on leash, at least a couple of times a day--do it in different places so he gets that it isn't just in his driveway, his yard or the sidewalk in front of the house. Does't have to be for long periods of time either--two to three minutes of walk with a dog who isn't pulling you or leaving your side to try to look at other things is what you aim at Neither the CGC nor the CGCA are endurance contests--the longest exercise is the one where you leave your dog with someone--and all he really needs do is wait patiently for your return. It's the only exercise any of my dogs failed and it was the Australian Shepherd cried (loudly) the entire time I was gone.
He's never been groomed by a brush before, so that's definitely something I need to get, and start working on, since its included in the test. How can I teach him not to nip during that? When we wipe him down with cleaning wipes, its a big ole game and he tries to steal the wipe from us. My fault for not nipping it in the bud there.
Well, none of my Dobe get groomed with a brush--at most I wipe them down with a dampened terrycloth towel. And I've forgotten the brush business more times than not--my dogs just look mildly surprised that they are being brushed-usually you don't need to devote much time to that but if you and he have made a game out of it then you'll have to fade that behavior. Stop now letting him nip when he's being wiped down. Treat for not doing anything except standing while being brushed. It's only about or 3 swipes with a bristle brush. although one of my dog had to let the brusher run a pin brush down him three times--he really thought that was strange.
Otherwise, what advice and recommendations can you give me for preparing for this test? What can I do to ensure we do our best? Any tips/tricks that helped?
Make sure your dog will stick with you and not try to greet every other dog he sees--there is a part where you an another person with a dog will walk toward each other (and they keep changing what exactly this exercise consists of) I've done CGC's where you stop and chat with the other person while the dogs ignore each other. And I've done it where you just walk past each other.
I just went and looked at the most recent CGC one of my dogs have done and I'm going to list them here-it's quite obvious what each exercise is supposed to show.
1) Accepting a friendly stranger--evaluator approaches, hakes hands with handler. Does not touch dog.
2) Sitting politely for petting--Evaluator pets dog, dog must show no shyness or resentment.
3) Appearance and grooming--Evaluator inspects dog, combs or brushes lightly, examines ears and each front foot.
4) Out for a walk--Handler takes dog for a short walk including right turn, left turn, about turn and stop.
5) Walking through a crowd--Dog and handler walk close to several people; dog may show casual interest but not jump up.
6) Sit and down on command/Staying in place--Handler shows dog can do sit and down, then chooses a position, leaves dog and goes to the end of a 20 ft. line and returns immediately.
7) Coming when called--With dog still on 20 ft. line from Test 6, handler walks out 10 feet and calls the dog.
8) Reaction to another dog Two handlers and dogs approach, shake hands, exchange pleasantries, move on. Dogs can show casual interest.
9) Reaction to distractions --Distractions are presented; dog may not panic or show aggression.
10 Supervised separation--Handler goes out of sight for 3-min. Dog is held on 6-ft. leash by an evaluator.
The thing to remember is that the CGC is a VERY basic test. What mostly gets dogs failed is if they are entirely out of control--proper socialization is one of the things that helps a lot when it comes to passing a CGC.
I've never had a Doberman fail either the CGC or CGCA--the Aussie did. And you do have to pass all 10 parts. But the dogs do not have perform the same way they would for Obedience or Rally.
We are enrolling in a "Focus" class in a few weeks, but there is a chance the CGC testing may be in the middle of that class. Not totally sure
when it will be offered yet. But i'd like to start setting ourselves up for success sooner than later. I've got a great dog on my hands, who I think is going to excel in either Obedience/Rally or Agility (down the road) and I don't want his talents to go to waste. I know that if I can get him set up to do well with this CGC test, the BN title test is going to be a breeze, because once he's on, he's on.
If you think the BN title will be a breeze then you can definitely spend no time worrying about how to pass the CGC--but just in case you've got the wrong idea about the BN and the CGC. It's takes a much better trained dog to pass the BN--most of the judges who judge Obedience also judge CGC's--and they are much more demanding (as they should be) of performance in any of the Obedience levels--even the Beginning Novice--than they are of performance in the CGC. Think of the CGC as the bottom rung of the ladder--the kindergarden of dog training.
But I have no doubt that you and Ace will pass the CGC with flying colors