How strict in CGC testing?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by skKi, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. skKi

    skKi woop

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    At some point in the near future I'd like to get Pit his CGC, but I'm concerned about the requirements and was wondering if anyone could share their experiences.

    Pit's manners are perfectly acceptable; he will sit, down, stay, come, greet dogs nicely and pass through crowds with no issues. He is, however, very shy when people go to touch him, and that appears to be a disqualification.

    I've been working on his shyness his whole life, and we're still not very far along. He just doesn't like to be touched or interacted with unless he's had time to become comfortable with that person (could be minutes, hours, or weeks before that happens) and from the sound of it, there isn't time to get comfortable with the person doing the test.

    I don't know how to get him to accept a stranger touching his feet without cowering or petting his head without wincing and ducking away.

    How strict are the CGC testers when it comes to shyness in your experience?

    Edit: Also, are treats allowed during the test? I'm assuming no, but it would certainly help things!
     
  2. borzoimom

    borzoimom Couch Pototoe City

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    My dogs that did therapy dog had to pass CGC first. There is little room there for shyness. Borzois tend to be aloof with people they do not know. Even that would have been eyebrow raising.
     
  3. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Treats and toys are not allowed during the testing.

    You are allowed to use praise and encouragement throughout the test and you may pet the dog between exercises.

    As for shyness, it can be a bit subjective from one tester to the next. The dog doesn't need to be a social butterfly, but he does need to allow the tester to pet him and examine him.
     
  4. A dog who ducks, tries to avoid, or shies away from the tester should not pass the Canine Good Citizen test.

    Standing quietly is acceptable. The dog need not fawn over or even be friendly to the tester, but he must be at least neutral.

    Avoidance should fail a dog with ALL testers.
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Really all you can do is try and see how he does. It's easier than the TDI test . Good luck !
     
  6. skKi

    skKi woop

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    Fair enough. Judging by how things are going, I doubt Pit will ever tolerate strange people touching him without some degree of timid reaction. Maybe in the distant future, but I don't have high hopes.

    It was a nice thought. Something to keep in mind if he ever improves.

    Thanks for sharing, guys.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    You might be surprised !
     
  8. skKi

    skKi woop

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    If there's a test nearby that I know of, I'll definitely give it a go. Although, thinking about it, he really shouldn't get passed if he is timid, and I know that if he did pass it'd be pure fluke. Chances are if anyone tried that same test on him again, he'd be afraid of them.

    Though I'm interested to see how he would do, pass or no pass.
     
  9. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    You could make an appointment with an examiner and have them to do the test for you, as kind of an assessment to see what areas he needs the most work on to pass it.
     
  10. That is a very good idea, Romy, and most testers would be happy to help you.

    The other thing to keep in mind is the fees from CGC testing usually goes to a good cause, so even if you go and don't pass, you have contributed your bucks to something worthwhile.
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    mmmm...kinda depends on how timid and how he displays it, IMO. If he pulls away, or ducks then yea, he'd have to fail. I'm not sure how fair the test is. It's supposed to show that the dog has manners suitable for public. If you were to take him out in public, you wouldn't allow strangers to be petting him if he doesn't like it. As for the examining, I think that's supposed to be along the lines of a vet or a groomer would need to handle them and examine them. But if the dog goes to the same vet, he does get to know the vet, so it's not a stranger.

    Also, the dog's response is going to vary somewhat depending on how the tester approaches.

    What have you done to work on his timidness?
     
  12. Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
    This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

    Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
    This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

    The emphasis is mine.....
     
  13. skKi

    skKi woop

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    If it's for a good cause then I'll definitely give it a go for kicks. However, there is no way he'd let someone pet him without sniffing first. In order to sniff, he ducks away from hands to get a good angle. He'd likely fail just from that.

    I haven't been able to find a location nearby that does testing, but when I do I'd like to ask them to help me out.

    While he does duck and hide from people touching him, he doesn't run or struggle. If I take him to a strange vet, he will be visibly uncomfortable but they will have no troubles examining him. That's good for every day life, but for the test it wouldn't work, I imagine.

    As for training him for the shyness, it's changed along the way. As a puppy he would growl, raise hackles and cower when people simply approached. I taught him a good focus and over time he learned to ignore them. It's built up to where I can get people to give him treats and not touch him unless he seems comfortable with them, but even then they can only rub under the chin. If they touch his head he gets scared.
     
  14. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    Sniffing first wouldn't necessarily fail him, but he does need to begin the exercise in a sit.

    Ducking and hiding would fail him.

    For the sitting for petting, the tester is supposed to pet the head and body.
     
  15. skKi

    skKi woop

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    Yes and that is why I doubt his capabilities of passing the test. He's just not ready; hopefully someday he will be.
     
  16. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    I think it really depends on the evaluator - Ilsa's first evaluator was very lenient, the second time around she was failed because she let out three little grunts on the Separation From Handler ("umph umph umph" aparently constitutes a fail to that particular evaluator)

    Ronin's evaluator was probably the most lenient that I've ever seen. She gave Ronin his own ring since one of the other dogs was in standing heat, and forgave him for trying to sniff his "meet n greet dog" because she looked like Ada AND had been crated with the bitch in heat.

    Sooo... it just depends on how lenient or strict an evaluator is on any given day. :)

    PS - Ilsa has her CGC and TDI now, and Ronin earned his CGC that day. :D I think in part because the evaluator saw him behaving like an angel for about 30 minutes before the test - it might have planted a seed in her mind that he DID deserve the certification.
     
  17. ron

    ron southern fried mush

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    Interesting questions.

    My dog is primarily Sibe in temperment, all Sibe in metabolism, and largely Sibe in physiology, even though he is a mix. For those of you who don't know, he's a mix of Siberian Husky and Lab.

    And he is a bit aloof around people he doesn't know. Once he knows you, he will be all over you. It's a breed trait. But he is people friendly. Some strangers he immediately likes, others not so much. Nor does he automatically like every dog he sees though I have been able to reduce his reactivity in a year. This could be from several factors, including his rough start in life.

    So, Shadow might not ever attain CGC. Or he might, on a good day.

    Some dogs are dependent on stability. A controlled environment suits them just fine. Other dogs just love everything under the sun and are, imo, natural CGCs, given the requirements of that title, regardless of any environmental conditions.

    If you happen to know the traits of Sibes, you will know that I have accomplished something by having him recall, walk in heel.

    Even without CGC, you could have other activities with your dog. Have you thought of testing to be a SAR dog? It's a singular task suited for dogs with intense concentration and a good sniffer.
     
  18. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    I bet he could - they do seem to surprise us. ;) I thought Ronin would never get his CGC - he's a sharp dog, intensely protective and never very happy about other people poking and prodding him. He passed with flying colors. It just took a bit of extra training.

    Ronin's professional handler breeds Sibes. Hers are obedient and mind very well, it's just taken extra training. :) They do have a penchant for barking and climbing out of ex-pens, but that's really the extent of their instinct-based misbehavior.
     
  19. borzoimom

    borzoimom Couch Pototoe City

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    Around here a CGC is easier than a therapy dog. The test is similar but the reasoning is that the dog has to have a empathy for strangers ( ie never met a stranger type attitude.). However- both tests its strict on timid behavior. The reasoning is that a dog that is a afraid is more likely to snap or growl.
    If it were me, as stated, try to the test and see how it goes. Possibly a surprise and the dog would be fine..
     
  20. A Canine Good Citizen is not certifying a dog to go into facilities and visit with sick or infirm people or children, and use a $1,000,000 insurance waiver provided by TDI.

    Therefore, it is only logical that the TDI test would be more in depth, and would test in greater detail the temperament and stability of the dog under stressful or unusual conditions.
     

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