Saturday, December 19, 2009

Test day

In Canine Good Citizen class, I am always amused by the part where you abandon your dog to another person and hide for three minutes. Even at the first practice when Miro was seven months old, the trainer would congratulate me on this part of the course as if I had something to do with his success. Most Airedales are complete extroverts, happy when they're receiving attention; it doesn't matter from whom.

The flip side of Miro's enthusiastic adoration of all people is that he'll probably flunk the CGC test again this afternoon. He can do everything except the part where a dog has to sit or stand calmly (ha!) when a stranger comes to greet him. No excited lunging, jumping, dancing, mouthing, twirling, hopping or pulling allowed. He needs more greeting practice than he gets because of the difficulty of finding anyone to practice with.

You need someone not only willing to greet the dog but willing to obey instructions and do it your way--approach calmly, turn away if the dog breaks his sit, wait for him to calm down before approaching again. And please don't expect me to carry on a rational conversation while I'm trying to control a whirling dervish; I can't do it.

Treats are not allowed during the CGC test and it's not like tests you take in school. If the dog fails one part of the test, he fails the whole thing.  I am busily envisioning Miro sailing through the test, treatless. Except for the nice, stinky salmon-treat smell I'll rub on my fingers. Surely this isn't cheating.

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough test, Miro, as we Airedales are such social butterflies! Paws are crossed that you pass! Let us know how you do, okay?

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch