Is Your Dog a Canine Good Citizen?

Is your dog a Canine Good Citizen? This is what it was like for me to prepare my brand new guide dog, whom I barely knew yet, for this test of manners. A CGC is trustworthy in public around dogs, people, and distractions.

How do you know if your pet or service dog is safe to appear in public? You take your pooch through the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen or CGC test. Ten tests of temperament, manners and obedience determine whether your companion is worthy to add the prestigious CGC after its name. I'm writing about it here because it's part of the book I'm writing about how my guide dog and I came to be a team.

CGC is certainly not requreed, but I think any service dog should be able to pass it one she's been with her new handler for a while  My first 2 guide dogs, Thunder Skywalker and Molly Flagtail, were both CGCs.

I wanted my new dog to wear the tag and earn the proud title. When I got Jemma Flagtail at Leader Dogs, I felt incredibly excited that head trainer Jessica Bimmerman was a certified CGC tester.

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Could My Guide Dog Pass the Canine Good Citizen Examination?

Since Jessica could administer the examination, I was determined to get my new dog ready to pass. Setting her up for success meant diligence on my part. Would we do it, or would my new guide dog flunk? After all, we were essentially strangers back then. Continue reading "Is Your Dog a Canine Good Citizen?"

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