Preparing for the CGC - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Preparing for the CGC

OK guys.... so we are preparing for the next local CGC test ( a local police officer/PSA trainer is the evaluator). We have most of it down pretty good, but have a few questions, and looking for advice...

I personally do not use a prong for much strong correction, but Cullen KNOWS when it is on. I have always allowed him to self correct so that I am not being dragged around by my monster but he now knows, and when it is on, he is good and walks at a 'FUSS" when told, and otherwise on a loose lead or right at the end without pulling... 1st- how do I switch him over, since I cannot use a prong in the CGC? and 2 - where exactly will he need to be walking during the test!

Also... the seperation thing... does he have to completely pretend that I am not going away? Normally he will whine or bark at first, but if the person shows him some kind of attention ( a pat on the head) he calms down, but he will NOT heel or obey anyone but myself...


and last.... the meeting people and dogs.. with people, with a soft correction or being told to sit, he is good... but he is told firmly as in the manner we would do in Schutzhund, but with dogs is our problem. Not at all dog aggressive, but the neighbor's off leash dog attacked him once and ever since, anything resembling a golden retriever gets to him ( he doesn't run, no hackles, no pulling away, but he bares teeth, growls, and acts nasty). Any other dog ( even tiny ones) he gets SOOOO excited.. ears go back, tail turns into a helicopter, and he MUST.. and I mean MUST run around and try to play

So any advice would be great. I do not have an E collar as it just isn't in my budget to get a good one, I have.... flats, a chain/nylon martingale, and a prong!!!!

~Kristi in Virginia Beach
Mommy to my 8 year old son... and

~ Cullen Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Black/Red Male : 12/16/09

~ Panzer Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Sable Female : 11/29/10

~ Gizmo , Amstaff, Brindle/White Female : 5/5/2000
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:03 PM
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So this is from my experience only. I imagine all evaluators are different and look at things a certain way.

1) I also trained Willow on a prong before we took the test so this worried me as well. However, she does know how to walk on lead and I am sure Cullen knows too, he just doesn't realize it without the prong . We took a class before the test so I did this in the class during down time. You can practice around the house or wherever. When transitioning to the buckle collar I kept her on a short lead and if she got too far in front of me I just stopped. We didn't move forward until she moved back to me. When we were in the class I would also walk her back and forth and change my direction and ensured she had to pay attention to where I was going. The good thing about CGC is that the dog doesn't have to be in classic heel position. The evaluator is just looking to make sure you have control of your dog and it is not dragging you across the room

2) Separation - again depends on the evaluator but there were some dogs there that had some moments of barking or whining but if the dog settled down then they passes. The helpers there that watched the dogs would talk to the dog and pet them. They didn't give the dogs any commands so I don't think you need to worry about Cullen not obeying them.

3) Dog meet/greet - our biggest challenge too!! Willow is dog reactive but she is much better indoors (where we took the test) than she is outside so this helped us a bit. So Willow did bark when they brought the dog into the room but once she settled she too wanted to go meet dog in excited manner. I was allowed to put her by my side and, I guess the word would be "force" her into a sit. I did have to put my hand on her butt and push it to the ground. Once I got her into a sit then we greeted the other handler and moved on. As for practicing it, like I said I took the class so this was an excercise that we practiced every week leading up to the test. We would get in groups of 3 and all of us had to get our dogs in a sit and we would talk for a bit then separate and go back again. Needless to say, Willow did this much better in the class than she did during the test

Hope this helps.

Candie
And my Girls.....
Dallas - ACD mix, 11 yrs
Willow - GSD, 5 yrs, CGC
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:06 PM
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1st- how do I switch him over, since I cannot use a prong in the CGC? and 2 - where exactly will he need to be walking during the test!

Start practicing now with a regular collar(only type allowed). I had Sage heel since it was easier. The evaluator will have a pre determined course. You will have to turn and stop with the dog not pulling you around.

Also... the seperation thing... does he have to completely pretend that I am not going away? Normally he will whine or bark at first, but if the person shows him some kind of attention ( a pat on the head) he calms down, but he will NOT heel or obey anyone but myself...

The evaluator can pet your dog if you instruct them to. My evaluator allowed some whining. She knew the breed and knew what was normal and not excessive for a GSD compared to say a Golden. Your dog does not have to be fine (not care at all you are gone) but cannot be pulling or excessively making noise. You can even put your dog in a stay and instruct the evaluator not to disturb the dog --We failed this portion of the test and are still working on it

and last.... the meeting people and dogs..

This took a TON of work for us in our CGC prep class. Sage is fearful. He had a hard time not checking out people approaching us for the meet and greet (where he has to stay put). You are allowed to repeat commands and talk to your dog . I did give reminders "stay" "stay" "good" "good" while the person was nearing us. That combined with a TON of practice and it worked.

For the meeting with dogs. When we came into class before the test Sage was reacting to the distraction dog big time. But by time we had started the test and he got into work mode he was fine. It was not as formal as I expected. We quickly walked towards each other with dogs on opposite sides said hello and shook hands then walked away. I'm not even sure if Sage noticed the other dog.

There are many threads here with CGC advice you should check out. Good luck!

-Brandi


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:21 PM
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When Odin and I took the CGC I had been using mostly a prong, for the week before the test I had him on his regular collar and just practiced the best I could beforehand, it doesn't have to be 100%, as long as it looks like you've got control over your dog and they're not all over pulling. I was the most nervous about this part but you're able to keep talking to your dog if needed.

For the separation I had put Odin in a sit-stay and the person holding his leash moved him after. He whined a little here and there but we passed.

For the dog portion we had the option of either having the other handler/dog staying put or walking toward us as we walked forward, I opted to have them stationary and we walked past, said hello, and kept going. for Odin is the other dog is neutral he doesn't pay much more attention than offering a sniff. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Kelli Black &
Bianka "Shade" v. Littlehaus (2/2/11)
Wodanaz "Odin" BH, CD, RE, TT, CGC, TDI, OFA H/E (2/13/09)

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:22 PM
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Yes, Brandi brings up a good point that I forgot. TALK TO YOUR DOG!! You are allowed to repeat commands, give praise, etc.

Candie
And my Girls.....
Dallas - ACD mix, 11 yrs
Willow - GSD, 5 yrs, CGC
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome guys, thanks. I did talk to someone I know that is associated with the same training program that the CGC evaluator teaches. She told me that a lot of it was because of the way they trained at our Schutzhnd Club ( which we have stopped, and now persuing search and rescue or just tracking for the moment). There was a lot of prong and forcing. Cullen HATES when we put the prong on, so she also said to either leave the prong on but don't use it, so that he gets used to it being there without relying on it and should be able to take it off, and she also told us we should backtrack to square one and fine tune the obedience which should help! I can't wait to start putting titles on him, I don't care how major or minor, just so I can keep him busy... !!! I will follow all of your advice, we are going to start changing a few things ( heat index over 1-5 until the weekend, so relaxing indoors, but going to try to get a track in late or early AM, and get some obedience in there!

~Kristi in Virginia Beach
Mommy to my 8 year old son... and

~ Cullen Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Black/Red Male : 12/16/09

~ Panzer Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Sable Female : 11/29/10

~ Gizmo , Amstaff, Brindle/White Female : 5/5/2000
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 03:28 PM
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Stosh was also on a prong for the course before we took the test, so to transition him over I put a flat buckle collar on him in the same position on his neck and fairly snug so he could feel it there. Seemed to work well because he passed! And the fact that it was 100 degrees didn't hurt either- he didn't have much ambition to misbehave. Good luck!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 03:38 PM
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I don't know about the prong thing, as I do not use them. But the separation thing, I would teach the dog a down stay first in view, and build up the time to about five or seven minutes. Then start out of sight down stays, and build up the time.

Next employ a friend, and do a down stay, hand her the leash and walk away coming back in a minute. Do this a number of times and build up to five minutes. Always praise only after you release them from the down stay. That way, you are in control of the leash, and if your dog gets all excited, it will be after the exercise is complete.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks you guys I was thinking I should use the wide buckle collar, and put it on snug? We shall see how this works... again, it's so hot out, he doesn't even want to walk out the door, so we will give him a break, maybe take him out around 5 AM to do some work!

~Kristi in Virginia Beach
Mommy to my 8 year old son... and

~ Cullen Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Black/Red Male : 12/16/09

~ Panzer Vom Sandstranden, Purebred GSD, Sable Female : 11/29/10

~ Gizmo , Amstaff, Brindle/White Female : 5/5/2000
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 06:33 PM
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I always use a martingale for the CGC. But I had to use a flat or round collar for Rushie's TDI, so I bought a round one. I keep flats for all my dogs, they have their tags on them. I do not think you can have tags on the collar for the CGC. Could be wrong though, I know you can't in Rally or Obedience.

I think that with prongs and collars, large does not necessarily give you better control. I usually use a small collar or martingale, 3/4 inch on my adult females, 1/2 inch I my young females -- Joy's is a 1/2 or 5/16" nylon job that matches her martingale. My martingale is very thin and round, I have one that is all chain and that is very small too. My collar for the boy's were 1 inch leather.

Odie, Joy-Joy
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.

Last edited by selzer; 07-21-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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