CGC test - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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CGC test

I would like to hear from people who have taken the Canine Good Citizen test. Could you tell me what you and your dog found most challenging. Also, was there anything you wish you did more of to prepare before the test?

Thank you!

Uther Pendragon von Ziemer (born 1/2/2012) GSD
Cajun (Hurricane Katrina Rescue) birthdate unknown - Golden Mix
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 08:44 AM
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It depends on the dog, but the separation is always a challenge unless you proof it over and over. My dogs don't like the stranger touching them....that is what I've had to work on.
I took a CGC class with Onyx just to socialize her some and it did help. But she still is reactive with certain breeds and small children. Even though we passed the test 2x's(once with an AKC group and once with my SchH club)...I don't consider her a canine good citizen because of her reactivity.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 10:32 AM
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My pup started school at 12 weeks. The trainers goal is to prepare the puppies for the CGC throughout 24 weeks of training(three classes)-every week we did a part of the test plus all of the regular obedience and every week we went over everything that was learned in the previous weeks. The trainer also had one day set aside at the end of training to do a "practice" CGC test. My dog was the youngest by about 6 months in every class, but she is on the mature side and she did well with older dogs. I really thought the leaving the dog with a stranger was going to be the reason to fail, but early on my trainer advised that the dogs favorite person shouldn't do the test if that part will be a problem. So I took her advice and my son did the test with her. She not only passed but was the only one that passed!! I do consider her a canine good citizen, she doesn't have any reactivity on leash(she is right next to me) or off leash(she stays within 5 ft of me), she loves all other animals, she loves kids, people. I can leave her with strangers(she remains calm and doesn't make a peep) and she is fine, she is welcomed everywhere we go and she is complimented heavily on her calmness and gentle behavior. I will continue to take her everywhere I go and she will continue to have all experiences that are needed to keep her at the level she is at. I have come to realize sadly that when people see a GSD(mine anyway), the first thing out of there mouth is "is she friendly?" Most people don't expect the dog to be friendly at all The next thing people ask as she sits and waits to be petted is "how old is she?", they are amazed that she is only 8.5 months. This has been my most challenging dog to date(I was not an active person before her), but the rewards, accomplishment, and pride that come from owning her are so worth it.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 10:55 AM
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If your dog has been well socialized and is reasonably well-behaved, the CGC is a piece of cake. I did it with my 7 month old pup, cold--no pre-training--and we passed fairly easily. Leaving the dog with a stranger is probably the most challenging part, but even then, the dog doesn't have to do a perfect sit-stay, they can move around or even whine a little as long as they aren't bouncing, lunging, barking, or carrying on. The dog-dog greeting can be a challenge if your dog is reactive or aggressive toward other dogs, but you can practice this with a training group or even on your daily walks if there are other dogs about.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 11:15 AM
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We passed it when Stosh was 6 mos, just after finished basic obedience class and he did fine with the separation. I've helped the evaluators at our club give the test several times and I'm about to become an evaluator myself. The best advice I can give is to not be nervous! Easy to say but from what I've seen, many handlers are so afraid their dog is going to mess up that the dog gets pretty tense and blows something easy.You're allowed to talk to your dog, encourage it however you want you just can't use treats. Try to make it as 'normal' as possible and you'll do fine. You are allowed a do-over if you fail one part.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 01:21 PM
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One thing to remember about the CGC test - it is a LOT easier to pass for many young dogs (say 9-12 mo) than it will be once they mature. Vast majority of GSD's who will show some DA for example often do not do so until they mature (2-3 yo).

The obedience part may be a little more work with a younger dog but getting along with other dogs will be easier when younger.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 02:08 PM
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I agree- I'm not sure my dog would pass today at 2.5 yrs old. He's much more wary of a stranger touching him.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 02:26 PM
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I agree with codmasters post too. I really don't think they should test a dog for it until 2....isn't that what the S.T.A.R certificate is, for younger pups?
When Onyx was tested she was 2 and didn't mature til she was well over 3....mellowed some with her maturing.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 02:30 PM
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I've walked in and taken the test, with no preparation, with all my adult dogs and thought it was absurdly easy. I find it frightening when people have to train for this and still fail.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 02:34 PM
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Well, we all know that some GSD's are just nervy or suspicious and reactive to strangers touching them....

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