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What all is involved? What kind of training do dogs need before they can go into a CGC class? Is a class required? What "level" of training would be recommended that a dog attain before being enrolled in a class?

Mandalay can sit, stay, come, heel (but she is iffy if she does not have a prong collar on) - all the basic things. But when she is around other dogs, she wants to play. She wants to run and jump and bark. Is this something that would be taught during a class or would I have to teach this before enrolling her in a class? What is the best way to get her to act better around other dogs?

Is there a certain age that dogs seem to do better at achieveing a CGC? At 10.5 months, is she just too young to accomplish this training fully?
 

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the answer to most of your questions can be found here: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm

so i guess it would be a matter of how successful you think she'd be at handling each of these items.

classes are not required, although i'd recommend them. basic obedience will do in my opinion as long as you let the instructor know that cgc is your goal. there are also cgc prep classes available.

i dont recall off hand (i'm sure its in that link) but i dont believe prong or any type of correctional collars are allowed.

if she has not been worked w/o a correctional collar... and with distractions (dog and otherwise) then you'll need to work on that. she needs to have a very solid stay... and she needs to be okay with you out of her sight (this is the part i'm having trouble with tilden on - he's a whiner)

with practice she can definitely be ready by a year old. based on your description - she is not ready to pass... the best way to get her to behave around other dogs is to train/work her around other dogs.
 

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You don't need to take a CGC class. You can, but you don't have to.

Here are the test items: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm

Different dogs have difficulty with different things. Some are really squirrelly being handled by the friendly stranger (they're just squirmy and licky or perhaps mouthy when they need to sit and let themselves be handled a bit). Some don't have a hard stay in an unfamiliar location. Some aren't great at the meet-and-greet with a another dog. Some get really anxious when their owner leave them alone with a stranger.

You can (and should) practice these on your own, with friends, with family until Mandi can perform all of them anywhere and anytime.

You can't use a prong (or other "training" collar) during the CGC but you can use any slip collar including a nylon slip, a fur saver or even a choke.

The best way to get her to act better around other dogs is, IMO, to work on your leadership. Take classes. If you can, perhaps take a private lesson or two. Learn what a meet-and-greet should look like. (Dogs sit at the heel position or slightly behind the owner while the people greet. The dogs don't interact at all). Then if you know people with well trained dogs, work with them.

One of the best ways, IMO, to keep your dog from becoming too excited around other dogs is 1. avoid getting stressed when you see other dogs. Tell yourself, I will keep control of this situation. (If she senses you getting excited, she'll get more excited). 2. Don't let your dog socialize while she's on a leash -- ever! If you meet someone who seems to have a nice dog, and the two of you think it's a good idea for your dogs to play, walk them both onleash to a safe play area, take off Mandi's leash and let her play. On leash, she's "working." Off leash, she's playing and socializing.

My adult dogs don't even bother paying much attention to other dogs because they know "Mom won't let us sniff or greet anyone." My pup is learning that too.

If someone walks up to my pup with their dog, I body block my dog and just say out loud "oh, you know you can't play with other dogs while you're on a leash." That lets the other owner know I have rules. If they're a good owner, they'll respect that, and ask if my pup can play. If they don't respect that, they're not someone whose dog I want Meri playing with anyhow.

So, you can take CGC classes. But depending on the trainer, I find that obedience trainers often do more training in things like leadership (but also hitting on most of the things that are on the CGC) whereas a CGC instructor is training to the test. It depends, but that was my experience.

Ask around to get an idea of how certain instructors teach.

And no, there is no ideal age. I know several people whose dogs earned their CGC at 6 months old, which they thought was easier because it was before the dogs hit their adolescent years (boy, I wish *I* had thought of that!
)

I'll take the test with Meri (who is 7 months old) as soon as she isn't so incredibly squirmy when she's petted and once she holds a solid stay under all conditions. It may be in 3 months, or at the rate we're going right now (my teenager
) it might be 3 years.
 

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yes... and EVERYTHING 3k9mom has said


another side note that i want to add because this was brought up to me - people will give you all sorts of "tricks" or suggestions to help your dog pass and in my opinion its a form of cheating. for example - taking your dog on a long hike or jog before the test... or giving them herbal calming aids, etc. if its just some letters that i want behind my dogs name then thats a different story - but if you truly want to test your dog and consider them a canine good citizen, then you will take the test (with all the necessary preparation of course) and if you fail - practice some more then retry.

its so common to hear "we barely passed" or "can you believe s/he passed" and for some reason it rubs me the wrong way... initially i was like "ooh, ya, tipz"... then my conscience kicked in.

another thing i noticed - if you take cgc classes with an instructor that is also an evaluator and the testing is held in the same setting with the same people/dogs... i dont think the accurately tells you what your dog would be like in a realistic setting.

just my 10 cents


i dont want to pass by the hair of my chinny chin chin - but then TDI is my goal, not just the CGC - and as a therapy dog, the reliability stakes are higher.
 

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It is up to the individual evaluator on the minimum age of a dog that they will test. I myself don't consider testing a dog for a CGC before it has reached 1 year of age. I will run though the different tests with the owner of what is involvd in an evaluation or if time permits run through parts of the evaluation in order to help the owner know what they need to work with their dog on. For this pre-evaluation I never charge but is based on time on evaluation days or those times when I am promoting CGCs through a Karl's Kids activity.

For people who have dogs under the age of one, you may want to sign your dog up with a CGC evaluator for the new AKC S.T.A.R. program.

Quote:What kind of training do dogs need before they can go into a CGC class?
This is up to the agency or individual running the class. Find one located in your area and ask them their admission requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your input. I had never really thought of CGC before a few days ago, so I never was working toward it, but I think that after the first of the year (hopefully I will get back on working days in February) we can sort out all Mandi needs to work on and all that she just needs to keep practicing and perhaps I can work her toward this. I think it would be nice and I think, more than anything, having her trained to the extent that I trust her in her commands fully would be a great feeling for me.
 

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Most clubs that have CGC prep classes and give the test seem to be loathe to have "outsiders" do the test - I did Danger's this way, at a club he had never been to, and the person in charge was really pushy that I needed to take the class ($80) first - the evaluator, however, overruled her. He passed with no problems, which was my goal - to put him in a new place/people/dogs for this test. I have put pups through the class just to do some basic manners, and tested them when they were older as my AKC trainer/evaluator did not like to test puppies (under 8 mo) and I have tested my older titled dogs as well.

Yes, many dogs have issues to overcome and train for the test. Still that is an accomplishment - to train through a problem. It is a good way to get guidence on training basic manners and with a GSD, a good certification to have.

Lee
 

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The biggest reason I have failed a dog (I am an evaluator) is for the dog not being under control when I have to pet them or groom them. The next biggest, which sort of falls under the latter, is for growling or trying to bite me. So far we have had no problems with dog on dog problems or when the teams must greet each other.
 

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Lisa, as an evaluator, how much whining do you tolerate on the "out of sight" exercise? Renji is a defective model with several holes so he leaks a lot of air.
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaMLisa, as an evaluator, how much whining do you tolerate on the "out of sight" exercise? Renji is a defective model with several holes so he leaks a lot of air.
i was going to PM her asking the same question. geez, get out of my head this morning, lol... (see heritage gsd post)

tilden has trouble with this too - the evaluator here just said "we give them a reasonable amount of time to settle down, its really to the evaluators discretion though)
 

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Hah! We're so on the same wavelength.


Renji always sounds like he's carrying a nest of baby birds in his mouth. He is such a WHINER! You should hear him when I'm making his meals, I can't make them fast enough.
I do wait for a few seconds of silence before feeding, but still!
 

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something else i was told was that by rescuing tilden at 10 months - other dogs (assuming they were acquired as puppies or in their current homes alot longer) have about 8 months up on him as far as feelings of security... and that it can take awhile before he feels confident enough to have me out of sight. if i leave him and he has gia - he's okay no matter the environment - i guess he figures i wont abandon both of them... or maybe... "if she's not pacing and whining then why should i"
 

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Quote: Lisa, as an evaluator, how much whining do you tolerate on the "out of sight" exercise?
Slight whining as long as the dog is not pacing, barking, getting frantic or overly stressed. The last dog I failed had problems during the out of sight portion and grooming. I couldn't touch her feet. She bared her teeth at me and let out a rather good warning growl.
 

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Originally Posted By: Camerafoddersomething else i was told was that by rescuing tilden at 10 months - other dogs (assuming they were acquired as puppies or in their current homes alot longer) have about 8 months up on him as far as feelings of security... and that it can take awhile before he feels confident enough to have me out of sight.
It can go the other way too. I've seen a lot of dogs struggle with this b/c they have been babied and coddled by their owners since they were 8 weeks. Then I bring in a dog like Coke who I got as an adult who had been born in a rescue, adopted, the adopters re-homed them, then he was returned to the rescue, put in foster care, and then adopted by us and he is the most complacent, adaptable dog I know. He's been passed around so much, being left with other people does not affect him. If you took him home, he probably would not miss me!
 

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Just as a side note- you are actually allowed to use a choke collar for this test. They call it a "slip collar" like the ones used for showing dogs.

The heeling doesn't have to be competition quality. It's just a loose leash walk. The dog doesn't have to be right at your side, just in control.

I think if your dog has general obedience, isn't aggressive towards other dogs and is comfortable around people, you should have no problem getting a CGC. We got both Gunnar and our Dane Daisy tested on the same day and they both passed with ease. I was concerned about Gunnar and his issues with strange dogs in his personal space but they do the test with another dog in a way that the dogs don't even really have to interact.
 
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