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Discussion Starter #1
We're working casually on the 10 exercises in the CGC test and have about 3/4 of the exercises pretty solid.

Considering Heidi's demeanor when I rescued her she's come a long, long way in becoming a better all around dog. She was totally unsocialized, had no worldly experience, was dog reactive, stubborn at learning new things- sort of a blockhead initially. No focus.

Our biggest challenge was teaching her to think and not react. And learning to stay calm in the face of new experiences.

I believe she taught me what having weak nerves in a dog means. But we're getting better and her behavior is loads better out in public, especially around other dogs.

Does anyone else practice these skills or have you done the test w/ your GSD?
 

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Both Star and Ranger did the Canadian Canine Good Neighbour test, as well as another more complicated test, the TEC, at a local dog show a number of years ago, and both passed with no problem. The CGN was pretty much identical to the U.S. test. The TEC was similar to the temperament test done in the U.S., and involved meeting a friendly stranger, an aloof stranger, someone opening an umbrella, walking on a strange surface (a wire dog crate flat on the ground), meeting an unfamiliar animal in a cage (rabbit) and gun shots being fired from hiding. The last test was a 'boogeyman', a man in loose, floppy clothing and a broad brimmed hat came out of hiding about 25 feet away, and started yelling and waving a stick. Ranger barked at him, and wanted to move towards him, then looked at me for direction, and stopped. Star just watched him very closely. She also looked at me for cues, and when I didn't react, she just watched him. (She was also the one that wanted to go behind the blind to check where the gun shots were from.)

I was very proud of both my dogs that day!
 

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I worked on these with Ole last spring. we could do eight out of ten of the tests.

He never got to the point where he could handle the stranger petting test or the supervised seperation. Ole is pretty skeptical of strangers.

He is just fine if someone walks up to us and just stands still while talking to me. After a few moments (sometimes as long as a few minutes) Ole will walk up to them and sniff them. Howerver, Ole goes defensive if someone approaches him with an outstretched hand while staring straight into his face. When Ole puts on his defensive face everyone, including the potential evaluators, got nervous and yanked their hand away.

Supervised separation is a weird one. He can do it just fine at the vets office, the vet tech can take him to the scale to be weighed. We practiced that a lot as a pup. But a stranger in a strange place taking his leash is not going to happen. My guess is he would wander off with an experience GSD handler if they approached with confidence and offered to play tug. However, he was too much for the local 'pet dog' trainers and volunteers.
 

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I like to take my puppies thru a cgc course but I don't really care about the cert because they will all do a BH. I think practicing the cgc exercises helps dogs function in real life. The dogs will never have a stranger try to brush them but people will come up randomly.
 

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Just an FYI on the CGC - at one time this was the only test that a court would accept if something happened and you needed to defend your dog. It's a simple test that most any trained dog can pass. It's a good test for dogs that are struggling with social aspects of life. A BH may be a harder test but it is not accepted in court.
 

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Jax, what is a BH test?
Yes, you said it right....'most any TRAINED dog can pass.
For some of us, we were starting at behind a zero on type of dog we are training. Sometimes rescues need a little more help. Can be much more challenging than a home raised pup.
 

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Jax, what is a BH test?
Yes, you said it right....'most any TRAINED dog can pass.
For some of us, we were starting at behind a zero on type of dog we are training. Sometimes rescues need a little more help. Can be much more challenging than a home raised pup.
BH is the temperament test in Schutzhund. The dogs need to pass this in order to go on to title. I can send you videos of my dogs if you want to see. A CGC is a test for dogs to function in society. A BH is a test to test the nerve of a dog. Different requirements but when I train for a BH, I also proof under circumstances that show me the dog can keep it together. I have my dog on the field with other dogs doing obedience in parallel. Downs and recalls close together. I put them on the field and heel around people throwing balls. Downs on sidelines of footballs games. BUT the CGC will test social interaction with people that a BH really doesn't.

It's definitely a valuable experience for dogs that are struggling. My first GSD was dog aggressive. She had to get over it thru obedience. My current one is very civil. It would have been super valuable for her if covid had allowed. But a person can still take parts of the test and improvise to "socialize" and counter condition a dog. For instance the brush test in a CGC is the chip scanner in the BH and every other trial. "the judge must be able to touch your dog" It's in the rules. :)
 

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OHH, I'd love to see your videos. I'm always looking to add new training things to our repertoire,
Yes, you nailed it with our challenges. Not with people, she's fine there, but other dogs and scarey NEW things.
I call her my backward dog cause I think she lived in a dark closet before i GOT HER.
 

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Confidence building through OB is so profoundly valuable for nervous and anxious dogs. I've seen huge differences in dogs making sense of their world when it becomes predictable because they always know the right thing to do. Putting a CGC on a dog like this is a very worthy goal. Good job @OrphanHeidi!
 

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Thank You, Magwart. It's great to hear we're on the right path and that Heidi can benefit from what seems to some is a simple test. But for a neglected, inexperienced rescue, it's been a bumpy journey but there's definitely light at the end of the tunnel.
Had I not had an earlier GSD rescue who had a solid, confident mind and training was a total breeze, I would not appreciate
how far a BYB dog could progress. But even a poorly bred uneducated GSD can become educated and a good citizen.
 

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100% @Magwart . I saw Jax able to relax around strange dogs instead of being defensive because of the obedience and counter conditioning. Instead of "I'll get you before you get me", she was able to sit next to me even when that other dog was being aggressive. Obedience and rules are so important for their mental well being.
 

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Considering Heidi's demeanor when I rescued her she's come a long, long way in becoming a better all around dog. She was totally unsocialized, had no worldly experience, was dog reactive, stubborn at learning new things- sort of a blockhead initially. No focus
I think David touched on something the other day.
People tend to underestimate the impact a bond has on training, and life in general. On of the reasons Shadow appears so well behaved is her implicit trust in me, and that is solely due to the bond we have forged.
Give yourself all kinds of credit. Without the faith in you, she wouldn't be the dog she is.
 

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I've done a CGC with 2 GSDs and a lab.

I trained the supervised separation as basically an out of sight stay with a random person attached.

The separation was hardest with my first GSD. Handling hardest w my second GSD, but he got it and passed without trouble. The lab just had to learn to stop wiggling so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think David touched on something the other day.
People tend to underestimate the impact a bond has on training, and life in general. On of the reasons Shadow appears so well behaved is her implicit trust in me, and that is solely due to the bond we have forged.
Give yourself all kinds of credit. Without the faith in you, she wouldn't be the dog she is.
You can probably chuckle at this and understand pretty well:
Most people on this forum would have sneered or tsk tsked at my adoption of Heidi, as she was what some would call
"not worth the trouble". I've had both horse and dog trainers sneer at us bleeding hearts who spend umpteen hours of our lives
working to turn around the 'bad seeds'. But I think what they miss is that to some of us it's much more satisfying than IF
we had started out with a young super star w/ the pedigree for
 

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You can probably chuckle at this and understand pretty well:
Most people on this forum would have sneered or tsk tsked at my adoption of Heidi, as she was what some would call
"not worth the trouble". I've had both horse and dog trainers sneer at us bleeding hearts who spend umpteen hours of our lives
working to turn around the 'bad seeds'. But I think what they miss is that to some of us it's much more satisfying than IF
we had started out with a young super star w/ the pedigree for
I adamantly disagree that most people would have sneered. Many people on this board, myself included, were heavily involved in rescue when this board was a go to for listings. My first GSD was a pound puppy. Someday, when I'm able I will adopt another dog from a shelter. I would love to adopt a retired CWD or MWD because they have specific needs. I can not think of a single person on this forum that would sneer at you for adopting a dog with issues.
 

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I cannot envision anyone who would have sneered at a person who is working with her dog. ’Superstars’ with pedigrees require work too, and it’s no different really. There is no easy road to a perfect dog.
i can't even love this post enough...ain't nothing easy.
 

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Those of us that have adopted "problem" dogs are often the biggest advocates for reputable breeders. Like an ex smoker ;) I've had a dog aggressive dog who died way to young from cancer. I've had a dog that had such poor nerves if I walked by her to quickly she would run herself right into a wall in fear. It's not that we're being snobs. We just know what the end result can be when there is no standard behind the breeding of the dog. We aren't sneering at you. We're angry that some person bred a dog that has to live with these issues because it's the dog that is harmed and we love you for going above and beyond to help your dog function in society without stress.
 
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