Monday, March 17, 2008

Our Canine Good Citizen

Wilbon's Katie Scarlett O'Hara, CGC

Katie passed her Canine Good Citizen test yesterday with flying colors. Even though it covers fairly basic tasks I was a bit nervous as it was my first time to participate in any type of dog test. One aspect that made it challenging was that training collars were not allowed. I have been working with Katie for a while to wean her off her training collar. Most of the time she does great, but occasionally the puppy crazies still take hold of her. (Even though she now weighs 111 pounds she is still a "teenage" puppy at 16 months old.) She took the test in her regular buckle collar and was just fine. I wasn't a bit worried about the sit stay, down, or recall; what scared me was the distraction test. For the first part they were throwing metal pans on the floor - no problem... Katie could sleep through a thunderstorm. The part I was worried about was when a person goes by on crutches because Katie sometimes picks the strangest things to fear. Recently, she was scared of a woman who was using a cane. Maybe she has gotten over this because she wasn't a bit worried by the crutches during the test. The last exercise was me leaving Katie with a handler for 3 minutes while I went out of sight. The dogs were allowed to move around next to the handler during the exercise as long as they did not bark or appear anxious. Katie, however, acted like I had put her in a sit stay even though I had not given her any command. I watched Katie through a one way window as she sat like a beautiful statue beside her handler. He said she did not move the entire time. As I returned to her the judge announced that Katie passed the test. I am so proud of our sweet girl.


Ang said...

That is so so cool! I would love to do this with Caffrey- though even at almost 4 I am not sure how he would do with the distraction test. So, is Katie certified to go into hospitals and schools for therapy purposes?

Gary,Charity,Scarlett&Katie said...

The next step will be getting Katie's TDI. That is the therapy dog certification. We can't participate in therapy work without that. It's similar to CGC with added distractions of wheel chairs and medical equipment. Also, the dogs have to show that they don't have problems being around kids. This is something Katie and I really need to work on. Sometimes she is afraid of children for some bizarre reason. I'm trying to give her a lot of exposure to them and I will certainly do a better job exposing Louis to kids at a young age.

babyphat523 said...

Congratulations to Katie! And to Mom of course, for doing such a great job training her! Cheers! :)

Bubba the Newf said...

What fantastic news! Congratulations to you both. I am looking forward to continuing reports of your progress toward therapy dog status. I would like to try that too, but I am afraid I need a lot of work. Unfamiliar things still freak me out!


Jennifer said...

Congratulations to Katie Scarlette! Wonderful job.

Big woofs and slobbers from your pals:
'Bella and Gabe

The Zoo said...

YAY!!!!! Congrats Katie!!!! Gabe is signed up for the same class starting in April and I plan to train him for therapy (TDI) as well! I'm so proud of Katie and very happy for you both!