I am about a week late making this announcement but SMOKEY PASSED HIS CGC TEST LAST SATURDAY! We’ve been working together since March and, well, let’s just say this was a long time coming. I learned a lot about training and obviously he learned a lot since he passed the damn test. Now it’s just time for him to get adopted!
If you’re interested, here are the details of the CGC test— note that in training we use corrective collars (like a Gentle Leader or a "Good Dog" collar) and treats for positive reinforcement, but you are only able to test the dog on their regular collar and without any reinforcement:
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.
Many dogs have issues with this because they jump up (my dog, who is training for the test as well, is a jumper). Smokey was good with this.
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
Smokey had a little difficulty with this only because he really loves toys and viewed a brush as a toy, so we worked for a while on understanding that it wasn’t and that he didn’t need to try to chew on it.
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops…In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.
Smokey is awesome on a leash.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down.
Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog.
We had some trouble with this test earlier this summer but he’s super good on it now.
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
I personally think that this is the hardest test for most dogs and it definitely takes a lot of work. Even if a dog isn’t dog aggressive it feels natural for them to try and sniff out the other dog. This was the toughest test for Smokey to pass because he gets distracted easily but he has been on point lately and did a great job during his test.
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.