Canine Good Citizen Class Challenges

Today was our second CGC class. The challenges started when we walked out the door. Bonnie immediately decided that she was just fine staying home thank you very much. With the help of a treat and Greg encouraging her she made it into the van.

I sat in the back with the pups to help them especially Bonnie with the drive. They did better with the rumble strips this time although Bonnie needed a lot of reassurance pretty much the whole trip there. Belle was very interested in watching cars. She alternated looking out the side windows and well as the back window even giving a bark to the car behind us that she apparently thought was traveling too close to our van. I had purchased two squeaky monkey toys to keep the pups entertained on the 40 min drive to class. They could have cared less in fact the only one so far that has really liked them is Lucy kitty and that’s completely out of character for her but that’s a story for another day.

Lucy cuddling with the toy monkey.

Lucy cuddling with the toy monkey.

When we arrived at class the dogs magically changed personalities. Bonnie who is our act first think later pup after the first few minutes was calm and pretty focused and Belle our calm, laid back pup freaked out. Greg had to take her outside twice to help her calm down. Outside away from all the other dogs, enticing smells, and chaos she did great sit/stays as well as wonderful down/stays.

Greg brought her back in just as we were getting ready to walk an obstacle course made up of crate trays, carpet squares, 3 very yummy open boxes of treats, a statue of a small dog that every dog in the place thought was real, one person sitting half way through throwing a frisbee and keys on the floor and another person sitting with the dreaded bouncing ball. We all went through the course three times. The first time it was just get through it to expose the pups to it. The second time we had to sit by the people sitting in the chairs and the third time we had the choice of going through on leash or off leash both Greg and I chose on leash.

Bonnie did pretty well, our challenge was the carpet squares with all the wonderful scents on it and the fact that Bonnie has been trained to walk on my right side and now she needs to walk on the left side. Belle’s challenge was having to walk on the crate trays. She wouldn’t do it although by the third time she did put one paw on it in order to reach the treat. She handled the rest fairly well.

The instructor came up to talk to us when class was over and next time she wants us to change dogs half way through. She is concerned about Belle’s anxiety and said that if she were to take a therapy dog test today she would fail and we realize that. We are to take both pups but especially Belle out to a store at least once a week to get her more used to being around lots of people and activity.

The trip home went well, the pups were so tired out that even the rumble strips didn’t wake them up.

Bonnie Pup

Bonnie Pup

Belle Pup

Belle Pup

We would love to have the pups become therapy dogs but our main concern is helping them feel less anxious, Bonnie about riding in the van and Belle about well everything. At home she is so comfy and at ease with everything. I’m beginning to think that she is like the rest of us and has a difficult time coming out of her comfort zone.

So we have things to work on , a lot of things but right now, we’re going to take a nap!

Nap Time!

Nap Time!

6 responses »

  1. Hi!
    Progress is not only when everything goes well, but progress is working and learning in the awkward periods. — Just like when I first played the violin … very squeaky and scratchy — can still be sometimes….!
    Hang in there — the classes are so good and your pups are learning sooooooooo much more than many dogs. Watch that Linus — the kitty that keeps you on your toes in more ways than one!!!
    See you!

  2. Carolyn,
    You’re right progress is a part of the whole experience. Yesterday’s progress was when Belle put a paw on the crate tray. It’s baby steps.
    Funny I don’t hear your violin squeak and sound scratchy, it always sounds good to me!

    • It is fun to look back. Kind of feel like we stalled on the therapy dog training. Bonnie and I took another set of classes and took the CGC test missing passing it by one. We may try again I’m not sure. She seems to know who needs extra loving and attention whether it’s us or guests.
      Belle is so anxious that we didn’t make her go through it again.
      Bessie is still too bouncy so we haven’t moved forward with her yet.

      • If you can get Bonnie past the one point she missed, she will be an awesome therapy dog in children’s hospitals, physical therapy wards, nursing homes, and wherever is close enough that has that program. It is so rewarding for the dog team, as well, so I encourage you to do it if you can. Lexi absolutely loved going, and her personality changed to all business when she went to “therapize.” She also wore a little grin the whole time that I never saw anywhere else.

      • I would love to do that with her. Another hiccup is that she is scared to ride. We think she gets a quesy tummy when riding and when we were taking these classes we got stuck in the snow and it was quite the deal getting unstuck. Bonnie has hated to ride even more since then. So I need to get back on track with helping her over that fear. Then we’ll go from there.

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