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Canine Good Citizen

I need to start with some background….Way back when I first read the requirements for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test, I immediately dismissed it as impossible. I mean, it seemed to be designed for any type of dog, except hounds. For a long time, I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t desire it; it was totally off my radar.  Over time Daisy has become more responsive to me-especially when we are out in public. She likes to perform.  Even more, I have become a better handler and trainer. So, we had the opportunity to test for free at a local dog event. We had not been practicing recently (my bad), but I am pleased to introduce to you:

Daisy Mae, Canine Good Citizen

Words can not express how happy over-the-moon I am!  I really did not go into expecting for her to pass. I should stop underestimating what my dog can do.  I think I’m the half of this team now holding us back and I plan on changing that for the future.  Watch out world…Daisy is on her way!

For those of you who are curious, or don’t know the requirements there are 10 sections a dog must pass:

1. Accepting a Friendly stranger. The evaluator comes up, speaks to the handler, ignores the dog. Dog can’t jump, paw, whine, pull, ect.

2. Sitting politely for petting. The evaluator goes to pet the dog, the dog must sit. No jumping, ect.

3. Appearance and Grooming. The evaluator runs their hands over the dog, touches paws, checks teeth.

4. Out for a walk.  You have to show your dog can walk on a loose leash.

5. Walking through a crowd. You walk through or by several people. Your dog can show a little interest but must stay with you and not jump up. As we were at a dog event, it was a huge crowd.

6. Sit and down position and stay in position. Dog must do both a sit and down. Then must do a stay in one of those positions while the handler backs up 20 ft.

7. Coming when called.

8. Reaction to another dog. Now, this is normally done with another dog of known temperament. The two handlers approach each other and talk, the dogs can show casual interest but can’t pull, bark, whine, growl, ect.  Now, for our test it ended up some stranger (it was in a public park) let his dog run up on Daisy and sniff her butt and her underside and she just sat there. So she passed.

9. Reaction to distraction.  Dogs can’t panic or show aggression. For Daisy’s test the evaluator threw a tin full of coins near her when she wasn’t looking. Daisy startled, then went right up to sniff the tin and see what it was.

10. Supervised separation. I had to hand Daisy’s leash to a stranger (a lady that was helping the evaluator) and walk out of sight for 3 minutes. Dogs can’t bark, pull, ect. Daisy has zero issues with strangers. In fact, I think she’d be more than willing to go home with any friendly face.

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

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So, if your dog eliminates in the ring, it is disqualified. What if the handler pukes? What then?

 

By the time many of you read this my entry form for Daisy’s first AKC Rally competition will be in the mail.  As I felt nauseated and nervous just sealing the envelope, this does not bode well for the nerves to come.

 

I really want to do dog sports with Daisy. Well, I wanted to and even took Bella to agility classes but I am sure you know exactly how that turned out with her anxiety.  I would love to try agility or nosework with Daisy but classes aren’t an option right now. So, something I thought I might be able to do on my own was Rally obedience. I bought a book, watched some youtube, and cut up some hot dogs.  The match is still 4 weeks away but I think we’ll be ready. At least ready enough we won’t completely embarrass ourselves. Actually, so I won’t embarrass myself. Daisy would go out and lay down and nap and be perfectly content.

 

We’ve had some real rough points. I’m no professional trainer. My dog experience is limited to very basic stuff. I’ve never really needed a dog to do more than sit, wait, leave it, you know-ultra basics. So now I need her doing right finishes and sitting next to me and weaving, and walking around me while I turn in the opposite direction. I also have to motivate her to focus on me for more than 13 seconds at a time. And just in case you haven’t noticed-she is a coonhound. “Biddable” is not exactly high up on her trait list.

 

Do you do rally or do some other dog sport?  Have you competed? What was it like? I think I might go ahead and start the list of things I want to take that day. Number one on my list is Grannie. She will be there for sure! Having fun and remembering to breathe is on the top of my to-do list. I will be trying to work out a couple things we still don’t have down and pray they don’t show up on the course during the competition.

 

I should let Daisy give me lessons on how to relax.

Times-They are a Changin’

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Ah, the twist and turns of this thing called life.

Through a series of unfortunate events (which included multiple sewage backups in a new house) the girls and I will be staying with the Grandparents for a while.  Lets just say the last month hasn’t been fun…unless you were a coonie with a new backyard.

Yep, the coonies must trade in their backyard and all the freedom it provides. In return though, they get two more people to spoil them with petting and treat handouts. It’s a pretty good trade-off I think.  Daisy can take boat rides and go fishing.  Bella will get more loving then she will know what to do with.  Hopefully, she will be able to overcome her fear of Grandpa once and for all!

To keep me sane during all this (haha), I have decided to add another project to my to-do list.  I feel the need to announce it publicly so I don’t chicken out. I might chicken out anyway. I have registered Daisy with the AKC (canine partners).  I want to do a rally trial with her in July. So, I need to get busy I suppose!  I have a book on the way and plan to watch a lot of YouTube to make sure I understand the signs. I will be teaching her on my own. She has her basics down, but things like right finish and coming to the front aren’t skills her in repertoire–yet! Of course, this morning my HOUND had 2 perfect recalls under distraction so anything is possible…

The first happened when she was in the backyard. The kids next door had let their dog out and of course, since he is never allowed outside except to pee, he wanted to run over and meet Daisy and turned his ears off to the kids that were responsible for him.  The kid was coming over to drag the dog back to the house so I called Daisy (to make it easier for the kid) and she SPRINTED back to me!!  So glad I store the treats by the door-she got several for that!  And, about that time the wind blew the front door open!  I guess I didn’t lock it from getting the mail. Normally, Daisy is not typically a door bolter. But I think the door opening wide on its own was too much for her and out she sprinted.  Well, I made my voice really high, and play bowed and called her and in she sprinted back! I shut the door and ran out the back and she got the zoomies and we played together. Yep, my hound had recall!!  I wouldn’t bet on tomorrow though.

This morning, there were men working on the outside of the house. Bella did NOT like them at all. She just sat around, or paced around growling.  It was all nerves-the panting came later. Oh, and it’s been raining on and off today. She is not happy-she is hiding in the guest bedroom today and wishes to not be disturbed.

Change Again?!?!

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