Mack Studies for the CGC – Part II

September 28, 2011  

We follow a pit bull as he prepares to take his Canine Good Citizen test

By Allison Johnson

Week two could not have been more different than week one. Mack was like his old self again – confident, curious and wiggly. He was calm enough to be able to fraternize with the other dogs a bit when our trainer, Cherie, jogged around the group with him, and he even traded sniffs with Callie, the docile old Labrador that he was lunging at last week. Cherie was as patient and understanding as she was during our first class.

When it was social time, she told us to keep Mack on the outside of the group if his ears were perked up and to bring him in a little bit if his ears were relaxed. My husband and I paid close attention to his ears and stance throughout the class, careful to read his body language to determine if his temperament was escalating. This was really one of the keys to such a successful class with Mack. When we noticed that he was fixating on another dog, we quickly diverted his attention to a treat or to one of his basic obedience skills. We had no issues whatsoever. Actually, this week, Mack was far from the problem dog; a little black mixed breed was making quite a stir, barking almost continuously and lunging at other dogs. Impressively, Mack didn’t really react to him at all.

Cherie went over the 10 areas of the CGC test. I think Mack will do just fine with most of them. The only problematic area could be the friendly greeting, but it will certainly help that Cherie will be administering the test with Callie, who Mack has already shown himself to be comfortable with. One dog, Jake, a beautiful Husky/Border Collie mix, took his test right after class. He did great! I could tell that his owner, an elderly gentleman, had been working fervently with him.

Before we left for school, Mack, my husband Mark and I spent about 45 minutes in the backyard with a squeaky tennis ball and a Chuck-It (tennis ball launcher), which really seemed to help wear Mack out so he could focus more easily. I think this was one of the secrets to his wonderful behavior in class. The first week, I took him for a very long walk, but apparently nothing compares to chasing a tennis ball for 45 minutes! He was pretty worn out by the time we put him in the car to go to class. We’ll be sure to do this every week.

Also, he was much better with the head collar this week. He really acted like it was not even there, and we have had a much easier time controlling him since we switched from the Easy Walk harness.

There is no class next week, so the next update will be the first week of October. We’ll keep working with Mack to prepare him for his CGC test in the mean time.

See: Mack Studies for the CGC – Part I

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3 Responses to “Mack Studies for the CGC – Part II”
  1. blazer says:

    GO MACK! We hope to do this in the near future so I enjoy watching your progress and learning from your experience!

    • StubbyDog says:

      @blazer That’s fantastic! We all hope people will learn from Mack’s story and benefit from his and Allison’s experiences.

  2. JillianManning says:

    go mack!!