Mack Studies for the CGC – Part IV

October 27, 2011  

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

By Allison Johnson

See Part I, Part II, and Part III

This week was cold and rainy here in southwestern Pennsylvania. I actually had to dig Mack’s plaid coat out of storage before leaving for class! I once read that, for dogs with thin fur like pit bulls, if you need a coat, they need a coat. Finding one that was manly enough that my husband would allow Mack to wear it in public was quite the task, but we think he looks quite dapper in plaid.

Class went pretty well. I noticed right away that Mack seemed largely uninterested in the other dogs, which was pleasantly surprising. Maybe he was too distracted by the cold to notice that he was surrounded by other dogs, but he was able to participate in every single exercise this week. He walked calmly with my husband for the loose-leash walking exercise and wove his way around the other dogs for practicing friendly greeting. He did growl a bit at a sassy little Pug and exchange a few woofs with a Rottweiler, but I’m pretty sure in both situations, the other dogs were the antagonists. I was really encouraged by this change and am hopeful that it will be a lasting improvement.

Mack was able to complete almost all of the exercises correctly this week, which was very reassuring, considering the text is next week. The only small issue that we had was with the friendly greeting requirement; when Cherie came over to say hello, he jumped up to give her a hug and kiss (nothing unusual – he is very, very affectionate) instead of sitting politely. I’d like to think this was mostly in an effort to get warm.

We learned that Mack will get three chances to successfully complete each test item and that if he doesn’t pass, there is no penalty – he can retake it any time. Also, we were reminded that no treats or training collars are permitted to be used during the test. I am somewhat concerned about having to use just a standard collar; we have been successfully training Mack with the gentle leader for the past six weeks. We’ll be practicing this week with his regular collar in preparation for the test. I have high hopes that he will pass it on the first try and have already ordered him a CGC ID tag and bandana.

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