This Friday, I’m putting Lacey through her paces to see if she’s ready to take her CGN test. I believe that she’s more than ready, but my philosophy is, Let’s make sure. Accompanying me will be my new canine client, Piper, and her handler/owner, Gary. Piper will be playing the role of “friendly dog” for the greeting-with-dogs test. Gary will be assisting me with providing distractions, and by taking control of Lacey’s leash for the supervised isolation test. I will be doing the tests outdoors, where there are already lots of distractions that Lacey must ignore. And if there are other people around who would be willing to help out for a few minutes by creating a “crowd” situation, that will be even better.
Involving Gary and Piper will be a good exercise for both of them. Gary will see what Piper needs to learn, and Piper will start learning focus, basic commands, and more. I’ll be bringing my clicker and some food rewards with me as reinforcements for Piper. It will be an excellent reinforcement technique for Lacey, as well, as she will have to submit to the rule that she does not control access to food, affection, or anything else that is offered.
When the tests and the lessons are finished, Piper and Lacey will be allowed to socialize and play with each other. The two dogs are very close in age, and their temperaments are similar, so they should get along just fine.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on…