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Canine Good Citizen


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Skipper is just about 9 months old, has been to puppy school and in two weeks will finish intermediate obiedince training. He is doing very well with sit, down, heel come when called at least most times :whistle: but the distractions on his stay overwhelm him and he wonders off. I'm thinking maybe he may not be mature enough to go to anything more advanced like training for Canine Good Citizen untill he gets more mature.

In the meantime Skipper has a ball going to training classes with the treats, special attention from his meet and great and interacting with his classmates. Skipper treats everyone as a friend. I am very proud of him.

So I need some advice, continue on to more advanced or wait till he matures more. Gotta go, Skipper just carried one of my socks out the door, love this little furball

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We did beginner obedience at 6 months with Packy and advanced obedience when he was about 1 yr. They didn't offer it until then, so that's when we went. At advanced obedience, they taught us everything we needed to learn to pass the CGC test. Packy was class valedictorian and passed his practice test with flying colors -- no errors! At 9 months, he probably could have passed as well, but with a lot more practice. I think our breeder passed one of her current young ones at about 6 months though, so it probably depends on the dog and how much you work them.

Congrats to you and Skipper for all you've accomplished so far! I think Cairns just love to learn new things, so maybe you can keep going to classes and judge whether Skipper is ready to actually take the test or practice on your own for a while. Make sure he knows you've got a treat waiting for him while he's working -- Packy always focused on that treat, so unless something was right there in his face, distractions didn't bother him too much. Keep up the good work!

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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Congratulations for your accomplishments with Skipper. We treat obedience class like a social club. We just make sure we're in the right class relative to the abilities appropriate to the class, and go as long as funds and schedules allow. For years! If your instructor says Skipper is ready for advanced, I'd sign him up. No harm in repeating a class either.

When we reach a point that a dog is able to enter a trial, we do that, but we don't really care if or when that happens. For us it's not a race, we're just making sure the dog has a job. As they get more skills, they get better jobs :lol: As kjwarnold says, dogs love to learn. Our guys all know when it's Saturday (class day) and the ones who aren't currently in class will be pleading Take Me! Take Me! all morning.

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Brody and Mia both passed the CGC test. Brody had 2 beginning training classes an intermediate class and a few private lessons before passing and Mia had a beginning class, an intermediate class and a few private lessons. The private lessons were more for the handler (me) then for the dogs, but they were a necessary part of the training for us.

I don't remember there being any distractions as part of the stay portion of the test. During class, when all the dogs were there, I guess it may have been distracting, but each dog was tested individually, so there were no purposeful distractions that I recall.

It sounds like you are on the right track. I'd recommend a private lesson or two (it is amazing how much one can learn in 50 minutes of one on one training) and then try the test.

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  • 3 months later...

I am really thinking about signing Scooter up for Canine Good Citizen. Has anyone done this with there Cairn? Scooter is very well behaved and he listens BUT he gets SO EXCITED when he sees people. No matter how well he is trained I think he will always be happy to see people, does this matter? Would he still be a good candidate? I watched a show about it and everyone had labs, goldens, etc that just SIT there and don't move at all. I know Scooter will not be that calm.

Jess, Scooter, Sadie and Dozer


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Jessica, Skipper loves people as well and he does the meet and greet like a politician, thats why I say he starts out as class clown, but he does get it, I think Skipper is just as smart as any Lab or Golden, he just does things at his pace. Ive enrolled Skipper in advanced obedience classes starting first week of March, hopefully with the end result a canine good citizen test after completion. Skipper has a pretty good recall with treat incentive and needs just some more work on stay with minor distractions. Of course he will start out as class clown but will shine when it comes down to it. They also have agility classes, obedience trails, earthdog events and training all this within 7 miles of me. I am lucky in that regard. Skipper sure does love the attention that a class gives him.

Earth dog training this spring as well.

Edited by boats85
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