Animal Behavior College Blog

Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Forever Warriors Founder – Training Service Dogs While Changing the World for Vets

Jason Young puts Animals & Soldiers First in His Quest to Change the World for Veterans.

Training Service Dogs in Los Angeles

Jason Young Founder of Forever Warriors. Now training service dogs with Big Paws Canine in Los Angeles, CA.

Young, a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program is now Training Service Dogs While Changing Veteran Lives.

ABC Graduate Dog Trainer Jason Young

Jason Young served in the Navy Seabees Construction Battalion.  After coming home from his tour, Jason Young was in school to complete his education in Computer Networking. During his program training he was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  His doctor recommended that he consider a new career while going through the rehabilitation recommended to heal his TBI.

“Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a complex injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities,” according to http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com.

“One moment the person diagnosed can be seen as normal and the next moment life has abruptly changed. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. No two brain injuries are a like and the consequence of two similar injuries may be very different. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days or weeks after the injury.  Most often, these body structures heal and regain their previous function.” says  traumaticbraininjury.com.

After considering his options Jason again consulted with his doctor. He mentioned that he may want to pursue a vocational career that involved peer counseling. Young’s doctor recommended considering a career in training service dogs. Jason liked the idea of rehabilitation training that could benefit the lives of soldiers and veterans using Dog Training as the tool to heal himself and others.  He loves working with service dogs and highly recommends Animal Behavior College to other veterans as a great place to learn Dog Obedience Training.

Jason graduated from Animal Behavior College in September 2013. Before completing his final exam and externship he was offered a position as a Dog Trainer at Big Paws Canine Academy and Foundation, Inc.

We had the chance to ask Jason Young why he chose Animal Behavior College and specifically the dog training program? Here is what he had to say:

“The course was great! I loved the externship and working at the shelter. My main goal before I started the course was to learn to train Service Dogs for Veterans. Myself being a veteran wanting to help other vets I had thought about becoming a peer counselor, but I didn’t want to bring that home with me every day. After one of the VA doctors asked me if I had ever thought about training service animals. It was the perfect idea, considering all the service dog providers there are popping up all over the country very few people are looking at becoming a dog trainer. I have been communicating with numerous providers in the last year like: Pets for Vets, TADSAW, Battle Buddy and many others. I would refer veterans to whichever one that was closest or fit the Veterans needs best. About a week before I received my certificate in September, Big Paws Canine Academy offered me a training job training Veterans and their dogs at the VA hospitals. It is the perfect fit for me. I can help other veterans alleviate anxieties caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) naturally and possibly lower the doses of mood altering medications that some veterans are becoming dependent upon for every day life. It’s a win, win{situation}, for me. I get to work with animals and help heroes.”

Jason’s passion truly shows that it is not about the money. He actually turned down a paid position at Big Paws Canine Academy and opted for working as an intern so that Big Paws CA could afford to hire more trainers. Together Jason and Big Paws CA are on a mission to make rehabilitation available to more vets returning from war.  They are not the only ones. Jason is also participating in the Battle Buddy Run, a 5K fundraiser to assist the placement of service dogs with soldiers who have PTSD. This event is taking place in Fresno Calif. on October 26th.  https://www.facebook.com/battlebuddyrun

Service Dog Obedience Training by Jason at Big Paws Academy

Jason teaching Service Dog Obedience class at local Lowe’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his spare time Jason enjoys speaking with other soldiers and vets.  He assists injured soldiers and vets by pairing them with an organization that would best suit their needs. He also posts content about service dogs, service dog news, and information needed on his Forever Warriors page. https://www.facebook.com/WeAreForeverWarriors?ref=stream

 

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is
National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

Shelter dogs and cats deserve a forever home. By adopting or fostering a shelter pet, you are saving an animal’s life. Even if you can’t adopt a new pet, there are several great ways you can help save a dog or cat who is currently living in a shelter.

Use Social Media to Raise Awareness
Share with your friends and followers that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. By doing so you become a part of the saving lives formula. Help raise awareness by using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, 4square, Tumblr, and Instagram. Consider using #hastags such as #welovedogs, #savedogs, #fosterdogs, #traindogs, and #dogs in your posts. This helps them be found by people searching for industry-related articles on social networking trend walls and blogs, as well as RSS feeds.

Volunteer to Train Shelter Dogs

At Animal Behavior College (ABC), our students and employees have been training shelter dogs since 1998.  It is a fact that a trained dog in a shelter is far more likely to be adopted then one who has not had behavioral training. Since 2004, ABC’s dog training students have collectively donated more than 93,000 hours to animal shelters. This program is called Students Saving Lives. The success has been revolutionary in the fight to save animal lives.
Read more about Students Saving Lives.

Animal Behavior College also offers a Continuing Education Program called Training Shelter Dogs. This program is a great way to help certified dog trainers establish themselves in the dog training industry while doing their part in assisting shelter dogs by providing the behavioral training they need.

Foster Pets from Shelters like, Best Friends or Unwanted NYC Pets

If you love pets but aren’t ready to adopt, opening your home as a foster parent is a great way to help out. Many foster programs make it as easy as possible, giving you the support you need. Here’s how it works:

You provide a temporary place to crash, water, exercise and love.
You receive food and supplies, veterinary care, any support and guidance you need, endless love from your foster pet, and the satisfaction of helping an animal in need.

Best Friends will work with you to find the best match possible for your home and lifestyle. If at any point the foster situation is not working out, Best Friends will take the animal back into its care and find another that will work for you.

Take the Pledge
Join the more than 100,000 people who have already taken the “No Pet Store Puppies” pledge to help fight puppy mill cruelty by refusing to buy anything—including food, supplies or toys—at pet stores and from websites that sell puppies.

Animal Shelters & Rescues in the U.S.

Best FriendsBestFriends.org

Best Friends Animal Society is the only national nonprofit animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. An authority and leader in the no-kill movement for more than 30 years, Best Friends runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals (at its headquarters), regional centers in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and New York, as well as life-saving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country.

Did you know that more than 9,000 dogs and cats are killed each day in America’s shelters? More than 4 million lives are lost each year simply because they don’t have a safe place to call home. These pets deserve to be saved. At Best Friends Animal Society, they believe no animals should have to die in shelters when solutions exist to save them—solutions like adopting, fostering, spaying/neutering and Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR).

Unwanted NYC Pets - UnwantedNYCpets.org
Unwanted New York City Pets or Unwanted NYC Pets is spearheaded by Betina Wasserman and her team of close knit animal confidants. Together they rescue pets from the kill list and save dogs and cats from all across New York City’s Tri-borough area. Betina is also the founder of Unwanted NYC Pets, a 501-C3 non-profit organization. The Unwanted NYC Pets team is determined to help make the world a better place by saving the lives of dogs, who would otherwise be put down if not rescued. Betina’s message: Don’t buy dogs, please adopt them! Read More

Animal Shelters & Rescues in Canada

Animal Rescue and Outreach Society (AROS) is a charitable, non-profit organization serving the Alberta Capital Region. Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate displaced pets, and to provide education and support to pet owners.
Learn more about Animal Rescue and Outreach Society

September – Veterinary Assistant Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Veterinary Assistant Program Student of the Month
September 2013

Charlene Dodson

Charlene Dodson - Student of the Month

Charlene Dodson, a western riding instructor who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., has a passion for animals. She was raised with all sorts of pets and is comfortable working with them. All those years of caring for her own animals inspired Charlene to pursue a career working with them. As her life revolves around her horses, Charlene said she would eventually like to primarily work with large animals. Continue reading

September – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– August 2013

Brittany Moore

Brittany Moore currently resides in Glen Alpine, N.C. She works as an independent contractor at the grooming shop where she completed her externship. Brittany likes working for herself and setting her own hours, which is part of the reason she enrolled in ABC’s certified pet grooming program. She works Monday through Friday and leaves when the last dog is complete and up to her standards. Brittany always had a passion for animals but wasn’t quite sure of what to do with her eagerness and drive. She really enjoys grooming and is very content with her life. Continue reading

Dog Groomers Wanted!

Dog Grooming, Animal Behavior College, Dog Grooming Certificate

Careers in Dog Grooming on the rise. To meet the high demand in professional Dog Grooming trades Animal Behavior College offers a Dog Grooming Certification online. Courses available throughout the United States & Canada.

Become a Dog Groomer

Dog groomers are among the most sought-after professionals within our industry–and the demand for qualified personnel will continue to grow for years to come. Becoming a Dog Grooming professional might not sound like the most employable career in the pet care industry, but there is an overabundance of companies locally and nationally that are hiring experienced groomers and newcomers to the field.

Animal Behavior College offers a combined online and hands-on Dog Grooming certification program that teaches Pet Health and Safety, Dog Grooming basics, and How to Bathe, Brush, and Dry the animals, as well as the use of Clippers and proper Scissoring techniques. This course also covers Cat Grooming, Business Building, Hands-on Training, and the Professional Dog Groomers toolbox.

Just last month, there were a half-a-dozen graduate students discussing their choice of profession on Facebook. From the July 30th section of the Animal Behavior College Facebook Timeline:

Shelbi Richey wrote,

I can say that I am very happy with my ABC experience. I took the Dog/Cat grooming course. The people I had to speak with to get enrolled were very efficient with timing, and seemed to really care about my education. I never felt as if I was in the dark or had unanswered questions… I was very lucky to do my externship at such a great salon with a good teacher, that was KEY! I feel you need to be VERY dedicated to learning this business if you sign up for classes, due to the amount of reading you have to do, if it’s not something you’re very passionate about, it may become hard to follow or get boring for you. The book stages were easy to read though, and even had humor so it didn’t feel like you were reading a history book. I even convinced my sister to take the same course and she is on her way to graduating now. I give ABC an A!

Suzette Sabie said,

I have opened up my own Grooming Shop in less than 1 yr!!!!

Julia Creadore wrote,

I’m currently in my externship stage & absolutely loving it! I can’t wait to graduate & start working with dogs full time! You’ll love the experience! I’ll never be sorry for choosing ABC! If you’re a natural reader, you’ll be able to absorb the written material quite easily! I was excited to read & learn everything I could, and value the knowledge I’ve gained more than I can ever describe! During my externship, I’m seeing everything I learned from Stages 1-9, being put into action & it’s amazing just how much easier it is to understand what I learned once I see it with my own eyes! You’ll love ABC!!!! Good luck in whatever you choose to do!

This morning, I was reading through Groomer to Groomer magazine, on the first page was a full page PetSmart ad that boasted about offering Dog Grooming positions, as well as Salon Managers and Professional Bathers–and full-time work. And not only a full-time job with medical benefits, but PetSmart also offers dental, 401K, tuition reimbursement, paid holidays, vacation and sick pay.

It’s not only the major pet store chains looking for the Dog Grooming help either. Kimberly A. Bandusky of a local Mokena/Tinley, Ill., shelter is also in need of a Dog Groomer.

She said, “The shelter I teach classes at is in need of a groomer.”

Dog Groomer, Dog Grooming,  The Beloved Dog Daycare and Grooming

Jeff Damon, Dog Grooming Professional, Animal Behavior College Graduate and our Canadian Student of the Month

The list goes on and on; a few months back we posted a Spotlight on the Student of the Month, Jeff Damon. Jeff, an ABC graduate who started his animal career as a volunteer at shelters, is expanding his knowledge by completing ABC’s grooming program  http://goo.gl/VQFpfZ

Read more about things to know when considering a career as  a Dog Groomer.

Things to Know When Considering a Dog Grooming Career

Is Dog Grooming a Career for You?

Before Becoming a Dog Groomer

Dog Grooming Certifications – Animal Behavior College

 

Besides the high demand for good Dog Groomers, the profession offers other benefits, including being able to a build strong, meaningful relationships with clients and their pets.

Dog Groomers’ relationships with their four-legged clientele and their owners can, in turn, lead to referrals, which is a great form of networking.

And professionals who do exceptional work can earn tips from their appreciative customers. Plus, there’s always an opportunity to show-off your creativity with specific breed cuts and client requests.

In addition, Dog Grooming is a very mobile profession. If you are someone who often moves from city to city, you can still groom pets no matter where you live. There are Pet Businesses across the U.S. and Canada.

Dog Groomers can work practically anywhere: from home, mobile shops, brick & mortar locations, veterinary offices, doggie day cares, kennels, shelters and rescues.

Some Things to Know Before becoming a Dog Groomer

  • You should be someone who animals, specifically dogs, are attracted to
  • You should be someone who is creative and artsy
  • You should be a patient person who doesn’t mind getting wet

Dog Grooming is hard work but its rewards and flexibility can make it a very rewarding career.

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

By Lisa King

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Responsible owners make sure their dogs get enough exercise and play time.

Dog Ownership 101

Being a responsible dog owner starts before you even get a dog. Before visiting a shelter or calling a rescue, be certain that you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for a new pet. Here are a few rules to follow before the fact:

1. Don’t get a dog for your children unless you are prepared to do 100 percent of his care, if not right away then when they move out of the house. This is the voice of experience speaking.

2. Do your research and choose a breed or mix whose activity level matches your own. If you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Border Collie. If you want to go running or biking with your dog, forget the Pug.

3. How much space do you have? A large dog will be miserable in a studio apartment, while a small lap dog will be quite comfortable.

4. Do you want to deal with all the training required for a puppy? Adopting an adult dog who’s already housetrained puts you ahead of the game.

Now that you have an idea of the type of dog you’d like, go online and search local shelters for a dog who fits your requirements. If your heart is set on a purebred, these can sometimes be found at shelters. Breed-specific rescues are also good sources for purebred dogs. If you go to a breeder, do some research to ensure she’s reputable. DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop—these adorable puppies usually come from puppy mills, which keep breeding animals in deplorable conditions.

Dog Health Tips

Once you get your dog home, follow these 10 tips to ensure he has a long, happy and healthy life.

1. Take him in for regular vet checkups. Spay or neuter your dog if it hasn’t already been done. Keep him current on shots, dewormer and flea and tick protection.

2. Give your dog plenty of exercise according to the needs of his breed or breeds.

3. Train your dog. Take him to a training class or train him yourself by consulting books, magazines and online resources. He should know basic commands such as “Come,” “Leave It,” “Sit” and “Lie Down.” Keep him on a leash when not in a secure, fenced yard. Even a well-trained dog with a strong prey drive can be distracted by squirrels or other small animals and run into traffic.

4. Brush your dog regularly to prevent mats. The frequency of brushing depends on his coat type. Take him to a reliable groomer if he is a breed that needs more complicated grooming, such as a Poodle or a Maltese. Keep his nails clipped. If you’re nervous about clipping them yourself, have your groomer or vet do the job.

5. Wash your dog regularly. Depending on the dog’s coat and environment that can mean once a month, once every couple of weeks or even more often if he gets into something nasty. Use a high-quality natural shampoo. Don’t wash him too often, though; too-frequent baths can cause dry, itchy skin.

6. Secure your dog in the car, either in a crate or with a harness that hooks onto the seatbelt. A dog who’s loose in the car becomes a dangerous projectile in a crash. If he’s in the front seat, or God forbid on the driver’s lap, he can be killed if the airbags deploy.

7. Provide proper ID for your dog so he can be returned to you if lost. Attach a tag bearing his name and your phone number to his collar. For added safety, consider having your vet microchip him.

8. Feed him the best diet you can afford. Your options are many: kibble, canned, frozen raw and freshly made cooked. Find a food that makes you both happy. Keep dishes clean and always provide plenty of fresh water.

9. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop. Cleaning up after him even in your own yard is important to keep harmful bacteria out of groundwater.

10. Provide plenty of love and affection; it will be returned tenfold.


About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”

 

Dog Walking Etiquette

Dog Walking Etiquette

By Stacy Mantle

Walking the Dog

Following commonsense rules when walking your dog makes the experience enjoyable for everyone.


Walk Your Dog Each Day

In a world where many different species enjoy walking each day, it’s important to understand the rules of the road for canines. The rules below are not hard and fast, they aren’t legally binding and they aren’t meant to be regulated. They are intended as good “common sense” rules for any pets who enjoy walks.

1.  Respect personal space. Whether you’re on a trailhead or at the dog park, there are people who will not love your dog. Even fellow dog lovers are hesitant around other breeds. Some small-breed lovers will be in complete fear of your large-breed dog no matter how friendly, and vice versa. Never force your dog on another person or animal.

Teach your pet to keep his nose to himself. People don’t generally like to be sniffed—particularly if they are running or walking or just enjoying the day. Keep your pet under control and never allow her to pull at the leash in search of a quick sniff of another dog or person.

2. Leashes are required. Besides being good common sense, leashes are required by law in nearly every state and that includes state and national forests. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t matter if your dog always listens. If any other person views your pet as a threat, they can legally defend themselves, which can lead to tragic results.

Keep your leash short. This can help eliminate problems with tangled leashes, territorial sidewalk users and other such problems. The only exception to using a leash is in a designated off-leash area.

3. Clean up after your pet. You should not allow your pet to urinate or defecate in a person’s yard, a golf course or in a public park. Urine can leave ugly brown spots and create problems for a property owner. Look for a public, remote area for your pet to do her business. If an accident does happen, be courteous and clean up after your pet. It’s the law in most municipalities and it makes for good neighbors.

4. Not all dogs are friendly. You should never assume that because your pets are friendly, other people’s pets are friendly, too. Don’t allow your pet to approach other animals without an invitation. You never know how controlled the other animal may be.

5. Be respectful of other species. Cats are going out on walks more frequently, as are birds, ferrets and even other lesser-known and more unusual species. This is why you should never allow or encourage your dog to chase any type of animal. Your dog may interpret a cat to be a squirrel, leading to disastrous consequences. Train your pets to recognize and be receptive to other species.

6. Announce your arrival. When running or walking with your dog, it’s always polite to inform those ahead of you that you’re coming up behind. This can be done with a simple “Behind you” or “To your left” announcement, letting them know you’re planning to pass. This is particularly important when using public walkways.

7. Teach children. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and more than 72 percent of those are children. We have to begin educating kids (even other people’s children) on the proper way to approach an animal. This begins with you and your dog. Let parents and children know they need to approach slowly, ask to pet your dog and always keep their faces away from the dog.

8. Elevators and enclosed areas. When in an elevator or other enclosed area of a public building, your dog should move to the back corner of the elevator and sit quietly near you as people get on and off. Keep your pet on a short leash, as some people have a real fear of being in an elevator with a dog.

9. Stop and sit at crosswalks. Your dog should always stop before a crosswalk and sit quietly beside you. While not all dogs can be trained to do this, it’s important to work up to it. Not only that, it could save their lives if they ever got loose.

10. The five training commands. Come, drop, leave it, heel and sit-stay are the five basic commands every pet should know before walking out the door. If your pets cannot do these things, you should focus your training until they can.

Owning a pet is about being a responsible pet owner. You are responsible for teaching your pets good etiquette as they will not learn from others. Together we can make the world a better place for our animals and other humans.


About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at  www.StacyMantle.com

Keeping Indoors Cats Properly Exercised

Keeping Indoors Cats

Properly Exercised

By Sandy Robins

Indoor Cat Exercises

Enthusiastic playing does more than stave off boredom, it also provides exercise and helps hone a cat’s natural behaviors.

Indoor Cats Need to Play, Too

There’s no question that cats who have an indoors-only lifestyle are much safer and better protected from environmental dangers, such as flea and tick infestations and predators. But at the same time, they miss out on exercise opportunities the great outdoors has to offer. Therefore, it’s important to compensate by instituting play times that offer both exercise and a chance to hone their natural instincts to hunt, pounce and play.

Cats are not supposed to be decorative couch potatoes. Those who spend a lot of time curled up sleeping do so because they are bored and lonely. In fact, felines enjoy short bursts of playtime throughout the day. If you are working, consider splitting your mini-feline workouts to before work and again in the evening.

For interactive play sessions, laser toys are great. They also allow you to multitask by enjoying a cup of coffee and possibly even reading a book while manipulating a laser dot to fly around the room and shimmy across the floor. Lasers rev up a cat’s prey drive. You need to let the beam rest in a spot long enough for your feline to pounce and try to capture her prey. Never get the beam in her eyes. Also, because laser play isn’t really a fair game—after all, your cat will never catch anything—give her a treat at the end of each session. And make sure the next toy you bring out is one she can actually capture and kick around with her paws.

Wand toys are also great fun and really allow cats to pounce and hone their natural hunting skills, too.

Cats are really smart and many enjoy playing games of fetch. They can be trained to bring toys to you to engage in more play. Small material mice are great for such interactive play, as are feline stationary items—the latest post-it notes and other paper products infused with catnip and make wonderful crinkly noises when batted about. Some cats will even bring you their favorite wand toy to encourage you to play more.

To help stave off boredom while you are out working, a “treasure hunt” comprising of her favorite toys and treats will keep her actively engaged during your absence.

The idea is to hide her favorite toys in different places around the home. Focus on places you know she is likely to seek out,such as her favorite scratchers and snooze zones. Hide treats, too. If you are worried about putting out too many treats, you can take a portion of her kibble allowance and put it out instead. Apart from simply placing the treats next to catnip toys, consider placing small amounts inside special feline treat balls and puzzle toys. These will help keep her both mentally and physically stimulated.

If your feline is one of those cats with a reputation for the nighttime crazies—rushing around the house at 2.00 a.m. when you are trying to sleep—consider scheduling your last play session together just before you go to bed. It should tire her out and induce her to come and cuddle in and sleep, too.

By getting involved in feline fun and games, you are also spending real quality time together. It’s a great way to strengthen that wonderful emotional bond you share with your cat(s).


About the Author: Sandy Robins is the 2013 winner of the “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contribution to the Pet Industry Award.” Her work appears on many of the country’s leading pet platforms, such as MSNBC.com, MSN.com and TODAYShow.com. She is a regular contributor and columnist in multiple national and international publications, including Cat Fancy, as well as the author of the award-winning books “Fabulous Felines: Health and Beauty Secrets for the Pampered Cat” and “For The Love of Cats.” Learn more about Sandy on her website or Facebook page. #welovecats

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Award

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Award

By Audrey Pavia

Sit and Stay, German Shepherd Dog, AKC Good Canine Citizen Award

A Good Canine Citizen is capable of maintaining a Sit-Stay until called by his owner.

If you’ve got a purebred or mixed breed dog who listens when you tell him what to do, is good with other dogs, and is just a joy to be around, he’s a perfect candidate for the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award. And if your dog’s behavior leaves something to be desired, start working on fixing it, with the CGC as your goal.

In order to earn a CGC award, your dog has to pass a 10-step test that consists of the following:

  • Accepting a friendly stranger. While you have your dog on a leash, a person will approach you, say “Hello” and shake your hand. Your dog is expected to stay calm and ignore the person. Your dog is not to jump on the person or show any aggression.
  • Sitting politely for petting. The stranger who approached you will bend down to pet your dog. Your dog is expected to stand calmly while being petted. He’s not supposed to jump on the person or shy away.
  • Appearance and grooming. Your dog will allow someone to groom him and examine him (touch his ears and lift his front feet) while you are holding his leash.
  • Walking loosely on leash. You walk your dog across the examination yard on a loose leash. Your dog doesn’t pull on the leash, or refuse to follow.
  • Walking calmly through a crowd. At least three people will stand in the examination yard while you walk your dog through the group. He is expected to walk quietly past without jumping on people or straining at the leash.
  • Performing the sit and down on command, and staying. You will ask your dog to sit. You will then ask him to lie down. Once he has performed these commands, you can keep him in the down position or put him back in a sit, and then tell him to stay. You then step back away from him. He is expected to stay in place for several seconds.
  • Coming when called. Someone will hold your dog while you walk away from him. Once you are 10-feet away, you turn around and call your dog to you. He is expected to return to you immediately.
  • Reaction to another dog. Someone with a dog on a leash will approach you and your dog. Your dog is expected to ignore the handler and the other dog. He is not supposed strain on the leash, act aggressive or behave in an out-of-control way.
  • Keeping calm during a distraction. Your dog will be asked to act confidently during two common distractions, such as dropping a large object nearby or having a jogger run past.
  • Waiting calmly for his owner while being supervised by a stranger. You will hand your dog to someone and then walk away and hide out of sight. Your dog is expected to wait quietly during the three minutes when he can’t see you. He is not to bark, whine or act unruly.

If your dog doesn’t sound up for all this, simply enroll him in one of the many CGC preparation classes being held all around the country by dog clubs, pet stores and private trainers, such as an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer or ABCDT. In this class, your dog will learn to do everything required of him on the test.

Once your dog passes the test, he receives a certificate from the AKC in the mail and the right to wear a CGC tag on his collar. If he’s a purebred, he’s ready to tackle any other AKC performance event, such as obedience, agility or rally. If your dog is a mixed breed, he can still compete in these types of competitions through non-AKC clubs.

For more information, visit the CGC section of the AKC website at:
http://goo.gl/BvDS3r


About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com.