Thursday, January 26, 2012

Darcy's calming signals

One thing Darcy doesn't like is being in an enclosed space.  Even when it is me, she gets a little nervous.  Unfortunately to go to our backyard she needs to go through a space that puts her in the social space of people (because we have to open the door).  With people she doesn't know well she will not go at all.  With us she gives crazy calming signals to show that she doesn't like the situation.  Once she is outside she is happy as a clam.  But getting there is the battle.  Here is a video and a list of the calming signals she exhibits:

00:00:18 - Shake off
00:00:19 - Lip lick
00:00:21 - Look away
00:00:22 - Stretch
00:00:25 - Lip lick
00:00:26 - Walk away
00:00:34 - Lip lick
00:00:40 - Stretch
00:00:42 - Lip lick
00:00:44 - Yawn

Can you find any more?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Canine Good Citizen Practice

When we work with dogs beyond basic obedience one of our main focuses is often getting the dog their Canine Good Citizen certificate.  The CGC is an AKC developed test that determines if a dog is a "good member of the canine community".  The widest use I find for it is going into therapy work but even if owners are not planning on that, all the steps of the test are behaviors that most owners in an urban environment would like their pups to be able to do.  To help our students practice for the test and to educate more people about the test we did some brief videos to outline what is required in each step.  Please note: these are intended to be information for practice.  We are using treats which is not allowed in the test.  But to get a dog to work as hard as they need to in order to pass this test we need to give them a paycheck!

CGC #1: Accepting a friendly stranger

CGC #2: Sitting politely for petting

CGC #3: Appearance and Grooming

CGC #4 and #5: Out for a walk and walking through a crowd
Since we did this in my home we didn't have much room or a crowd to work on these steps!

CGC #6 and #7: Sit, Down, Stay and coming when called

CGC #8: Reaction to another dog

CGC #9: Reaction to a distraction

CGC #10: Supervised separation
Since the only people around were family members we couldn't do Supervised Separation with our dog!