A Canine Good Citizen

March 10, 2015Riverbend Tales
Author: David S. Thomson DVM

Sam’s big puppy Atlas, took a turn for the worse at one year of age. Atlas had been the most charming of puppies. Socialized with almost daily visits to Riverbend (Sam is one of our surgery techs), living with an incredibly sweet five-year-old canine role model (Kashmir), and worked daily by Sam and her husband Rick with consistent and compassionate training techniques, Atlas seemed destined to be the most charming Rottweiler of all.

But at age one, hormones kicked in and Atlas became a willful, unpredictable, even scary dog. This is not unusual, other trainers told Sam. A percentage of young male Rottweilers do this, and there is no predicting it. Although some trainers said there was nothing she could do about it, Sam had other ideas. She set to work with Atlas with even greater focus and energy.

atlas-in-class

And, what do you know…here we are another year later, and Atlas has earned his
Canine Good Citizen Certification!

The AKC instituted the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification Program in 1989 as a way to encourage dog owners to teach their pets proper canine etiquette for home as well as public behavior. It is a basic course but not so easy to pass. The skills learned by the owner and the dog are key, and when a dog passes the tests, it can be a fully trusted member of the household and the community.

Within the course, there are ten tests the Canine Good Citizen must pass:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger
  2. Sitting politely for petting
  3. Having a healthful appearance and allowing gentle grooming
  4. Walking on a loose lead
  5. Walking through a crowd politely and under control
  6. Sit and down on command and staying in place
  7. Coming when called
  8. Reacting appropriately to another dog
  9. Reacting appropriately to a distraction
  10. Being comfortable with supervised separation from the owner

Congratulations to Atlas and Sam!
All of us here at Riverbend are incredibly proud of you.

atlas-on-kashmir

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Aaron and JoAnn, South Deerfield

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Filipa, Hadley

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Beth and Ernie, Northampton

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"Lucy", Holyoke

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Dave, Wilbraham