Who’s A Canine Good Citizen?

The Canine Good Citizen program is an American Kennel Club program open to all dogs, mixed breed and purebred.  Its purpose is to reward dogs and their owners who can show that they have good manners both in the community and at home.  It fundamentally stresses responsible dog ownership and good social skills.  Dogs who take part in the program go through a 10-part test and, if they pass, receive a certificate from the AKC and the CGC title.

The Canine Good Citizen program is often the first step for an owner and their dog in obedience training.  They may go on to participate in obedience competitions, agility or rally events.  However, many people earn the CGC title just to prove that their dogs have basic obedience skills.  The CGC title is often accepted as proof by landlords and others that a dog has basic obedience skills.  Forty-two state legislatures have already passed resolutions endorsing the Canine Good Citizen program at the state level.

Before taking the CGC test (sometimes at a dog show or other AKC event, sometimes at a dog training center with a certified tester), an owner will sign a Responsible Dog Owners Pledge.  After that, he/she and their dog will go through the 10-step test:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test shows that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach and greet the handler.  The evaluator comes up to the owner and speaks to him/her while ignoring the dog.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
In this test the dog should allow a friendly stranger to touch him while he’s out with his owner.  The owner may talk to the dog throughout the test.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
In this test the dog should welcome being groomed and examined.  He should allow someone, such as a vet, groomer or friendly stranger to go over him.  The evaluator will look over the dog to see that he/she is clean and groomed.  The dog should appear to be in good condition.  The evaluator then combs or brushes the dog, checks the ears and picks up the front paws.  This simulates a vet exam — dogs should be well-behaved during vet exams.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

This test shows that the owner is in control of the dog on a loose leash.  The dog may walk on either side of the owner.  The dog should appear to be attentive and responsive to the owner’s changes of direction.  There are several turns on a course in this test.  The owner can talk to the dog, praise the dog, and give commands.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
The test shows that the dog can move calmly and politely in foot traffic and be controlled in public places.  The dog and owner walk around and pass close to several people.  There should be no over-excitement, shyness or resentment.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test shows the dog’s training and that he will respond to his owner’s commands to sit and lie down.  He should also remain in the place commanded by his owner.  The leash is replaced with a 20-foot line during this test.

Test 7: Coming when called
During this test the owner walks 10 feet from the dog, faces the dog and calls.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test shows that the dog can behave well around other dogs.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
During this test the evaluator chooses two distractions.  These can be dropping a chair, having a jogger go by, dropping a cane, etc.  The dog should not show any panic or try to run away or otherwise misbehave.

Test 10: Supervised separation
This final test shows that the dog can be left with someone and still maintain his good manners.  The owner is out of sight for three minutes.  The dog shouldn’t bark the whole time, whine or show more than mild agitation.

All of the exercises are performed on leash.  Your dog should wear a buckle or slip collar.  Leather, fabric or chain collars are fine.  You should bring your dog’s comb or brush with you to the test.

Kennel clubs and dog training centers offer classes for the Canine Good Citizen test but it is possible to pass the test without taking any classes.  You can prepare for it with your dog at home.

The Canine Good Citizen test is a good test for dogs and their owners.  It’s good for your dog to learn some basic manners and for you to work with your dog on simple obedience lessons.  These lessons will come in handy again and again for your dog and make him a more desirable dog in the community.

Who’s A Canine Good Citizen courtesy Dog Articles.

Looking for a great gift idea? Who wouldn’t love a cutting board showcasing their favorite breed? Check out all of the great doggie gift ideas on Amazon.com –doggieoftheday@amazon.com


Going To A Backyard Breeder

In some cases, the owner of an AKC-registered female dog will breed her to a friend’s unproven registered dog of the same breed.  Are puppies of such matings likely to be satisfactory canine pets for you? The answer depends on the quality of each of the parents, not the cuteness of the puppies.

If both dogs are fair representatives of their breed, have few hereditary problems, and demonstrate acceptable personalities, their offspring may suit your needs.  However, if both parents are quite young when bred, and nothing is known about their ancestors’ qualities, especially conformation and disposition, their litter may not be the one you are looking for! Genetic diseases may be first exhibited after several years of age, and these conditions may be prevalent in both the male and the female bloodlines.

These facts should make you wary of obtaining a backyard-bred puppy.  Judicious advice admonishes you to buy soundness in a big dog, not cuteness.  Look for the best pup, not the most available one.

Mixed breed and crossbred big dogs

Sometimes, a big dog may be inadvertently bred to a neighborhood fence jumper or a female dog of one large purebred may be purposefully mated with a purebred of another large breed to produce crossbred puppies.  What can we predict in such pups?  Again, only the puppies in question and the people involved can answer these questions.

Something can be said for the hybrid vigor of mixed-breed pups.  Sufficient research has not been done to prove that the offspring of such matings are truly stronger or more vigorous than the progeny of purebreds.  Commonsense genetics tells us mixed-breed puppies should have fewer hereditary problems, but the wider gene pool behind them does not assure that these pups will be free of all such problems.

Crossbred offspring conformation is relatively unpredictable on the first mating.  If a large purebred female is bred to a large purebred male of another breed, anything is possible, and few assumptions can be made about the variety of appearances or sizes of the puppies until the litter is several weeks or months old.  Previous matings of the same two dogs may predict the size of these crossbred puppies.

Often, personalities of mixed-breed and crossbred pups are quite attractive, but are probably less predictable than those of purebreds.  Even though individual dispositions may vary, purebred puppies’ characters are likely to be similar to those of their ancestors.

However, if you are not concerned about the actual size or appearance of your big canine partner, and if you find a mixed or crossbred litter, go for it! If the dam is a big dog and the sire is of equal or greater size, the litter has an excellent chance of containing at least a fair percentage of big puppies.

Going To A Backyard Breeder courtesy of Dog Articles.

Looking for a great gift idea? Who wouldn’t love a cutting board showcasing their favorite breed? Check out all of the great doggie gift ideas on Amazon.com –doggieoftheday@amazon.com


Dog Breeding Tips

Breeding dogs is very tempting if you’re a dog lover.  You’ll get to spread your passion for the animals and you can even earn an income.  Even so, there is a lot to think about before you get started.

The first thing you need to realize is that your dog might not fit the bill.  You should breed dogs that are from the highest pedigree.  It is also important to make sure they have an even temperament and are without any genetic defects.

For the good of the puppies, never breed a dog that has these problems.  Even if you sense a problem with the uterus you should make sure your pup can cope with the litter and is at least two years old.  If not, it’s not a good idea to breed.

If your bitch meets all the requirements you almost have a green light.  Next, you need to consider the puppies that would come out of the breeding.  It is important to be sure you have enough room for 12 puppies in a space that can handle the noise level.

It can be very stressful being there for the birth of these puppies and the process can take over 12 hours.  Beyond that you need to be there to clean up after the dogs, wean them, and feed them.  This food and other materials can end up costing a lot of money.  Don’t forget about the vet bills either.

Beyond the first weeks of care you need to figure out what you’re going to do with the puppies.  Whether they are mixed breed or pedigree you may want to sell or give them away.  Obviously, a pedigree dog is worth a lot more money to prospective buyers than a mutt.

Make sure you don’t just give the puppies away to anyone that walks into your facility.  You need to make sure they are going to a good home.  If you find that they were taken to an undesirable location you might even need to take them back in.

If you’ve made up your mind that breeding is what you want to do then you can start to look for a stud dog.  If your bitch is pedigree then you want to make sure the stud comes from the same quality background.  You can also examine the female dog’s weaknesses and find a stud that will make up for those weaknesses.  For example, one might not have a beautiful coat but you can make up for it with the other.

Just remember that money is not the ultimate goal here.  Breeding quality animals and making sure they have a wonderful life is.  You can have a very fulfilling time as a dog breeder as long as you follow these guidelines.

Dog Breed Tips courtesy of Dog Articles

Looking for a great gift idea?  Who wouldn’t love a holiday ornament showcasing their favorite breed!  For all the nicest blankets and great doggie gift ideas…check them out here on Amazon.com – doggieoftheday@amazon.com