Third Time is a Charm! By Ch. Harley D, CGC

Harley D here reporting from the Rock Valley Kennel Federation dog shows. I am happy to report that I finally passed my Community Canine Advanced Canine Good Citizen test! It was a bit of a challenge, but I did it and you can too.

It all starts out with waiting quietly while your human sits at the table and fills out the form; there is always paperwork! (Exercise 1). This time, I figured out that you really don’t have to do anything. In fact, that is the object of this exercise … to sit or stand or lie down next to your human and just wait. I didn’t understand this the first time I took the test, and bounced and barked at the other dogs and generally was pretty naughty. But I nailed it this time!

After the paperwork was complete, we got to go for a walk through the show building. Just strolled along on a loose leash and followed the evaluator’s directions to turn right, turn left, walk a fast and then slow, and stop (Exercise 2). I did awesome at this all three times. After we did this walking, then we walked through the crowds of handlers and dogs waiting to go into the rings (Exercise 3 & 4). My human kept a close watch on some of the bigger dogs we walked past to make sure they would ignore me as much as I was ignoring them. I did not pull on the leash or try to visit and stayed close to my human all the way down the main aisle.

When we got to the other end, we sat in a circle with three other people and their dogs to rest for a bit (Exercise 5). We had to sit next to our humans on a loose leash while they chatted about the weather, which motels they were staying at, and the road conditions. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me. But I sat like a good dog and waited because humans seem to talk a lot, especially at dog shows! Now that the easy part was over, we had to move on to the exercise I had failed twice in the past … the distance stay.

It’s pretty straight forward in theory. I get a 20-foot line hooked to my collar, my human tells me to “sit” and “stay” and then just walks away to go pick up a bag that is on the floor by the evaluator, and then comes back to me with the bag (Exercise 8). Well … it is much harder than it seems! The second time I took the test I followed my human and stuck my head in the little shopping bag to see what gift I was getting. Now listen up. It is a trap! The bag is empty! They were just trying to see if you would listen and stay put. But this time I stayed. You can fool me once, but not twice! (Also, as a word to the wise, do NOT get up and go over to lift your leg on the trash can. All the wonderful smells and excitement made me forget my manners and training the first time I took the test. Good thing my human carries wet wipes with her.)

Then we had to do a recall with the 20-foot line (Exercise 9). This one was easy. Who doesn’t want to go to their human and make them happy? I had to sit and stay in the corner while my human walked kitty-corner to the wall by the door. The bag was sitting on a chair in the center of the room. When she called me, I ran as fast as I could and went right to her. I ignored the bag and the evaluator and passed another exercise!

After I got my own leash back, we walked out into the foyer and there was a dish of food sitting by the doorway. My human told me to “Leave it,” which I did as we walked past it (Exercise 7). There was a very nice man with a backpack in the foyer and he asked if he could pet me (Exercise 6). He set his backpack on the ground and petted me with both hands, telling me how soft and beautiful I am … like I didn’t already know that, but it is good to hear! He was a very nice man and I passed that one with flying colors!

Then we walked down the little side hallway off the foyer and through the door into the other half of the building. I walked next to my human on a loose leash and watched her to see what we would do next (Exercise 10). And that was it! The evaluator congratulated us and announced that we had passed the CGCA test with flying colors! It was so exciting! So now I am Champion Harley D, CGCA!

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