CGC for Reactive Dog?

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creiter
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CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby creiter » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:17 pm

Quick thought/question spurred from another member passing the Canine Good Citizen test. Have any of you had a reactive dog with a CGC? I'm curious if they consider that an oxymoron?

The reason I ask is my darling Duke of course :) We are constantly in classes and working at home to increase his confidence around strange things/people, and his fear aggression is definitely improving. Our working relationship continues to grow in amazing ways... and lately every class his tail is wagging like crazy so I know he is having a blast with it.

We have gone through multiple obedience classes as well as things like agility, tracking, and now scent hurdles! He listens great in class and I am about 90% sure he would pass all portions of the test in the classroom setting. However, real life is different! So what are your thoughts there? Is it worth pursuing or is it cheating the system? Etc? Sorry if this is a silly question, just curious on your thoughts :)

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jamielvsaustin
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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby jamielvsaustin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:39 pm

One of my dogs has her CGC and the on thee doesn't. Bailey (the one with the CGC) was a "late maturer" when it came to being reactive/aggressive towards other dogs. And even still she is good with another dog so long as the other dog is polite. Trooper (the one with out the CGC) is very reactive/aggressive at first when meeting a new dog...and over time can be asked to tolerate the other dog. He's been like that since I can remember so we didn't even bother trying the CGC with him. I think if you think your boy can behave acceptably when meeting a neutral (aka polite) dog then you go for it! If you know he won't, I wouldn't want that "failure" on his record. (Personally)

Instead of CGC have you considered the temperament test? It doesn't matter if your dog doesn't like other dogs, there isn't any interaction.

Overall I think the idea of both tests is to show you have we'll behaved sound dog. (Although the CGC probably limits a lot of PB type dogs from taking it...but there are those who can too.) So, you know your dog best. Is he well behaved and of sound body and mind? If so go for it!

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creiter
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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby creiter » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Thank you so much for the thoughtful response Jamie! The training school I go to performs the test. They have a 10 week training session and then you get tested, so I'm this environment I am fairly certain he would pass. We have already tried some of the exercises in other obedience classes; he is able to walk towards another person and dog, sit, let me talk, and then move on, no problems.

However... If we were outside in the real world, totally different reaction! That is what my concern is. So, is he a sound dog? When properly managed by me, yes! He is wonderful and loving and obedient and everything a pit should be. However, meeting certain types of people for the first time elicits a fear aggressive response (scary sounding barks); once he has been trained through positive methods (slowly step closer without crossing his threshold until he has made contact) he has zero aggression issues, sweetest most laid back dog (what pit isn't hehe).

That's why I guess I'm wondering whether reactive dogs have a place in the CGC. When properly handled, he is wonderful. If left alone and assaulted with new people, he would be labeled aggressive for sure (if it was a female brunette... if it was a man or a blonde he'd be all wiggly butt).

The reason I would want a CGC is to do my part to promote a better image of pits. I also feel having the title helps when dealing with insurance / landlords. But I don't want to 'cheat the system' because Duke is not, for instance, going to be a therapy dog etc any time soon. So... is the CGC testing him when he is managed by me, or testing him as a dog apart from me? I suppose that is what I am wondering, just for philosophy's sake :) I imagine the obvious answer is that if he can pass the test, he is doing something right! But the philosophical answer... I dunno.

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Amie
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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby Amie » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:10 pm

Can he get through an obedience class? The CGC is incredibly staged, so if he can practice in a class, he can probably get through the test.

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creiter
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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby creiter » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:59 pm

Oh yes, he does great in class, and loves it. It has been a wonderful chance for me to positively recondition his behavior around strangers. I am not worried that he will pass the test, just was wondering about the concept of a reactive dog who is also a CGC :)

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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby buckaroo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:11 pm

If you approached a CGC passed dog on the street and did an impromptu test, many would not pass. That is pretty normal. Go ahead and test him and get the certificate.

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MarMar
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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby MarMar » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:51 pm

I have a previously very reactive (to dogs and some people) dog who successfully passed the CGN (Canadian equivalent) this summer (she's 9 lol ) I think that if you have a dog who is not perfect in all situations but you can train/manage them well enough to pass a CGC test, you and your dog are far more deserving of being called a Good Citizen than most people/dog teams out there. A perfectly friendly dog is NOT a good citizen, in my opinion, if they can't perform the basic obedience that the test calls for and their person isn't committed to taking care of and managing them. Good luck!

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Re: CGC for Reactive Dog?

Postby PITtsburgher » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:24 pm

I did the CGC with my GF's dog who is dog-reactive and she did great. It helped her a lot that we went through a CGC class beforehand and that the tester-dog was completely neutral and not interested in her.

The CGC is a test of you as much as it is a test of the dog. You even have to sign a pledge to be a responsible dog owner. It is all about your relationship and that you have learned to work together to create a well mannered safe dog.

If nothing else, taking the class is fantastic practice for reactive dogs. You could always take the class and elect to take the test (or not) based on how he has done during the practice sessions.

As a side note, my GF's dog is WAY better with other dogs now, which I attribute partly to moving out of a busy dog-filled apartment building and partly to her having opportunities to meet polite, non-confrontational dogs in controlled settings.


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