Congrats, Charley!

It’s hard to believe that it has been only 4.5 months since we adopted Charley. She has come so far in such a short amount of time! Yesterday morning, she was certified by the American Kennel Club as a Canine Good Citizen…basically a fancy title for being a well-behaved little lady. She earned that shiny blue ribbon because she was able to prove that she could:

  • sit well for grooming
  • react well to distractions (like big, scary umbrellas!)
  • sit, stay, come, and lie down on command
  • be friendly to a stranger and a new dog
  • walk nicely through a crowd
  • walk with a loose leash
  • “supervised separation” for 3 minutes

…and no treats allowed during the test, which is the hardest part! If you are a dog owner, you’ll know that this list is a tall order…but she passed!

As soon as Charley completed her basic obedience classes, we wanted to get her certified. It is the prerequisite to becoming a therapy dog and also since we are apartment dwellers (and no where close to being able to buy a house), we figured certification would be a good idea so that we can show potential new landlords that she is well behaved and trained. Plus, she really is such an angel, why not have the title to prove it?

Although this is “my” blog, Jackie really should get all the credit for this one. I just got back from a short trip to Europe (more on that later!) and before I left, we were nervous that Charley wouldn’t pass. During her mock tests, her biggest challenge was the grass (out of all things!) — something about the grass in that park is sooo¬†tempting and delicious and when she loses her focus, she lets her nose take over and we can’t get any work done. Well, apparently the key to solving this issue was me leaving for 10 days because when I got back, Charley seemed more focused than ever! On the actual test day, she was distracted with me there so I had to cheer her on from the car, getting updates via thumbs up and texts. Oh well, I’m okay with taking the back seat on this one.

We’ll be taking a little bit of a breather for these next few months, but the training never ends! Maybe we have some agility classes in our future…something to help her gain more endurance. Or maybe we go straight into therapy dog training. Who knows! I’m just happy to record this fun little milestone.

PS: If you’re reading this and considering getting your dog AKC Canine Good Citizen certified, we went through Karma Dog Training and our “coach”, Chelsea, was awesome!