March has been a great month for us here at Ashling Place. Hadley continues to amaze us with her intellect and eagerness to please. This month, she proudly earned two designations: AKC Canine Community Canine (CGCA) and Therapy Dog. After completing a seven-week training course, which included time spent in public settings such as shopping centers and nursing homes, Hadley was then required to pass a series of tests in order to earn these designations.
In order to pass these tests, Hadley first needed to be able to master a number of basic skills. Of course, impulse control and maintaining attention are two crucial skills necessary, especially since there are a number of distractions that are introduced during the tests to ensure that your dog is able to remain focused on you and the task at hand. Another important skill she needed to be able to master is the “sit-stay”. The purpose of this command that your dog will be able to remain in a "sit/stay" position, even when you leave him, which is handy in a number of situations. We use it when someone visits, when we need to cross the street to get the mail and want the dog to stay in the yard, and even when it’s time to go outside and we want them to sit at the door until we give the release. It is the ultimate demonstration of control and is useful in everyday life.
Leash & Collar
The “sit/stay” is a command that truly is an essential skill for your pup to master, even if you are not interested in pursuing designations such as the Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog. We have advanced our training with this command during our field play and practice. Now the girls have to stay in a sit position while we throw the ball, which if you know our girls, this is a very difficult skill to master when a ball is involved. That said, they know to sit, stay, and wait for me to give them the release, which is “find it.” Not only are they exercising their bodies, but also their minds!
If you are interested in pursuing these designations with your dog, then I encourage you to start by learning more by visiting the AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine websites.