Free Canine Good Citizen Class for Pit Bulls?

La Blancha

La Blancha

I heard that Westerville is trying to have the pit bull taken off the dangerous breed list. So they are offering free canine good citizen classes for the pits in Westerville. Is this true?

Erin

Gale's Reply:

Hi Erin

I haven't heard anything specifically about Westerville. (I assume you mean Ohio.) But, it would be great if they were doing that. If I hear anything, I'll post back here. Please do the same if you get more information.

Something that some people may not realize is that it's not necessary to take a "Canine Good Citizen Class" in order to take and pass the test.

So if a CGC class isn't offered in your area or the cost is prohibitive, that doesn't have to prevent you and your dog from getting certified.

There are only 4 obedience commands involved in the test itself--sit, down, stay in place and come when called. Your dog also needs to walk nicely on a loose leash. (In other words, no pulling.) Your dog does NOT need to heel as in an obedience trial.

By far, the most important part of the evaluation is social skill--how a dog reacts to strangers, other dogs, distractions, etc. For this reason, most dogs DO need to have had the experience of being in a class with other dogs and handlers (whether obedience or something else) in order to pass the test.

Several years ago I was an evaluator for the Delta Society's Temperament Test which is a test for therapy dogs based on the Canine Good Citizen's test. The biggest mistake people make is not proofing their dog's skills in a variety of situations.

People are shocked and dismayed when the dog that sat every time on command at home in the living room won't even pay attention to them in a school gymnasium with 12 other dogs and strangers wandering about.

So, my advice is that once you get those obedience skills down, practice everywhere you can. Practice in the park. Practice at Petco. Practice in a parking garage. Anywhere your dog is allowed, practice what they will need to do for the test and you should be just fine.

Wanna know exactly what's on the test? It's no secret. The AKC publishes it on their website.

Btw Erin, La Blancha is a beauty! All the best to you both.

For more information on obedience training, visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems, check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

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