AWL volunteer, Linda Watts, had an idea….what if we could certify some of our dogs as well-mannered and reliable pets. The kind of dogs you can take for a walk in the neighborhood and people are happy to see them coming?
With this goal in mind, she contacted AKC judge and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Christine Bishop, to see if there was a way to get AWL dogs trained and tested. The AKC CGC training is normally a once-a-week class for 6 consecutive weeks but to accommodate everyone’s schedule, Christine put together a schedule of 6 classes over two weekends.
The response to Linda’s request for volunteers was incredible. The volunteers were matched with a dog and asked to spend as much time possible working on specific skills in addition to the weekend classes. All of these volunteers have other lives and many have other jobs. Their wiliness to commit to these dogs was heart-warming. Signs were placed on the kennels letting the other dog walkers know which dogs were in training so they could also help with skills when walking them.
The dogs were chosen based on length of time at the shelter and those who might be less likely to be noticed in the kennel, due to size, breed or behavior in the kennel. The dogs did an amazing job! They were eager to please, and with consistent and proper training, learned very quickly.
On the last day of class the dogs were evaluated on the skills they were taught. Six of the eight dogs passed and earned their CGC certificate.
The 10 Tests of the Canine Good Citizen
- Accepting a friendly stranger
- Sitting politely for petting
- Appearance and Grooming. (Cooperating with Vets and Groomers)
- Out for a walk on a loose lead
- Walking through a crowd
- Sit and Stay in place
- Coming when called
- Reaction to another dog
- Supervised separation
Who was awarded Most Improved Dog? It was Victoree, who came late to the classes as a stand in for another dog but still managed to learn all of her lessons and pass her test with flying colors. Congratulations Victoree, Spock, Delma Lee, Ceasar, Bongo and Bobber. Way to go! Look for the AKC CGC badges on photos of these and future graduates on our website www.awlshelter.org/adopt
“This was definitely a team effort,” said Linda. “It is our hope that the certification helps get these dogs noticed and adopted.”
Our heart-felt thanks to AKC’s Christine Bishop and our dedicated volunteers Linda Watts, Linda Turner, Lena Veit, Mike Rush, Chris and Patty McCluskey, Jacob Carlson, Justen Tape and AWL supervisor, Petra Kurpeski.