Training today will consist of an attempt at telepathy.
This counts, of course, because I’m a Millenial, and we get a pass at new-agey voodoo stuff that our forbears would deride while working things called “jobs” and talking about 401ks and lawn irrigation systems. I insist on being cooler than that.
So today, I’m going to try to give Ranger a new dream.
By the very serious and critically precise technique of “lying in bed cuddling Ranger and internetting”, I’m going to transmit to Ranger his newfound personal goals as a contributing member of our family.
He’s going to earn his CGC.
You see, I’ve been re-assessing where we are in regards to Ranger’s integration into the house and there’s both good and bad news.
The good news is – he is doing pretty darn awesome. We’ve controlled his barking and jumping up with Blanket and Drop + Stay, he’s listening to the kids better, he hasn’t had an accident in the house, and he is doing well on his tether or in the kennel during baby floor time.
The bad news is – now what?
Ranger’s biggest problems are really now outside of the home – his leash walking and his atrocious excited behavior around other dogs on the street.
So, I’m revamping my goals.
We’re keeping the “Family Dog” goal for sure, but we need to take it into the real world. I want to be able to walk Ranger anywhere, anytime with a stroller or babywearing, in complete confidence that he won’t overreact and turn into a furry yellow chaos-tornado. He needs to be able to use his new cues – Stay, Here, Drop, Sit, etc. – at the park, at the vet, or on the street, around other people and other dogs and Life.
Is this sounding suspiciously familiar to anything you know? Then you may be a doggy person. All of these items are part and parcel of the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
I have been an evaluator for the CGC for years and run many successful classes, so this should be easy peasy for us. I’m going to give Ranger the six week time frame that my students get, run a practice test to make sure he can hang, and then sign him up for the real deal.
I think that this will help give our training more direction now that the in-home integration crisis has been solved, and it will push me to get out more with the dog and baby (in safe scenarios for his current abilities, of course) and practice training techniques that I will be teaching to other moms and dogs in a few months when I open my business oriented on dog owners who have their hands full with life and need creative interventions beyond the regular group obedience class.
Now if only the ice will melt. Someone please tell Elsa to get down here ASAP and wiggle her magic freezy fingers at Kansas so I can walk my dog without snuggling the sidewalk!