Ranger Graduates

The good news is…

Ranger made it through the last day of class!

Ranger actually graduated a few weeks ago, but I’ve just now finished mourning how his CGC testing went.

We started off great – arrived early, warmed him up, put his treats away, had his attention.

But then.

Right before the test began, a dog showed up that had been a bit touchy to Ranger before.  As the dog walked by, he lunged and growled at Ranger.  We’ve been working on appropriate reactions to other dogs, but Ranger was not ready to respond to this type of behavior calmly yet.  Ranger WOOFed back at the dog, and then…

Ta da!  It’s Ranger’s turn to go!

He actually did very well given that he had just gotten a big hormone dump.  Ranger sat nicely for petting, but as soon as he was released, Ranger displayed some barking and a little bounciness that continued during his grooming evaluation.  We then made it through the sit, down, stay, recall AND leash walking even though we had to manage a little barkiness throughout.

Ranger did great on his reaction to another (polite) dog test, focusing on me the whole time.  We got settled down for the supervised separation, and Ranger was calmed down in a down stay.  I left.  And just a minute in, what happens?  The door to the classroom opens, and in walks a poodle right through the door that the scary dog entered from.  Ranger hopped up to woof at him, and our chances of earning the CGC in this round were dashed.

Funny enough, Ranger completely ignored the thing that was SUPPOSED to be scary in the reaction to a distraction, and by the end of the test he had recovered nicely from his initial reaction, walking around politely on leash and snoozing away at my feet.

Headdesk

So, we passed the class but it’s obvious that we need more proofing in general around other dogs.  Ranger is just so excited by watching other dogs, and so highly responsive to a perceived threat, that we will probably need to spend another good couple of months focusing on work around other dogs before we’re really ready to give this one another shot.

I’m still proud of Ranger and the progress he made, and I have been reminded of a few important lessons.  I’ll keep them simple.

1) Train at your dog’s pace

2) Dogs rely on us for guidance

3) Patience, patience, patience

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