by Roxana / Sept 21, 2023 

In a few weeks I will be in North Carolina (October 6-8), and I will be teaching three workshops at Pups R us.  The first two (Friday, Saturday) will be on training dog tricks, while the one on Sunday will be a CGC workshop.  And as I’m getting ready for the trip, I wanted to share a few thoughts…

Over the years I have been teaching the CGC skills to my clients/students and their dogs in various formats (lessons, classes, workshops), so I include it in my training plans fairly often.  But why?

For one, I try to maximize the use of my time (and my clients’ time!), and I really like it that when we train for the CGC we check multiple boxes at once ✔️

When we teach practical, useful behaviors to our dogs and practice them in different scenarios, they learn to respond more reliably to basic obedience cues/commands.  They often become more comfortable in new environments, and around new people and new dogs.  In the process, we also improve our handling skills, the way we communicate with them, and we can get better at reading their body language and understanding their temperament.  All of which can help build more trust in the relationship, and more confidence — both for people, and dogs.

So we are improving focus, reliability, we are socializing/building neutrality, strengthening our bond, and in the process we are also providing mental stimulation for our dogs (enrichment, check!) so they are less likely to get bored and in trouble…

Plus, for many of us there is something motivating about setting goals, and doing our best to accomplish them.  And having to pass a test, or wanting to get a certificate or a title can give us that extra push we might need here and there, to get off the couch and work with the dog for 10 minutes in the evening.  Or to set aside 5 minutes in the morning, and practice an exercise before going to work.  Over time, that can make a difference!

And I am speaking about all of this from first-hand experience, not only as a teacher but also as a student — as I have trained for and took the test with two of my dogs, Zulu and Azande.  (It did take Zulu two tries to pass, because Zulu, but that’s another story for another time.)  JellyBean, my newest addition is currently in training; I am planning to test her in the next few weeks.

Bottom line, I like the CGC and the value it brings, and I usually encourage other trainers to incorporate it in their programs as well.

And if you are a client interested in learning more about it or scheduling a test, check out CGC Training and Testing — it’s a good place to start!

– Roxana


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