Hi there Hamerlinck family!
I wanted to update you on Elle's progress from the past three days. I apologize that I haven't updated her site daily we have been super busy with training, socialization, exercising and public work! Please plan on updates every few days in the future. I will message you when I plan on making updates so you know when to expect them!
This week has been a fantastic week for Elle. She has really made some great progress being here at Knallhart. Her manners have greatly improved, she has been a lot more independent, confident, calmer and most important she has been happy eager to learn and train. She has made some new friends and she is a crowd favorite during socialization during yard time.
This week she has accomplished consistent leash work, and she now is able to walk on leash with a flat collar. She also knows to sit when we stop at cross walks or to say hello to neighbors. She no longer pulls on the leash and keeps her head up/forward when we walk versus having her nose to the ground. She responds accurately to light corrections if she does get distracted! Within the next couple weeks we will begin working on her off leash skills, she is very close to being ready!
This week Elle has also learned how to always sit at doors before entering and leaving. She also knows how to sit politely and wait for the release command before walking out of her crate. She is learning how to be polite and walk inside calmly and confidently without submissive peeing.
We have also been working on the skills she will need to begin her advance training which begins this upcoming week, these skills include
- Sitting politely for petting (not jumping, not licking, CGC requirement)
- Confidence building (to prevent submissive peeing)
- Sit, down, stay and come (for CGC testing)
- Respectful socialization with other dogs
- Exercise (running, biking, yard time)
- Kennel training (no barking, no peeing)
Elle is now at the point where she is acclimated to Knallhart, she knows and follows our routine, and she has the foundation that is needed to being her advance training.
This week Elle will finish learning the skills she will need in order to be prepared and to take the CGC test. The skills she will be tested on are
TEST 1: ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.
TEST 2: SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
TEST 3: APPEARANCE AND GROOMING
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
TEST 4: OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEAD)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
TEST 5: WALKING THROUGH A CROWD
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
TEST 6: SIT AND DOWN ON COMMAND AND STAYING IN PLACE
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
TEST 7: COMING WHEN CALLED
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.
TEST 8: REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
TEST 9: REACTION TO DISTRACTION
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
TEST 10: SUPERVISED SEPARATION
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").
Along with learning those skills she has been approved to visit both of our two therapy dog practice locations at the ARC of Iowa City and Oaknoll retirement home. She will be visiting a minimum of three days a week for the reminder of her time here at Knallhart to solidify her therapy dog skills she will need to the remainder of her working career.
Elle had a deluxe bath and blow dry this week. Her fur was brushed and nails were clipped. She had a lot of debris hanging from the hair on her anus, so that hair was cut and she has no longer been scooting. The hair above her eyes were also trimmed so that she could see better, and so that we could see her beautiful eyes! Her ears were also flushed with cleaner and wiped out. She enjoyed her grooming very much!
Food: Elle has been eating approx. 2- 2.5 cups of Victor brand food per day. She eats all of her food when offered and accepts this kibble during training as well. She has not vomited and I feel as though this is a good food fit for her. I will keep you posted.
Vitals: Her vitals have been excellent all week. Pink gums, clear eyes, no swelling of the abdomen, normal joints, wet nose.