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What Does it Mean to be a Canine Good Citizen?

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Train your dog to be the best!

Miniature Schnauzer stands on a log in a vast Vancouver rainforest. This canine is learning to be a canine good citizen during Dog Training Class with Hustle Up Dog Training.
Miniature Schnauzer stands on a log in a vast Vancouver rainforest. This canine is learning to be a canine good citizen during Dog Training Class with Hustle Up Dog Training.

What is a Canine Good Citizen? Simply put, a dog who is a pleasure to be with in public spaces around a variety of situations from sitting at a coffee shop patio enjoying a latte, walking into stores with your dog, having your dog come when called, sitting when asked to and being in control, on or off leash. A Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is rare in North America compared to many other countries on our globe. Many countries permit and encourage dogs to be welcomed in restaurants, shops and stores. The dog is an extension of the family.

Can every dog achieve the status becoming a CGC? This is an excellent question which needs to be carefully explained. A farmer who needs his dog(s) to protect his herd of sheep from predators for example or watch the property and protect from thieves can be classified as a CGC. The term is quite open ended. The same dog(s) may not fare well in a city setting. Perspective is important and maybe I will term this: "City Canine Good Citizen CCGC. instead of CGC".

What does it take to achieve having your dog in the category City Canine Good Citizen (CCGC)? First you need a couple of items, a proper collar, and 6-foot leash and your willingness to include your dog throughout your daily activities.

Objectives are to cure the dog from pulling on leash, stop jumping up, listening to your first or second command or request, stop on command, come when asked, don’t attack another dog. These are some of the expectations. If we look at the possibilities of what your dog can accomplish over time, you will see that the possibilities become endless. In my 30 years of educating dogs to coexist in today’s society I have implemented a number of brain-stimulating activities, plus a number of confidence-building tasks for your dog. Honestly though, you will have limited positive results if your dog has low self-esteem and confidence. My training is guaranteed to change your dog to have the confidence you have always wanted your dog to have.

Some examples of progress made with dog training

Here are some examples of a three-year old Mini Schnauzer with limited confidence at age 2.6 years and with confidence at age 3.2 years. She had basic training and she was loved and appreciated by her owner. But lots needed to be unlocked to allow her to show her real potential. And potential is what this is all about. If you had the magic key to unleash your dog’s full potential or even some of the potential, trust me you would. Unfortunately, the majority of dog trainers do not have the skills to help you unleash and allow your dog to flourish. Remember, keep in mind my training began at 2.6 years of age for the Mini Schnauzer.

This is a macro list below as an example of a adult dog exposed to a new learning environment designed for the dog. Most dog training methods with food as the motivator is designed for the person to bait the dog, ignoring the dogs needs. DOG'S DO NOT NEED MORE FOOD. The need an example, a expectation and their needs met. The success rate is 100% with my methods which can be guaranteed. Now you know what can be accomplished with consistent effort, proper education and me teaching you the techniques to learn how to, see below:

Did Not Know: Has Learned:

Go to the car All aboard

Go to the car

Jumps up, to get in car

Sit when asked, would not do Will sit when fingers are snapped

Sits when requested verbally

Sits from 40 metres when asked

Will sit & stay for 5 minutes

(no leash attached)

Will sit & stay, no leash attached

(when people bike, walk or run past)

When asked to come - failed Comes when hands clap twice

Comes to the word “Hustle”

Comes when shown a hand signal

Comes to the words “Let’s go”

Stay She will stay sitting or standing

On a boulder, chair, logs...

When it comes to crossing roads, she can cross roads with or without a leash attached, additionally she will sit at a busy intersection on the sidewalk without breaking the sit. Entering places of business, she will not jump on a person and put her paws on them. Manners are essential and this training is what proves that we have not in good faith given the opportunity to allow dogs to flourish. If you are one of the victims from lure, food, positive training rubbish, then you were brainwashed with savvy talk to convince you dogs really are dumber than dumb. This is where food-related training has diminished the opportunity for a dog to shine.

I have often referred to food-related training for dogs as the biggest insult to their intelligence. Companion dogs are the only sector where training humiliates canine intelligence. Police dogs “Serve and Protect” as you can see in Brad's Bark Episode 14 & 15 - RCMP K9 Unit (Part 1 & 2), below.

Border dogs protect precious agriculture by sniffing out illegally imported fruits and vegetables, guide dogs assist in navigating traffic for a sight impaired person, seizure dogs keep people alive and alert when a seizure is about to happen, truffle hunting dogs sniff out truffles, search and rescue dogs are requested to find people. The list is lengthy when it comes to “Dogs with Jobs” I ask you, to question the dog training fad with food under the disguise of (Positive Training, or Positive Reinforcement) What is stopping dog owners from creating a positive dog training impact you might ask! My takeaway is simply that the majority of dog trainers are not well educated in the field of dog personality and behaviour. In order to understand a dog's needs, you must first understand who your dog is. What is your dog's personality? Who is your dog? 70% of dog owners do not have an answer to this question, what is your answer?

Dr. John-Tyler Binfet is a marvel to listen too in this interview:

It really does not matter what the breed is or how little training the dog has had before. Thousands of dogs have been a part of my one-of-a-kind training. Tens of thousands of compliments, selfies and praises from strangers. Todays training practices are undermining and out of touch with today’s demands for dogs. Treat-based training is great for a dolphin, I guess!, but not a dog who can bite and cause harm with its strength from pulling you down on the ground, not listening, and having unwanted food-related negative behaviours (counter surfing, begging for food, food aggression, stealing food), to name a few. These behaviours are created by the dog treat training community. Here is a sample of a complimentary way to train your dog on Brad's Bark Episode 9 - Dog Training.

Moving forward, you can enroll for private one-on-one training or you have the option for a group setting, in group dog training classes. Either way, I am here to help you and your dog find the success you truly want and fulfill the demands your dog needs fulfilled.

Written by Brad Pattison, Dog Behaviourist & Professional Dog Trainer Vancouver

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