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Friday, December 29, 2006

Curtis Goes to School

Mr. Curtis attended his first class last evening and did just great. He was a little intimidated by the 6 other dogs but relaxed pretty quickly. We're starting with basics since we're not sure how much, if any, training he has had and are working towards a CGC and Therapy Dog certificate. One of the trainers thought he was an excellent candidate for Rally. They were very impressed with his attentiveness to me. Personally, I think he was watching me so intently due to the pocket full of treats I had on my possession:) They also had us incorporate the clicker. I'm not real comfortable with the clicker as it makes me have to do too many things at one time. I'm so used to the immediate praise, verbal, treat and touch, that adding me having to click something is asking alot. Has anyone ever done clicker training? I'm happy with the instructors and the total positive training method. They do not use the yank the leash method and would rather you use a regular collar.
I think the best part of the evening was when we got home. It was the first time Morgan and Curtis were separated since we brought Curtis home and the reunion was so cute. They acted like they hadn't seen each other in days. Hopefully, I'll have good reports for you each week.


At 12/29/2006 6:23 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Never used a clicker either- we did the quick yank method at Bacari's CGC classes. We attempted the Therapy certification- but he was not ready. Maybe we should try again. I want so badly to have a pet therapy dog. Beans would be good as long as the residents/patients did not have food in hand.

Please keep us updated as to Curtis's progress. I have to live through your experiences at this time.


At 12/30/2006 9:22 AM, Blogger Beth said...


You said "I think the best part of the evening was when we got home. It was the first time Morgan and Curtis were separated since we brought Curtis home and the reunion was so cute. They acted like they hadn't seen each other in days."

I'll bet it's not just because their relationship is new, you'll probably see that reunion behavior for years to come! I just love that about our hounds...their strong sense of "the pack".

We have several mini "welcome back" happy dances each week around here. With a pack of no less than 5 RRs - I can't take them all for a walk at the same I'll set out with 2 ridgies at a time, we return 15 minutes later and every time, without fail, there is a flurry of paws happy dancing, ear snuffling and etc They are too funny! As if you'd been gone for a week : )

Best of luck with Mr C and your classes!


At 12/30/2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Mich Melis said...


I'm interested in learning more about how you are liking the clicker. And how Curtis likes it too! Historically, I've only used the quick yank method; although I do have limited experience with the gentle leader.

What does CGC stand for? Certified ... good ... companion? LOL - bad guess, I know! Fill me in! Fill me in!


At 12/30/2006 7:03 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

CGC- Stands for Canine Good Citizen. It is an AKC sponsored obedience certification. Bacari is CGC certified- for him- the obedience training was for socialization and confidence building. Another added plus- some places that you would never imagine a dog would be allowed will recognize the CGC certification. In Nashville, TN- the Loews Vanderbilt is a fancy hotel- President Bush stayed there when he visited- they do not allow pets. However, they would allow Bacari or any dog w/ CGC certification to stay at the hotel.

Most therapy programs require the CGC certification as a prerequisite to even sign up to take the class (or that is the way they did in Nashville)

Anyway- here's a link for more info:

Hope that helps- can you tell I am a huge advocate for the CGC program? :))

Amanda and Bacari

At 12/30/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Amanda explained CGC expertly. As a side note...with all the laws trying to restrict ownership of some large breed dogs like pit bulls, rotts, etc., CGC certification puts the dog in a good light. Granted, there are some people who should never have a dog like those mentioned, but there are just as many that love the good qualities of these breeds and the CGC reinforces the positives. Sadly, a RR in the wrong hands, like any powerful dog, is an accident waiting to happen and I would never want to see our beloved breed in a negative light. Morgan's breeder requires her puppy buyers to at least do basic obedience and promotes the CGC. Just think if every RR owner did at least basic obedience, we would rarely see a Ridgie in a shelter.

At 12/31/2006 4:57 AM, Blogger evelynintenn said...

Like Beth, I was drawn to Curtis' and Morgan's reunion. Curtis was drawn to Morgan from not day 1, but minute 1 of their introduction. It was amazing - all the hounds jumping all over the place "new dog! new people!" and Curtis went straight to Morgan and Patty and latched on. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that he had found his forever family.

I'm excited for his new life as a therapy dog - Patti, both you and he have such gentle spirits - you guys are going to do incredible things together.

At 12/31/2006 8:08 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Thanks Evelyn. You are so right about our first meeting with Curtis. It was something I've never experienced before and it reaffirms that some things are just meant to be. It's as if Curtis has filled in the missing pieces.

The trainng classes are very different from the previous ones I went through with Codie. The methods used are all positive and the commands are not used yet. We lure the dogs into the position we want with a treat and then tell them "Good sit, or good down". The thinking is that when you give a command, you want to be sure your dog knows what it is and is about 90% reliable in doing it. This way you are setting them up for success right from the start. There is no pushiing the rump down in a sit or pulling the legs out for a down. The dog does it all on his own following the lure. Eventually after hearing "Good sit" or Good down" they already know what the word means. It actually makes more sence to me and seems to be perfect training for the abused or fearful ones. The clicker is used as a secondary motivator. As soon as the dog does what he's supposed to do, you click, treat and praise. The thought process of this is that the dog realizes when you click he has done the right thing and evenually the treats deminish. I'm still up in the air with the clicker part. It seems like I would have to have the clicker with me at all times and I'd rather replace the treats with verbal praise or touch praise. Plus, i feel so uncoordinated having to remember to click when the verbal praise comes so naturally. We'll see.

At 1/02/2007 9:04 AM, Blogger Mariann said...

I am interested in how the clicker works for you. Duma and I start our class on Jan. 8th. It is the clicker method also. We have been practicing "click - treat, click - treat" as instructed at our orientation class. I am only familiar with the quick yank method. I will keep you posted and would like to hear back on your progress. Mariann

At 1/02/2007 2:42 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Hi Mariann,
It will be great to compare notes. Please keep me posted. How old is Duma?

At 1/04/2007 6:13 AM, Blogger Mariann said...

Patti, Duma is between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. We have been working on our homework and are making great progress. And I do not believe the Treat part of the homework has anything to do with the progress. I am looking forward to comparing notes and stories. We start next week. Mariann


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