Primarily, the American Kennel Club is famous for running a breed registry for purebreed dogs. However, it is important to note that it provides a number of other services as well, with an excellent example being what is called the Canine Good Citizen program. Said program is intended to promote responsible dog ownership by encouraging dog owners to train dogs who won’t be a nuisance to other people, which is why its ten objectives include training a dog to tolerate friendly strangers, tolerate being groomed, and behave in an appropriate manner when encountering either other dogs or other distractions.
The Canine Good Citizen program isn’t just important in its own right but also important in other regards because it serves as a basis for further certification. Fortunately, interested individuals don’t have to have their dogs recorded in the American Kennel Club’s registry for them to take the test needed to pass the Canine Good Citizen program. Furthermore, even if they fail, they can take the test following further training, meaning that there is no permanent obstacle to them meeting their goal so long as they have sufficient determination to see them through.
Here are some suggestions for dog owners who are interested in seeing their dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen test:
Understand the Ten Goals
The American Kennel Club has the ten goals that must be met for a dog to pass the Canine Good Citizen test published on its website. For that matter, said list can be found on a wide range of other websites as well, meaning that there is no excuse for interested individuals to not familiarize themselves with the ten goals. After all, if they don’t know what they need to do, they are not going to be able to prepare their dogs for the challenges that await them.
Start Sooner Rather than Later
How a dog was treated as a puppy will have an enormous impact on their behavior once fully-mature. As a result, it makes sense for interested individuals to start preparing their dogs for the Canine Good Citizen as soon as possible instead of waiting until there is a better time. Dog training isn’t something that can be completed in a single day, which is why interested individuals need time if they want to get the desired results out of their beloved companions.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, in this as in other things, practice makes perfect. Simply put, it takes plenty of practice for a dog to successfully learn all of the things required of them by the Canine Good Citizen program, which is one more reason that the dog owner should start sooner rather than later. Fortunately, dog training doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge, exhaustive, and exhausting affair, seeing as how it can become much more manageable when it is spread out over time. In fact, there are plenty of dog owners who train their dogs to become accustomed to friendly strangers by bringing them with them to meet a wide range of people as well as interact with them on a regular basis.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool. After all, some of the ten goals involve things that might bother dogs, meaning that positive reinforcement is important for getting them to see those things as being positive rather than negative in nature. One excellent example is grooming, which can be turned into a positive thing for dogs via the careful and considerate use of rewards following the grooming process.
Seek Out Expert Help
Sometimes, dog owners will run into some kind of problem that they struggle to overcome on their own. When that happens, there is no shame in them seeking out expert help, which could help them get the desired results without running headlong into a great deal of frustration in the process. With that said, interested individuals need to make sure that they are actually consulting a real expert who can get the right results, which is where reading the reviews of past customers can prove useful in sorting the right experts from the frauds posing as them.