What I Learned from Failing Our Canine Good Citizen Test

What I Learned from Failing Our Canine Good Citizen Test

Knowing that I'm managing Doodle enthusiasm, I spent most of February and March focused on the Canine Good Citizen test tasks that I thought Bernie would have the most trouble with.

During the five weeks of preparatory classes, Bernie made huge strides. Unfortunately, we missed two items on the CGC test.

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Learning about Canine Fitness in Super Puppy Class

Learning about Canine Fitness in Super Puppy Class

Back in January, I knew I would be focusing on practicing with Bernie for Canine Good Citizen, so I decided to look around for special activities for Lizzie. I didn't want an obedience class because I didn't want the pressure of homework, so I was thrilled when I found Super Puppy Class lead by Kate Titus at A Loyal Companion Canine Swim and Recreation Center

Lizzie just squeaked by the age cut for Super Puppy Class. She turned one on March 17, the last day of the four-week class. During the four weeks, Lizzie and I learned a great deal about puppy body awareness. 

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Walking Through Crowds & Browsing at Bookmans

Walking Through Crowds & Browsing at Bookmans

As our Canine Good Citizen Test closes in, Bernie and I decided to train at a location entirely new to him.

Thankfully, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange is a dog-friendly local store with late hours. They're open daily until 10pm. We spent about an hour practicing loose-leash walking and walking through a crowd.

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#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal: Practical Dog Training Tips for Busy People

#AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal: Practical Dog Training Tips for Busy People

Every April, some bloggers choose to participate in the #AtoZChallenge, which involves publishing daily posts over 26 days except Sundays. Each post focuses on a different letter of the alphabet. For 2018, I'm choosing to unify my posts around the theme: Practical Dog Training Tips for Busy People.

Since I'm not a dog trainer, I won't be covering the techniques for teaching specific cues or commands. Instead, I'll share how I find time to practice with my dogs every day. Now some days my practice may amount to just a few minutes here and there. Other days may involve longer training sessions. 

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Happy First Birthday Lizzie McSquare!

Happy First Birthday Lizzie McSquare!

In honor of our favorite girl Doodle's special day, I made a short video celebrating her first year as a member of the McSquare pack.

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Treating atypical Addison's Disease in Our Dog

Treating atypical Addison's Disease in Our Dog

Once our smiling dog Bernie McSquare was diagnosed with atypical Addison's Disease, we sat down with our vet and put together a treatment plan. Within the first few months, we made a few small adjustments, but overall, the treatment plan has remained pretty consistent.

Most days Bernie is a happy boy who loves life. He looks forward to our daily walks and slightly longer weekend adventures. Attending different obedience classes keeps him mentally sharp. Playing with his pals at doggie daycare and his little sister Lizzie keeps him spry.

When he experiences stress, though, our Doodle's atypical Addison's Disease may flare up. We have to be ready.

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Lizzie Continues to Overcome Her Fears

Lizzie Continues to Overcome Her Fears

Lizzie and I took another solo trip over to La Encantada Shopping Center for her to practice some loose-leash walking and being quiet when presented with random people noises.

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Tackling Doodle Enthusiasm for Meeting People

Tackling Doodle Enthusiasm for Meeting People

Two of the most difficult tasks for our Canine Good Citizen test will be Accepting a Friendly Stranger and Sitting Politely for Petting. Bernie's enthusiasm for greeting everyone really has no limits.

Matthew and I have been practicing Accepting a Friendly Stranger and Sitting Politely for Petting almost every day with Bernie, so we knew he was ready for some real world meet and greets.

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