Dr. Ps Dog Training

Goals for Beginning Obedience Class
(Note most are modified from the American
Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test)

by Mark Plonsky, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2015

1. Allow grooming by the hander.
The goal here is for the dog to tolerate an examination by the handler as well as grooming. The hander should be able to do a full body inspection of the dog (including teeth, ears, and toes), as well as combing and brushing.

2. Sits/stand politely for petting/examination by a stranger.
The goal here is for the dog to allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is with its handler. The stranger should gently pet the dog and then circle the dog and handler. The dog should not show shyness, aggression, or resentment.

3. Accept a friendly stranger and react calmly to another dog.
The goal here is for the dog to allow a friendly stranger (& dog) to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural everyday situation. The stranger and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog should not show shyness and should remain reasonably calm and controlled.

4. Sit and down on command and stay in place.
The goal here is for the dog to respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and to remain in the place commanded by the handler for a few moments. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command.

5. Walk on a loose leash.
The goal here is for the handler to walk with the dog and be in control of the dog when doing so. It includes left, right, and U turns, as well as halts and changes of pace.

6. Walk through a crowd.
The goal here is for the dog to move about politely in pedestrian traffic and be under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (& dogs). The dog should remain under control.

7. React calmly to unusual distractions (moving toys, strollers, umbrellas).
The goal here is for the dog to be confident when faced with common distraction situations. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and may appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.

8. Maintain manners when left alone.
The goal here is for the dog to be left alone or with a friendly stranger for a few moments. The dog will be tied on a 6-foot leash (or held by a friendly stranger) for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, howl, pace unnecessarily or show anything other than mild agitation or nervousness.

9. Come when called.
The goal here is for the dog to come to the handler when called. The handler may use more than one command, but the dog should come to the handler quickly.

10. Teach a trick.
The goal here is to teach the dog to do something fun on cue.

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