So, last Friday was test day. Weeks of lessons and training finished, all culminating in a test.
It’s set along guidelines worked out by the Kennel Club and is strict.
No messing about. Pass or fail.
We have been working hard to get George up to speed – he may be a pup but he’s a month older than everyone else in his class.
Fortunately, he is bright as a button and learns quick.
Downside? Strong personality and easily distracted.
The distractions had been something we’d worked on for weeks.
The test involved a number of stages, some admin, some performance and some questions, for me. George knows the answers but has trouble articulating them.
So, the ‘easy’ admin ones, microchip and dog tag.
Yes, we have tag with correct information on it ✅
Yes, George is microchipped ✅
‘Can you scan him please to show the chip works’
Not a problem……except George decides to roll over for his tummy to be tickled. Now, this scan exercise is timed (I don’t think George knew this, I certainly didn’t) and so I ended up grabbing him, flipping him and getting the scan done – just in time.
I’m like ‘George! WTF?’. George rolls over to allow tummy to be tickled again 🙄.
We moved on to the exercises and these have always gone well for George.
Passing by other dog walkers ✅
Stop & talk to other dog walkers ✅
Walk to heel ✅
About turn on the walk ✅
So, next up is the wait & recall which has always been George’s strong point but after a couple of other dogs misfired and ran wild, George is a little in focussed.
So much so that when his recall is called, he is running past me and in a circle around me. This is not a pass.
George runs past me again and I grab his collar and get him ‘re-called’. I can see the assessors whispering – no one smiles.
This is bad news. George’s strong point has gone bad.
We then move on to his weak point.
George has to sit/lie down, unattended and stay, on command, for 1 minute. This is a long time.
Anyway, he has always struggled to stay still for long and today looked like it would no different and a fail but, joy of joys(!), another dog lost it and disrupted the session completely (promptly failing) and we had to reset.
To cut it short, he did it. Just. I managed to dive on him to reward him as he was about to go. So. ✅
After that, we had so admin like checking teeth, eyes, all that stuff, and then some relatively easy questions and done.
He picked up his Kennel Club bronze award (as well as his Good Citizen award) and seemed very pleased with himself.
What’s next for George? We can do the Kennel Club Silver and Gold awards in the future but we are going to give him some puppy time for 6 months or so.
He’ll start running with us in the new year and, hopefully, go on to do some agility if he’s interested so those are options.
But, for now, puppy’s first summer to enjoy ❤️🐶🐾