Just a “Whats New in the Life of Bailey”

I feel like with my 365 posts that I have trouble fitting in just every day information and news if it doesn’t pertain to the subject of the photo.  So I decided to make a short post letting you know of some important stuff happening this week for Bailey (okay that’s a lie… I originally said short, but when all was said and done, the post ended up being over 1,000 words.  But you should still read it.  It will make up for all the other times when I have really short 100 word posts lol).

First off, tonight is night 1 of our 6 week class preparing for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.  Ever since Bailey was a puppy going through his first rounds of obedience training, I knew that I eventually wanted to have him tested for the CGC.

For those of you not familiar with the Canine Good Citizen program, you can read about it here… http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/program.cfm, however in short, it is a program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.  It not only stresses good manners for dogs, but also responsible pet ownership for owners.

There are a couple of reasons why I have always wanted to test Bailey in the CGC.  First off, I think it is just the natural next step in our training together, and it will result in something that we have to show for all the hard work that we have put into Bailey and training him to be a model canine.  Second, I have often considered getting Bailey into the work of being a therapy dog.  Bailey has a wonderful way of bringing joy to everyone that he meets, even here online, and I think he would make an amazing therapy dog.  For many therapy dog programs here in the US, the CGC is a pre-requisite.

So Bailey starts his prep-classes tonight.  There are 10 parts of the test.  If Bailey was to take the test today, I know that he would pass 9 out of 10 with flying colors.  However the one that I am worried about and know that he will have trouble with is the following

“Test 8: Reaction to another dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.”

Bailey simply loves other dogs.  He is very friendly to them and excited to meet them, however he can sometimes be a little too friendly, especially when in a place that he is comfortable.  So it is going to be very hard for him to “show no more than a casual interest” in the other dog.

The training course is 6 weeks long with 5 weeks of training and the last week is the test.  We are taking the class at the same training club that we do Bailey’s agility at.  I had been waiting for them to offer a CGC Prep Class and I was so excited when I got the newsletter in my email that they were opening a class.  That excitement faded when I realized the last week of class (the test) overlapped with the week that we were going to be in Costa Rica next month.  However because we are regulars at the training club, our agility trainer has arranged for the trainer who does the CGC testing to test us another week.  So we will do the 5 weeks of prep and then arrange a special time for Bailey to take the test after we get back from vacation.

Second piece of information!

We are getting a new foster this week.  His name is Jay and he is a 1-year-old Rat Terrier mix.  We have been without a foster for the past few weeks because we were dogsitting Gaston, and my personal limit for sanity is 2 dogs.  We were supposed to take a different dog, but she got adopted before she was scheduled to be transported (We get all our dogs from Tennessee).  So now the plan is for Jay to come to our home.

I will get to meet him tomorrow.  Our rescue is a shelterless rescue and all of our dogs are housed in private foster homes.  However, we have a kennel where all our dogs do their Massachusetts state required 48 hour quarantine after crossing the border.  Our dogs normally are transported up on a Wednesday, do their 48 hour quarantine and see the vet next door, and then go to their adopted or foster homes on Friday.  We also do the quarantine for a few other smaller local rescues that don’t have their own facility, so often we have other dogs that are from other rescues in addition to our own.  I will occasionally go and help our kennel manager on transport days and help with getting the dogs off the transport vehicle, taking them to their vet visits, microchipping them, and helping them get all settled into the kennel.  I’m going to help out this week during transport.  I’m always excited to help out during weeks that my foster dogs are transported up so that I can meet them on Wednesday before I take them home on Friday.  That way, I have a bit of an idea of what to expect (though you don’t truly see their real personality in the kennel because of the stressful transport and environment) and so I’m not a complete stranger to them when I bring them home.

So yea, as of Friday, we will be back to being a 2 dog household.  I’m excited to get new and better photos to show Jay off :)  I might try to snap some of him on Wednesday at the kennel after all the actual work is done.  If not, I’ll definitely have better photos of him when he arrived on Friday.

Last piece of news for this week!

Friday is Bailey’s birthday! Wheeeee! Clearly you can expect a birthday post on Friday.  Don’t worry, Bailey’s birthday won’t be overshadowed by the new foster arriving.  He’ll be turning 3!  (I can’t believe my baby is already 3) The past 2 birthday’s we have had big parties (Yes, I’m a crazy dog owner who has birthday parties for her dog) with all of his friends over.  I think we will be having a party this year as well, but we might hold off until the weather is a bit nicer.  Last year, we had beautiful weather where we could grill outside and the dogs could play in the yard.  I’d like to do that again this year, but I think we might have to wait for the weather.

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8 Comments to “Just a “Whats New in the Life of Bailey””

  1. Happy Birthday Bailey! I want to check and see if Canada has this CGC thing as well. Reese wouldn’t pass the greet another dog one either.

  2. Please give us an update when your class covers the dog reaction test (number 8). Toki isn’t up to the CGC test level yet, but that’s the only part of the test that I’m afraid of! : )

    • I don’t know how strict they actually are during the test, but I feel like its a a hard thing to ask of a dog that has been well socialized and truly enjoys other dogs. I know I’ll never get Bailey to the point that he shows no reaction to another dog, but hopefully we can get his excited-ness toned down to be acceptable for the test. I’ll let you know how they go about preparing for that part of the test

  3. Wow, that’s a lot of exciting news. First of all, good luck with the Good Citizen tests, I’m sure Bailey will pass with flying colours and become a great therapy dog if you choose to go down that route. Fingers crossed!
    Secondly, I think it’s wonderful of you to foster other dogs and Jay is lucky to be able to come and live with you and Bailey for a while. I hope that goes ok, too.
    Lastly, I’m excited about Bailey’s birthday. I’m sure you’ll make it a very special day for him and I can’t wait to see the birthday photos. Bailey and George are practically the same age, with a few months difference (George will be 3 in August). What a nice coincidence :)

    • Thanks :) I’m sure Jay will fit in just fine. We have been pretty lucky with all our fosters in the past, and I’m sure Jay will be no exception. He looks and sounds like a sweetheart. and That is a coincidence that Bailey and George are so close in age :)

  4. I can’t wait to hear reports from Bailey’s class. The therapy dog program seems like such a fantastic thing — for people and dogs. In our area, I have heard that therapy dogs work with children who have reading problems. The dog will listen to the child read out loud and gives the child confidence because they won’t be constantly corrected. I’m sure there is more to it than that, but I just think it’s wonderful when dogs and people benefit from such incredible relationships. Good for you to be such a caring volunteer for fostering and parenting! :)

    • The reading program for kids is definitely a program that I would love to get into. I remember first hearing about it on an episode of Dogs 101 on Animal Planet and whatever dog they were featuring on that episode, they had someone who did that type of therapy work with their dog. Being a teacher, as soon as I saw it, I was like I want to do that with Bailey!

      I also wouldn’t mind just going to hospitals or nursing homes with him. When I was in high school I volunteered at the Assisted Living place that my Aunt worked at. Every now and then I would bring my old dog Bear and the residents there absolutely loved him and it brought them so much joy in their day. I would love to do that with Bailey. I’ve considered checking with my aunt to see if they have made their policies stricter since the times when I used to take Bear, so that I could take Bailey there when visiting in New Jersey. Back then, Bear had no certifications or anything but it wasn’t a big deal. I don’t know if the times have changed there or not.

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