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Best Valentine? A well-behaved dog page 2
Devoted To Dogs column

Date published: 2/11/2013


After the animals pass the test, they will receive the CGC award. Many CGC dogs go forth to become certified therapy dogs. Hospitals, nursing homes, children's facilities, cancer treatment centers and libraries are a few of the places where a visit from a nice dog like yours is exciting and welcome.


To pass the CGC test your dog needs to be able to sit, lie down and come on command. Dogs must be able to sit or lie down while you walk away 20 feet. They will remain still while a stranger pets them, brushes them, looks into their ears, and picks up their feet.

The dogs need to remain in place when their owner stops to shake hands with a friendly stranger, and strolls past a friendly dog in public. A CGC dog can walk with his owner on leash without pulling on the leash, and without bolting to the end of the lead when seeing another dog, or confronting an unexpected sight like a person in a wheelchair, or hearing an unexpectedly loud noise.

The dog will relax quietly with a stranger while the owner goes out of sight for three minutes. The owner may pet, talk to, and remind the dog of the commands throughout the CGC evaluation.


On Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m., I will be giving the AKC CGC test as a fundraising benefit for the Fredericksburg Area SPCA. The $20 test fee will be donated to help pets who wait for their forever homes at our SPCA (fburgspca.org). Would your dog like to join us and give the CGC test a try? Whether your dog performs all 10 of the test items or not, he will enjoy a fine car ride and outing among dog lovers who would love to see him pass the test. Training tips and a good time are promised.

Sarah A. Ferrell of Spotsylvania County; author of "Devoted To Dogs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Owner" (available at abroham neal.com or amazon.com) runs Dog Manners and Obedience. Email her in care of
Email: gchoochan@freelancestar.com.

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Don't miss the dog event of the year! The 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show starts tonight. Tune in at 8 p.m. to CNBC, and Tuesday at 8 p.m. to the USA network to cheer for your favorite breed among the 3,200 dogs entered, representing 187 breeds AKC breeds.

usanetwork.com/sports/west minsterdogshow