Yeah, I know, CGC is not exactly a real obedience title (although apparently it will be after January 1). But Kaline has it now!
Yesterday was way better than expected, and today was way worse. We were supposed to go to a ballgame yesterday and due to various kinds of drama one of the dogs would have had to be left home all day. More drama; and then I ended up staying home with both pups while the parents went to the game. Much nicer. We had lots of walks, met some lovely children who handled Kaline's paws with no problems, had naps, did a little open-close work.
That was actually pretty funny. I had Juno open a cupboard and then asked Kaline to close it. He did it with perfect Juno-style technique: A good nudge with the nose to start, and a careful nudge with the paw to finish up. Of course, once the door was closed Juno immediately tugged it open again! And then when Kaline went to close it, she went on the other side and gleefully nudged it a little to thwart him. Then she let him finish.
The game would have probably been a good experience for Kaline, but I didn't need the stress. And we had a lovely day at home.
Then today there was tons of drama with the car. More specifically, the loan. The credit union people called me back and said they couldn't approve me not because I had bad credit, but because I had no credit score. Which is preposterous, because I have had a credit card under my name and SSN for a good eight years—which is always paid off on time. Of course, that led to a massive meltdown, but luckily I have a fantastic aunt who takes no shit from anyone and really wants me to get a proper car. Within five minutes of getting my SSN she had my credit score, which does in fact exist. So we're working on it.
The upside of the meltdown was Kaline did an excellent job tag-teaming me with Juno. Between walks he sat on me in the car, leaning into my chest and licking my neck and face. (He likes my neck. Who knows.) Juno kept checking in on me visually while we were out with the packs; once when I was really zoning out, Kaline grabbed my fingers in his mouth and "carried" them for a while, munching but not too hard, just hard enough to be like, "HEY, pay attention!" Well, I gotta admit, he did get a little carried away after a while with the munching and then I had to stop him.
Anyway, the meltdown kind of colored most of the day, but in the evening, Dad, Kaline and I headed to Mountain View for the Canine Good Citizen test put on by Deep Peninsula Dog Training Club. Then the nerves and adrenaline just took over! Kaline was thrilled as well—Labs everywhere! At first, he wanted to go play with all of them, but he settled down pretty quick.
Kaline ended up wearing a choke chain with his regular BLD leash for the test (no prong collars allowed). I don't like using choke chains because they can just tighten indefinitely, but you don't have much of a choice with AKC events. I'd never use a chain for actual training. My other option was his combo slip collar and leash, but the fabric it's made of hurts my hands if he pulls at all.
We got registered and then walked around to warm up and get Kaline's yayas out. He was pulling a bit at first, but then when I did sudden turns and rewarded him for spontaneous attention, he started working nicely for me. I was super proud of him when we were waiting in line, and a little surprised at some of the other dogs. Kaline, who is not even five months old yet, curled up by my feet and just chilled out while we were waiting. One of the Labs kept pulling hard to get to Kay (in a mostly friendly way), plus there was a German Shepherd and another Lab they were keeping away from everyone, and trying to strategize about when to run them through the tests. I was kinda like, if your dog can't be around other dogs, how does he qualify as a good citizen?
Anyway. One of the test organizers is a total Dobe person, loved Kaline, used to have what Freddie nicknamed The Doberman Drill Team. We had a good time hanging out with her. We were the fourth team through.
Item 1: Friendly stranger (no petting)—The evaluator shook my hand and introduced herself. Kaline sat politely next to me.
Item 2: Friendly stranger (petting)—Kaline sat, then got up, licked her arm and was politely friendly (no jumping) ... and then he almost did a crotch-burrow. Ehhh, still passed!
Item 3: Grooming—The evaluator brushed Kaline with the brush I'd brought; as usual, he really wanted to eat it. Thankfully, she understood that for what it was, a mouthy pup, not a puppy who was scared of the brush or of her grooming him. He didn't care at all when she flipped back his ears and picked up his front feet.
Item 4: Loose leash walking—We had to go out, turn left, right, and do an about turn. Even though Kaline tugged on me some between test items, he walked wonderfully for this and we had no problems.
Item 5: Walking through a crowd—I walked Kaline through a crowd of about seven people milling around. He was a little interested but not much. All good!
Item 6: Sit, down, stay—Kaline immediately sat and lay down when I asked. You can choose to leave the dog in a sit or down for their stay, but most people leave their dogs in downs because it's more stable. That's what I did, cause Kaline was definitely hyped up. He stayed while I walked 20 feet away and came back.
Item 7: Coming when called—Kaline was all of a sudden interested in the trees ... I walked in, got his attention back, then went 10 feet out and called him. He came like someone had goosed him! Heehee. He was so cute.
Item 8: Reaction to another dog—Our other dog was this adorable Clumber Spaniel (I think). We walked up, I shook hands with his owner, Kaline looked at him and took a big whiff, and then we walked on.
Item 9: Reaction to distraction—Someone dropped an enormous book. Kaline jumped a tiny bit and turned toward it at the noise. When the book didn't move again or make any more noise, he decided it was something he wanted to eat. (Don't worry, I didn't let him.)
Item 10: Supervised separation—I left Kaline with a lovely older gentleman who was actually the judge at Juno's very first obedience fun match. I went out of sight and waited for my three minutes to be up. That was the worst part at Juno's CGC test, because I was so worried she'd whine/yowl excessively and fail on the last item. Kaline did fine, so yay, he passed! How exciting! Everyone thought he was super cute with his insanely adorable face and big floppy silky ears.
When we got home, Juno (and eventually Kaline)'s new Cozy Horse Winter Warrior coat had arrived; I put it on Juno and she looked fabulous. I noticed Kaline licking his hock even more than normal (he enjoys mouthing his legs) and he looked like he had a breakout there of little itchy bumps. Heading to the vet tomorrow, of course.
Sorry I didn't get video ... my real camera is out of batteries and we have no Double-As in the whole house at this point. Once I get batteries again I'll post a couple coat pictures, at least!