When we adopted Knox, I had so many plans for him. He’d be the best dog ever: friendly, happy, well-behaved, and know all the tricks.
While for the most part, Knox is whip-smart and learns behaviours quickly, his reactivity to some dogs and excitement to all dogs quickly made these plans for him seem more and more difficult to complete. For anyone who has a reactive dog will know how daunting it seems to have to train a dog that slips into “crazy brain” really easily.
I had previously read about the Good Canine Citizen (also known as the Canine Good Neighbour) program from the Responsible Dog Owners of Canada. It’s a 10 step test that assesses a dog’s behaviour in every day situations to show that they are reliable family and community members. It’s rewarded to dogs that are trained and conditioned to act mannerly in the home, in public, and with other dogs. Best yet, it’s not limited to pedigree/pure-bred dogs.