We left the country for a bit and Olive got to stay with her Aunt Fiona and Uncle Gus. Of course her main objective is to annoy Fiona as much as possible and steal Gus's toys. We were all the way home before we realized she had snuck one of Gus's nylabones into her own crate. Luckily my mom was 100% on board with Olive's training and kept her behavior in check. If anything she was behaving even BETTER when we got home!
We decided for Olive's birthday to take the plunge and sign her up for some CGC prep classes. The CGC test (Canine Good Citizens) is the first step in therapy certification. We really couldn't have made a better decision in regards to classes and the trainer we picked. Our trainer, JanNean, comes to our home and works with Olive privately and soon she will be offering group CGC training at a local park that we will be attending. I'm amazed at how well she works with Olive!! At her evaluation Olive was a champ - she was totally nuts, clowning around until JanNean pulled out the treats and then she was all business. She passed her evaluation with flying colors, including learning and responding consistently to a new command with only one repetition! She's a smart girl - too smart.
JanNean came for her first class this past week and we learned how to do a proper heel as well as some work on sit/stay with distractions. Remember how I have been complaining because I couldn't get Olive to stop pulling on the leash? After ONE class with JanNean (where we didn't even get to go outside on the leash as it was late in the evening) Olive is walking in a true heel and even sitting and looking at me when we stop. She is still breaking the heel when she sees another dog and sometimes when she sees children, but she is certainly getting better. If the children don't seem interested in her she is able to walk by relatively calmly (though her little tail nubbin wags away) but when they scream her name and run up to her she has a way of trying to run to them as well - and god FORBID a child try to run away from Olive. The sheep must be kept in a herd! She absolutely can't handle kids scattering.
We are looking forward to our next class where we will go outside and work directly with her on a lead with JanNean.
Olive is making amazing progress and we are aiming to do her CGC test in November. This is step one of two to our goal of therapy certification. We will be attending a CGC at the end of the month with Olive to practice all of her cues in the testing environment (read lots of people and dogs milling around) but we won't sign her up for the test as it may be a bit ambitious to test in the same month we began classes.
Olive celebrating her birthday (she got more presents than just her CGC testing of course!)
Olive with Fiona (left) and Gus (right)
Olive and Gus. Fiona has little patience for Olive's antics but her Uncle Gus is always down to play.