Sunday, November 28, 2010

Therapy dog testing - done!

Yay - Barclay passed his Therapy Dog International evaluation, and that included the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification as well! What a good boy!

Testing was done at our friend Alison's dog training school, Everyday Dog in Vancouver. It's not a big facility, and I think we had 12 dogs in the first group - ranging from a little Shih Tzu type dog to a Great Dane that was literally as big as a small horse! We all crowded over to one side of the room so there was room to do the testing on the other side.

Testing involved things like walking on a leash, meeting a stranger for greeting, letting a stranger pet them and brush them, handle ears and feet. Then there were a few other tests like walking through a crowd which included people in walkers and wheelchairs stopping to pet him, and walking back and forth while people ran by, squeaking balls and banging metal dishes together. Even if he hadn't passed it would have been a great experience for him, but he did fine, especially for being in a room full of strange dogs and commotions! I think the surroundings were the real test!

When we finish sending in the paperwork Barclay will be certified to go visit places like hospitals and retirement homes or do the in-school reading programs where kids read to dogs. We have friends in the dog club who do this with their Great Pyrenees and they say it's very rewarding to see how much the dogs do for people and how much they enjoy their company.

The Canine Good Citizen certification isn't as big a deal, but I trained Alki for it when she was a pup, and we moved right before she was supposed to take the test - so we never got back around to doing that, though I always wanted to and I knew she could have passed easily. So I feel good that Barclay has his CGC now, because he is a very good boy, and I think the CGC is a great program.



Anonymous said...

Good boy, Barclay!!!!!!

heather said...

CONGRATULATIONS =) I look forward to reading many stories about the new adventures you are sure to have.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hooray! How exciting and a new chapter together now, too!
Love that photo of him. Wow!