Atka was a bit tired at this point and just wanted his bully stick! Better pictures to come :)
Atka was a bit tired at this point and just wanted his bully stick! Better pictures to come 🙂

Last week I wrote about some of my training goals for Mauja and Atka over the next year. My goal was for Atka to pass his Advanced Canine Good Citizen (or Community Canine) test and then achieve his therapy certification. I had been delaying the Community Canine test because I didn’t feel we were ready, but with the push of our awesome trainer and a bit of confidence we decided to give it a try.

I figured, if we fail, so be it. We can always try again.

Our test was on Saturday and I had been feeling pretty terrible all week so I had debated postponing the test. I decided to try and take a nice, long nap to get myself going and once again figured, if we fail, it doesn’t matter.

The Community Canine test took place in Petco and it was certainly full of craziness. There was a vaccination clinic, an adoption event with tons of kitties, and training classes were being offered for 50% off that day only. Add on that it was a Saturday afternoon and you have one crazy store!

I knew Atka could perform well, but I was worried that my nervousness would negatively impact his behavior. I’m so glad he’s the resilient pup that he is 🙂

If you’re not familiar with the Advanced CGC (CGCA) certification, it is the next step after earning your Canine Good Citizen title, which Atka earned just after turning 1. The CGCA test is meant to take place in a real-world setting with plenty of natural distractions. There are 10 test items, which you can read about here.


I was pretty confident in the majority of the items, but there was one in particular that worried me. Walking with a loose leash through a crowd can be difficult for any dog, not to mention a 1 year old giant breed! People always want to meet Atka so teaching him not to approach every person has been a challenge. While he doesn’t pull toward people (usually), he does sometimes lose focus.

Let me tell you – he was flawless.

I was so proud and am STILL beaming about his success. Atka now has his AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, Canine Good Citizen, and Advanced Canine Good Citizen titles. A few more months of maturity and I know we’ll nail that therapy certification.

I can hardly wait.

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