Back to school doesn’t just have to be for the kids, it can be for dogs as well! I’ll admit, we slacked a little with training over the summer. With vacations, family visiting, and extra trips, I just didn’t dedicate as much time to training as I should. Now that life is settling back down and we’re getting into a routine, it’s time to get back into it.
As many of you know, Atka is training to be a therapy dog. I’d love for him to meet with military individuals with PTSD and kiddos with autism as these are two things I feel passionate about. Atka has such a wonderful, loving personality and I know he will bring light and happiness to so many individuals.
Right after Atka turned 1, he took and passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. I knew he could do it; I was mostly worried about myself! I get easily stressed and worked up about these things. Our next step is for him to take the advanced CGC, or community canine, test. While I know he could pass the test, I’m a little apprehensive due to him still having a few puppy habits that we are working on (leaning on a grown man might be okay, but leaning on a kid is not!).
I work a lot with Atka on his self-control and I plan to ramp that up this fall. I’ve talked about how giant breeds mature much more slowly than other dogs, so even though he is 2 years old, he is not mentally 2. Time and maturity will do wonders, but for now I have to work with what I’ve got!
I hope that in the next few months Atka will have passed his advanced CGC and be on his way to therapy testing (I know you don’t have to have these titles before therapy, but I wanted the extra practice taking tests). He has almost all of the skills down for the therapy test, so I’m excited for us to start visiting people in the near future. It’s going to be so rewarding and who doesn’t want to snuggle a big, white ball of fluff? 😉
My goal for Mauja is much different than Atka. When we moved, she suddenly became nervous in new buildings; although she does great outside. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly happened, but ultimately that doesn’t matter. We have made definite improvements over the past two years, but we still have a long way to go. I need to set aside more time to work with her.
So there you have it – my training goals with the start of the school year. What are your training goals with your dog?