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Is Your Dog a “Good Neighbor”?

Is Your Dog a “Good Neighbor”?

As a person who has two dogs and takes them anywhere I can, I am always very aware of how they are received in public and with our neighbors. We love to just hang out on our porch with our pups leash free and we love to hang out in the breweries with our dogs. But how good are our dogs? Are they really good neighbors?

We went to find out….

The Canadian Kennel Club promotes the Canine Good Neighbor Program. This program is a 12 step challenge that if passed will qualify your dog as a Good Neighbor and “can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.”

I found this program when I was investigating what was going to be at the Pet Expo when we went (click here to check out our Pet Expo blog). I was very excited to see how Maze and Nyx would do for this program so we eagerly signed them up.

The 12 steps that must be competed are as follows:

  1. Accepting A Friendly Stranger
  2. Politely Accepts Petting
  3. Appearance and Grooming
  4. Out For A Walk
  5. Walking Through A Crowd
  6. Sit/Down On Command and Stay In Place
  7. Come When Called
  8. Praise/Interaction
  9. Reaction To A Passing Dog
  10. Reaction To Distractions
  11. Supervised Isolation
  12. Walking Through A Door/Gate

We arrived and signed up for the course. Karen and Nala had joined us for the day and Nala was signed up as well! Nala went first and Maze & Nyx went second. Not a lot of time with spent with Maze as she is the most docile, well behaved dog out there.

Nyx & Nala was over stimulated before we even started as they had not seen each other in a couple of days and the convention centre was full of all sorts of dogs, cats and yes, lizards and that was exciting in itself.

The instructor was amazing. She walked us through each of the steps testing our ability to control the dog and how they managed when spoken to by another person or encountered another dog.

Good Neighbour Test

We walked around the Pet Expo with the Evaluator and she guided us on how to help Nyx be a better neighbor. We even had her sit and stay while I walked away (there was so much going on around her!) and she stayed! I was so proud of her. She also sat very nicely with the Evaluator while I went to the “bathroom”. The Evaluator explained that it was important that I establish a trust with the dog and they knew I would always come back. I had done this so Nyx calmly sat with the stranger until I came back.

The one thing that Nyx really has to work on is her behavior when she gets excited. If people speak to her directly, her excitement leads to her jumping up on the person. We still don’t have this down 100%, but we are still working on it!

At the end of your 12 step “test”, all dogs passed! We have now received our letter of congratulations and our Certificates in the mail! Proud Doggy Momma Moment!

All in all this was a fantastic program that they host and recommend that if you have an opportunity to do it, go for it! Having a dog that can be a good neighbour really makes your adventures with your dog that much more enjoyable.

Suzanne Diamond
Suzanne Diamond

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