Canine Good Citizen Training

My experience in dog training started when I rescued a German Shepherd Husky mix from the Humane Society. Brandy was about 8 months old, I found out he had aggression problems. He was fine with people over 50 years old but would lunge & try to attack younger people. I built up Brandy’s confidence through obedience & I gained his trust by being his leader. I exposed him to many different seigniors: walking in public from a minimum number of people & gradually exposing him to more people, I had him work with obstacles from boulders to suspension bridges. Once I knew he could perform the tasks that I gave him then I asked different age groups of children to help. I gave the children specific instructions to ask if they may pet the dog & how to put their hand out & where to scratch the dog. This process took a year, each day working with him and encouragement. Brandy’s debut was at Farm Days where the town closed off the main street of the city. There were booths, many children, other dogs, strollers. There was a toddler that ran to Brandy, I had him on a sit stay, I calmly talked to him to stay & that he was doing good. The toddler gave a big hug to Brandy than was caught by her parents. Brandy just sat there & I praised him a lot. Dog training isn’t an overnight learning, it’s daily & repetition. Some dogs catch on to new tasks quickly & others it takes a while but as you the owner and leader you have to put the time into training for what you want the dog to learn. Below is a sample curriculum for just one of the training programs that we offer, The American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Training. 

Sincerely, Kim Plache American Kennel Club Certified Trainer & Evaluator


Canine Good Citizen Training

1. How much does your dog know, Sit/Stay/Down/Wait/Leave it/Get it. Practice Sit by having your dog on the left side of you. Tell your dog to sit, if he/she doesn’t do it right away tug up on the collar, if that doesn’t work place your hand around his hip bone & gently press down. Practice Down when dog is on the sit position, bring your hand down to the ground in front of him with a treat, if he/she doesn’t go down immediately, guide his front feet to stretch in front of him. If he brings up his hind end use two hands 1) gently push his hind down 2) gently bring his front feet away from him. Tell dog down & stay. Practice Stay or Wait. This can mean the same thing or you can use the two words independently, for instance, when you want the dog to stay when you are heeling and use the word wait when you have him on a sit & you throw a ball away from him but you don’t want to have him get it right away then tell the dog to Wait. Be consistent with your words when training so it won’t confuse the dog. Start out with the sit or down with the dog besides you. Once the dog & you feel comfortable on staying in the position you put him in, use your right foot & take a step in front of the dog & tell him to stay, than return to heeling position. Once dog is “solid on sit or down position” you can walk around dog, then work your way from the dog eventually to the end of the leash. 10-20 ft goal. Release Word, Your dog is “working with you on commands but he/she needs to know when he/she can just be a dog & relax. Common words are OK, alright, at-a-boy or whatever your special word is. Use that word for only your release command.

2. Walking on a leash with a buckle collar. Have your dog on your left side, your treat in your left hand and the leash with the right hand. If you need to show the treat to the dog then let him sniff it but don’t give until he does something right. Start walking with your left foot/leg praise dog, talk to him in a happy voice or excited voice so he will want to come with you. If the dog pulls immediately turn 180 degrees & tell him to heel. This will throw the dog off balance & he has corrected himself & he’ll learn to be watching you for guidance.

3. Come when Called. Start out having your dog on a sit stay, you walk to the end of the leash, turn toward the dog, speak your dog’s name tell him to “come” & gently tug on leash toward you. Have him sit in front of you. If the instructor says “Finish” or Return to normal/heeling then you either return yourself to the heel position or take a step backwards so the dog will come toward you and then guide him back to the heel position. Extra bonus, not part of test but good to learn. No charging the front door. Practice dog healing with you, stop & he/she should stop beside you. Tell dog to stay take your right foot, face dog than open door. Dog usually moves at this time. Return to dog & tell him to stay. Work your way closer to the door so you can cross the threshold but the dog will still stay in the room. Return to dog (back to heel position) then have your dog heel with you through the door. Practice, having him sit & you gently tug on his collar but he should still stay until you release him. This gives him good practice when you have guest come over. You put him in his “place” or bed & he stays until you release him.

4. Exposure. introduce your dog to all situations: people riding bicycles, skateboards, wood bridges, other dogs on your walk, etc. When your dog is unsure of himself, he will be looking for guidance from you. When you come upon a new situation, if the dog backs away or wants to run away bring your dog back to a neutral area start working basic obedience: sit, stay and heel. Gradually, work the dog closer to his “fear” area, praise him. Keep taking him away from the situation & bringing him closer each time. Soon he will go where you go without hesitation.

5. Ask a Stranger to pet your dog while he/she is sitting.

6. Introduce yourself. You are on a walk you meet a friend on your walk, when you say hi to that person have your dog sit beside you, shake hands with the person and start a conversation. The dog should politely stay sitting during the talk. You can also practice at a food court where dogs are allowed or at a park bench. Have your dog lay down while you are eating and if a friend is with you the dog should stay put while you are eating and other people are walking, running or biking beside you.

7. Walk through a crowd of people. Continue heeling your dog while you are walking around a group of people.

8. Supervised separation. Have a friend hold your dog while you run a quick errand, go to the bathroom, etc. In this exercise your dog should stand, sit or stay with your friend quietly while you are out of sight.

9. Medical equipment. Expose your dog to medical equipment (wheelchairs, crutches, leg braces etc). Heel your dog around the medical equipment, start from a distance and get closer to the object. (See step 4).

10. Appearance & grooming. Keep your dog bathed & brushed, teeth clean. Get started by setting up an in-home consultation. Contact us today to make an appointment.



Canine Good Citizen Training
Dog Training Packages
Bronze Dog Training Package: We’ll teach you and your dog how to walk on a leash, sit, stay, no jumping and proper etiquette.
  • We’ll teach you how to train your dog,

  • Save you money in the long run

  • Training includes the basics & much more.

  • You are in control of training your own dog.

               $ 350 package price for 6 weeks, 1 hour weekly sessions

  • Basic training $ 80/hour

From the office a mileage surcharge will be added to your bill:
  • Over 5 miles will be charged $1.00 per mile