Liezel has been making incredible progress.  On June 11, our trainers were offering an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and UKC Socialized Pet Obedience Test (SPOT) testing day.

I took Liezel for the CGC test.  It was taking place at Tractor Supply (a kind of multi-purpose store with things from clothing to dog food, and feeding troughs to live chicks) about 30 minutes from our house.

Liezel is much more comfortable in the car crate these days so the ride there was uneventful – aside from Michigan road construction which caused our travel time to double.  When we arrived, there was a food truck, pony rides, animal petting area, and a whole lot of people and kids.  Liezel was immediately vigilant and on edge.

I took her over to the grassy area, away from all of the action, and let her go potty.  We walked into the store by alternating “heel” and “let Liezel be Liezel” walking.  We walked all through the store passing by people and other dogs.  She continued to look to me for guidance and was rewarded every time.

While I had no intention of taking the SPOT test, they were doing that one first so I figured “why not?”  I did not have confidence that we would pass either test because they both require some amount of grooming and Liezel does not like to be touched.  But the outing was going to be good exposure and the tests were going to be a little like obedience class.

The SPOT test consists of the following:

  • Walking on loose leash through a designated pattern
  • Leave it
  • Doorway manners (staying at my side)
  • Loading and unloading in a crate
  • Moving dog distraction
  • Manners with distraction (stranger approaches while I’m sitting in a chair)
  • Greeting and approaching a stranger
  • Sit and down on command
  • Grooming exam: hold one foot and inspect the pads and toes, lift lip to inspect teeth, and inspect one ear
  • Stay in place and come on command

All of the steps are easy for Liezel except the grooming…but she did it!  And she passed!!  Yay, Liezel!!

The CGC test followed and while the steps are very similar to SPOT there are some variations.  The test was also given by a different trainer.  Liezel was awesome at all of the steps except grooming.  It required her to be brushed and she was having no part of it!  We tried the test twice but she would not allow that brush to touch her.  We did not pass…

…but the day was a great success!  We were in the store for 3-4 hours, she approached many strangers and accepted treats from some, she took two tests and only had one minor reaction (barking only) to another dog in the store.  I was (and am) so, so proud of Liezel!

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