Canine Good Citizenship


This book will teach you everything you need to know to get your dog ready to pass the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Test.  While I was reading it, I came across a few interesting ideas that I wanted to share.

  • Use pleasant experiences, such as inducing your dog to sit with a treat.
  • The most important benefit of training your dog is safety.
  • Dogs are social animals, and one of the cruelest forms of punishment is to deprive them of the opportunity to interact with family members.
  •  Well-behaved dogs control their impulses around others and listen to their owners, making the dogs a pleasure to be around.

Dog Park Disaster

Gwen and I decided to take Joey, Ben, Buddy, and Blue to the dog park.

All of our dogs are well trained.  Joey earned the Canine Good Citizen Certification from the American Kennel Club.  Blue is in advanced classes.  Ben and Buddy are at the intermediate level.

However, sometimes they act like a pack of wild crazy dogs that have never had a day of training in their lives.  Today was one of those days.

  • They were involved in several disagreements with the other dogs.
  • Joey got into a fight.
  • Three of the boys managed to escape the park and create a ruckus by running around and barking at a group of people with their dogs.

Due to their behavior, we had to leave the park early.  The boys still managed to have a great time and are rather pleased with themselves.

Oh well, they are cute and we still love them.

Puppy Graduation Week

This week, two of our dogs had final exams.


Norton aced his Beginner Phase 2 test.  He did everything perfectly and is now ready for the intermediate level class.  Way to go Mom and Norton.


Little Boy Blue also did a great job and passed the advanced level exam.  The next step for Blue is the Canine Good Citizen Certification from the American Kennel Club.  We have a couple of areas that need a little more work and then he will be ready for the test.

As of today, Joey is the only one that has completed the Canine Good Citizen Certification and is the highest rated in obedience training.  However, his little brother Blue is not far behind and soon we will have two certifiably good dogs.

Joey – Certifiably Good

As I said in an earlier post, it took four attempts for Joey to finally complete his beginner dog training class.  Once we mastered the beginning level, Joey and I went on and completed the intermediate and the advanced classes.

After two years of training and working with Joey, he was able to pass the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Certification exam.  I was so excited about Joey receiving the Canine Good Citizen Certification, I told everyone about it.  I said Joey is now “certifiably good.”

I took Joey to a nursing home in Decatur and he was able to make several of the residents happy.  He would snuggle against them and loved to be hugged.  He was always polite and gentile with the residents.

I am so impressed by how Joey went form a buck wild crazy dog to a Canine Good Citizen in just a matter of two years.  I am glad I never gave up on Joey.

Joey is no longer able to do some of the things he used to enjoy.  He used to run for hours, but now he can only run for a few minutes and then he sleeps for hours.

It doesn’t matter that Joey is getting older and has some health problems.  He will always have a home with me.

Joey – You are an awesome dog and I will always love you.



Happy Adoption Anniversary Joey

It has been five years since I took leave from work and drove to Shelbyville, Tennessee.  I walked into the animal control office and said I wanted to adopt a Labrador/Great Pyrenees dog they had listed on the Petfinder website.

The dog was large and appeared to be a bit wild.  However, he had a goofy grin and a wonderful personality.  It was that goofy grin that sold me.  I loaded the dog into my SUV and drove home.

Once we arrived home, I sat and watched as the dog explored his new house.  He was jumping so much that I decided to name him Joey (like a baby kangaroo).


That first year with Joey was a nightmare.  He annulated my couch and loveseat, ripped up the carpet in the living room, pulled the currents off the wall, bite the current rod in two, destroyed pillows, shoes, various items of clothing, bedspreads, a printer, calculator, phones, and a host of other items.  Joey literally caused thousands of dollars in damages during that first year.

I quickly realized I had bitten off more than I can chew with this dog, so I signed him up for some dog training classes.  Joey attended a few sessions, but we were expelled.  A few months later we were expelled from another training center.

The receptionist at my vet’s office recommended, Steve Russell, a local dog trainer.  I called his office and asked if he would be willing to train a juvenile delinquent dog.  Steve laughed and agreed to admit Joey at his training school.

Joey and I attended classes twice a week for the next few years.  We went to private training classes and group training classes.  Joey took the beginner class three times, before we were finally ready to move up into the intermediate class.

During this time several people recommended I find a new home for Joey.  They truly believed he was to wild and not redeemable.  I honestly considered that option, but decided not to give up on my dog.  After all, he did have a great personality and a goofy grin.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Joey started to excel in his training classes.  He even completed an advanced level class and received his Canine Good Citizen Certification from the American Kennel Club.

Joey’s transformation from buck wild dog to canine good citizen was so dramatic that a newspaper article was written about him in the Shelbyville Times.

I am so glad I refused to give up on Joey.  He is an awesome dog.

Joey pooped out Happy Adoption Anniversary Joey!

You really are an amazing dog.