A Disability Is No Handicap To Training Your Dog!

Sophia McGoldrick, a Bichon Frise from Abacoa, Jupiter, Florida, is officially a “Canine Good Citizen” ® (CGC) and has her sights set on becoming a Registered Therapy Dog.

Jupiter, Florida, March 7, 2010 – Sophia and her owner Lucille McGoldrick, passed the American Kennel Club’s CGC test with flying colors on March 1, 2010, according to Rachel Williams, CGC Evaluator and owner of The DogSmith Palm Beach County. What is even more remarkable about Sophia’s achievement however is that Lucille is legally blind!  “This demonstrates the huge advantage in using The DogSmith’s positive ARRF® approach to dog training rather than harsher training methods,” says Williams.  “Because one of The DogSmith’s key values is ‘to do no harm’ we don’t bark at, growl at or “roll” dogs so anyone can master our techniques and safely apply them.  We don’t whisper, we translate!”

The CGC is a two-part certification program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs and is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Dogs that pass the 10-step CGC test are certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC).  According to Williams, who is a Certified DogSmith Dog Trainer, “Sophia is less than two years old and successfully mastered each of the required skills after only a few hours of our DogSmith CGC training curriculum. We give the CGC evaluation in a public place to challenge the dog and there are 10 tests which must be passed including, 1) accepting a friendly stranger, 2) sitting politely for petting by a friendly stranger, 3) allowing handling by vets, groomers or friends, 4) walking on a loose lead,  5) walking through a crowd politely and under control in public places (no jumping allowed here), 6) ‘Sit’ and ‘down’ on command and ‘staying’ in place, 7) coming when called, 8) reacting politely to another dog, 9) reacting to distractions with confidence, and 10) supervised separation from their owner to demonstrate that the dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, while maintaining their training and good manners.”

Before enrolling in the DogSmith CGC curriculum and taking the test, owners must sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge which is a key part of the CGC concept.  By signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

Williams started working with Lucille and Sophia when some issues developed after they moved to a new home.  “I noticed Sophia’s potential to become a CGC when I first began training Sophia to help her adjust to her new surroundings after they moved to a new house.  She is very sweet natured and loves people,” says Williams.  Sophia’s next goal is to become a Registered Therapy Dog so she and Lucille can go to hospitals and nursing homes and bring a little bit of joy into the lives of others.

If you would like more information on these and other programs visit The American Kennel Club’s CGC website (www.akc.org/events/cgc/).  To learn more about Sophia visit the official Bichon Frise website at www.bichon.org/ or www.bischonrescue.org.  For more information on Registered Therapy Dogs visit www.tdi-dog.org.  To explore ARRF® training methods and pet care visit The DogSmith at www.DogSmith.com.

About The DogSmith

The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about DogSmith Dog Trainers or to become one visit www.DogSmith.com or call 1-888-364-7648