The Canine Good Citizen: Every Dog Can Be One

Jack Volhard, Author, Wendy Volhard, Author, Joachim Volhard, Author
Jack Volhard, Author, Wendy Volhard, Author, Joachim Volhard, Author Howell Books $16.95 (158p) ISBN 978-0-87605-420-8
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
The Canine Good Citizen test, introduced by the American Kennel Club in recent years, hardly requires a special course of training-designed to certify that a dog has basic obedience skills, the CGC consists of 10 simple exercises for the dog, from sitting ``politely'' for petting to walking on a loose leash to a down-stay with the owner 20 feet away. But passing the CGC is as good a goal as any in dog training, and the Volhards (he is coauthor, with Bartlett, of What All Good Dogs Should Know; she has made award-winning training films) do a wonderful job of arming the reader with skills, techniques and philosophies. Their discussions are succinct and sober: a remarkably cogent section about teaching specific postures (sit, heel, etc.) and practices is preceded by a concise discussion of managing stress while training; a ``Pack Leader's Bill of Rights'' simplifies the often-clouded concept of pack theory; a schedule suggests the expected rate of progress. However, a ``personality profile'' aiming to help tell the reader which ``drive'' (prey, pack or defense) most motivates a given dog has pop appeal, but offers little beyond the obvious; you don't need to be Konrad Lorenz to know what motivates your own dog. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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