Being S.M.A.R.T. with Goal 3: Taking Clyde Through Canine Good Citizen™ Program

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

During my year of jubilee, my third goal is to take one of our Basenji dogs, Clyde, through the Canine Good Citizen™ (CGC) program. This is a certification offered under the auspices of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The CGC program takes both owners and dogs through a class where they learn ten basic skills that help dogs become better dogs in and out of the home and owners become better owners.

Clyde, our male Basenji, just turned three a few days ago. The CGC program would be a good program for him master obedience skills. It’ll also be a chance for the two of us to bond as pup and owner. But, is this a S.M.A.R.T. goal for me to do this coming year?


Specific. This goal is very specific. Achieving a CGC certification for Clyde. Along the way, we’ll have difference classes with specific drills to complete. It’s capped off by the CGC test. To be able to take the test, we need to attend each class.

Measurable. The CGC measures success by completion of a test. As mentioned above, each skill is practiced in class and outside of class. Skills are such things as body handling, greeting strange dogs, and basic obedience skills like sit and down. The instructor measures progress during class, and the ultimate measure comes at the test.

Attainable. Can Clyde and I reach this goal? We can if we work together as a team and if I get the right motivation for us to train. The motivation part is easy. He’s very, very food motivated and would clean the floor with a toothbrush for food. I love training with him, and that’s all the motivation I need to do this class.

Relevant. Last year at this time, Clyde wasn’t ready. At that point, he’d just turned two and was still maturing a little physically and a lot emotionally. Now, he’s definitely mellowed some and has blossomed into a wonderful dog. Also, last summer, I was going through some tough personal issues, so it definitely wasn’t the right time for a class. This year, it’s time.

Time-bound. This goal definitely has an endpoint. I’m saving it for later this year, both because I hope the pandemic will be easing by summer and because two of my other goals for this year will be accomplished. Once we enter the class, we have a definitive start date and finish date, and tests are usually shortly after that.

I see my CGC training with Clyde a way to further bond with him. We’ll also have fun as we do it. It’ll also a way to celebrate summer. And hopefully by the end of my jubilee year, Clyde will have his certification.

Do you have a pup in your life? If so, I encourage you to check out the AKC and the many programs it offers for owners and dogs. It’ll increase your bond with them. Promise.

Going through the Canine Good Citizen™ program is a good way to bond with my Basenji dog. #authenticity #encouragement #basenjis #CanineGoodCitizen Click To Tweet

Question: If you have a dog, what fun activity do you do together or have you done together?

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