When training our pups and our own canine crew, we use gentle, force-free, humane training and a scientifically sound training protocol as recommended by the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior. We are members of Birmingham Obedience Training Club and participate in the AKC Canine Good Citizenship Program, and follow guidelines established by the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.
As recommended by the latest scientific findings of canine cognition and behavior, we never use force, intimidation, violence, e-collars etc. with any of our dogs to produce results. We use scientifically sound behavior modification protocols and gentle, humane, and force-free training.
We modify the S.T.A.R. Puppy Program for pups who will be participating in conformation and/or canine freestyle events but the basic principles are as follows:
AKC CGC℠ Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge
*I will be responsible for my dog's health needs. These include: routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming.
*I will be responsible for my dog's safety. I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate, not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public. I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification when appropriate (which may include collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID). I will provide adequate supervision when my dog and children are together.
*I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others. I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood. I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard, in a hotel room, etc. I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog's waste in all public areas such as on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc. I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog's waste in wilderness areas, on hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.
*I will be responsible for my dog's quality of life. I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs. I will give my dog attention and playtime. I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.
20 STEPS To Success: The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test
1. Maintains puppy's health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)
2. Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge
3. Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan
4. Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
5. Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy
6. Owner has obtained some form of ID for puppy-collar tag, etc.
7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 weeks of class
8. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class
9. Tolerates collar or body harness of owner's choice
10. Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)
11. Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy
PRE-CANINE GOOD CITIZEN® TEST BEHAVIORS:
12. Allows (in any position) petting by a person other than the owner
13. Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam (ears, feet)
14. Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight line (15 steps)
15. Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other people 5-ft away
16. Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure
17. Down on command-Owner may use a food lure
18. Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called
19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away
20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns
Rally and Canine Freestyle
Our pugs seem to love Rally Obedience. It is "friendlier" for those non-biddable dogs like pugs (which can be quite stubborn!) compared with straight up obedience since you can chat and talk with your dog throughout the event.
Amy Aberg McLelland, owner Pickwick Pugs