Another CGCA

Kelinn earned his Community Canine/Canine Good Citizen Advanced title last week!


He becomes the third pup in the house with their CGCA after Jeni and Bauer earned theirs earlier this year. I wrote a post at the time with a message I think bears repeating so I am going to be lazy today and do a repeat post to celebrate Kelinn’s new title.

The American Kennel Club recently developed a new advanced level titleCommunity Canine. This title is an “advanced” version of the Canine Good Citizen test which is a pretty standard/basic test of if your dog can do some basic obedience and work around distractions (and not bite anybody – that’s part of the whole “good citizen” thing…). For some dogs, like Bauer, this test is a pretty easy precursor to other obedience titles or work like therapy dogs or service dogs. For other dogs, like Jeni, the test can seem totally unattainable and is a big achievement. Passing the test doesn’t necessarily make your dog a “good” dog and not passing it doesn’t mean your dog is “bad” but it’s a nice title to have and generally demonstrates that a dog has a stable temperament.

Community Canine takes the test a few steps further, adding more distractions and really testing if the dog can function in a busy, “normal” environment. While the CGC test is generally taken in a ring at a class facility with manufactured distractions, the Community Canine test is often held in public environments with “real” distractions to see how the dog can handle it. Again – not a test of good or bad, but a fun title to get.

At our nosework class/All Star Dogs Club a couple of weeks ago, everyone was chatting and I was sitting on the couch with Bauer and Jeni when I asked our trainer if he was holding CGCA tests at any point. He asked me if Bauer was ready, which of course he was (or, he better be, for all he goes out in public!), and told me we could do it that night. Thanks to the other students and their dogs for making distractions for me… we simulated real life experiences like walking past another dog down a tight hallway and walking through a doorway while holding (and not spilling) a full cup of water. Bauer passed easily… yes, THIS goofball:

Bauer crazy

After going through the steps with Bauer, I realized Jeni would be capable of taking the test as well! I should hope so, as she’s been going to busy agility trials and we have a rally trial scheduled for about a month from now. So at our next session, after running Jeni through some rally practice (she rocked it!) and working on some conformation handling (mostly having Jeni stand still and tolerating someone touching her), we decided to run Jeni through the test. And my beautiful and patient girl passed as well! She really is a special dog for always working so hard for me when most of the time I’m sure she wants to make this face:

Jeni crazy

A perfect handler I am not, but learning together is part of the journey! Anyway, now Jeni and Bauer both get to add CGCA after their names and can move onto other fun things and new titles down the road.

So I’ll leave you with this… see those goofballs in the pictures? They are “community canines” but they are also DOGS. They bark, and poop, and jump, and bite, and bark more, and pull on the leash sometimes, and play keep away, and knock stuff over, and chew things, and steal food… I could go on. A very smart coworker of mine told me if she could only get people to understand that dogs are dogs, and teach people they can’t expect robots, we would have way less of a homeless animal problem. So, from someone who trains their dogs daily and has several titles on them, look at what my “community canine” did just last night, and think about the expectations you have for your own dogs…


(Yes, Jeni does have a sense of humor…)

Fit Dog Friday: A Run in the Park

While the Icies do occasionally go on walks; they prefer, I prefer and it’s better for all of us for them to go running off-leash in a local park when we can manage it! They can run much faster than I can and get all their “zoomies” out and they get to control the pace. They get much more exercise and much more “be a dog” time which is good for them mentally and physically.

New Icie house guest Draco joined us on our park romp yesterday and had a great time! Young puppies are generally eager to follow everyone else when they’re off leash so it’s a great age to start reinforcing recall.

Everyone enjoyed their running time and promptly passed out for a short nap (naps are always short when you are an Icie) as soon as we got home.



Today we are joining the Fit Dog Friday blog hop hosted by SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love and My GBGV Life.

An Adorable Visitor

There is a very cute little visitor at our house… no surprise, it’s another Icelandic Sheepdog puppy. And no, he is NOT staying. But he is pretty fun to have while he’s here!


This is, tentatively, Draco, or Vallhalla’s Diamond in the Ruff. Kelinn’s breeder picked him up on Sunday (he is the son of one of her boy dogs) and now she is going on a cruise, so of course it’s better for him to spend some time getting extra socialization with me instead of staying in a kennel while she’s gone. And I’m not complaining.


The other dogs like him well enough, though I really enjoy Jeni’s dramatic eye rolling in that photo of the three Icies together. He’s a really fun puppy – he takes a minute to get adjusted to new things but once he’s decided it’s okay, he’s got a very spunky personality. He slept through the night last night which was well appreciated by the humans in the house and he’s going to be a fun little house guest for sure!


Today I’m participating in the “Thursday Barks and Bytes” blog hop… Check out the hosts at 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.



So it was only a matter of time before each of the dogs had their own portrait drawn of them. And because I enjoy the talents of many different artists, they all were done by different people. Bauer’s was finished yesterday so I had to get a shot with each of them by their pictures… not the best photo I’ve ever taken but it works!

Jeni’s, which I have posted about before, was done by Chucklebutt Customs.

Kelinn’s was done by the wonderful AlliePets – this was a random drawing winner for her to introduce her new style of drawing, the caricature! We were very happy with how it turned out!

Snoopy’s was done by my uncle! He is an excellent painter and does amazing pen drawings as well. He does not have a business exactly but if someone just HAS to have a painting feel free to comment here and I can get you in touch 😉 This piece was a Christmas present and I love it.

Gabi Portrait
And finally… Bauer got his painting. His was done by Arkay Major Art and I am SO impressed with her style and talent. She captured him perfectly.

Last, but certainly not least – you may have been wondering where our new blog logo came from! This fabulous little cartoon features all four dogs, plus Legolas the tripod cat. This was done by Shelby Watts who also does not have a business page, but again – let me know if you are interested and I can get you in touch!



Kelinn and I enjoyed a BBQ festival downtown this weekend called “Pig and Whiskey.” There was food, booze and loud music, as well as tons of people and other dogs, and Kelinn rocked it! We got some great work on “leave it” and he did an awesome job.

It was getting pretty hot by the time we were heading back this afternoon, so we stopped at a popsicle cart and got a handmade watermelon-lemonade popsicle. I couldn’t be selfish and keep it all for myself, Kelinn was hot too! Plus, he’s pretty cute and very polite about sharing.