How to train Berner for CGC test?

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by elouise, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. elouise

    elouise New Member

    My Berner, Callie, is 13 months old. I'm interested in training her to be a therapy dog. In order to do this, I need to pass the CGC test. I also need to make sure she can handle things like strangers in hospitals, hospital equipment, little kids, etc.... Does anyone have any tips on training your dog for this? Callie is very lovable, and pretty smart (especially if you have food). She's been maturing a little slowly, so she still acts like a puppy, but I'm not worried about that, she'll calm down (although she is in no way maturing slowly in size. She's a whopping 96lbs).
    I'll probably wait until she's about 2 years old to actually take the test and start her therapy dog program, so she'll have more time to mature and calm down and everything. I was just thinking about starting some training now. Anyone have any pointers or advice?

    Thanks so much!

  2. hlm

    hlm New Member

    Hi there! How wonderful!!! They are such amazing spirits, perfect for therapy work! I've never done it but had thought about it with our last dog a big sweet mellow lug (golden) and the idea crosses my mind occasionally with our berner pup who's now 7 1/2 months old. While I don't have experience with it directly, I did want to share that our boy was quite shy when he was little. Scared of kids, people on cel phones, lots of stuff. So as soon as we could go out for walks we armed ourselves with his favorite goodies and chased down every possible scenario we could find, and gave them a treat to give him. People in wheelchairs, the mail lady, the garbage guy in his truck, kids on various types of wheeled transport :) UPS guy, strollers, jackhammers, you name it, we chased it down!!! I think some people thought we were nuts! but most people were really happy to participate, cause really who can resist a Berner!!! We now have Mr. Social butterfly, who can smile and sit for a toddler while a fire truck screeches by. It's really amazing almost nothing out in the world phases him now.
    I hope that's of some help!!
    Good luck!!!
  3. pcannon

    pcannon New Member

    Mitch is 18 months now and passed his CGC test last December. We went to classes for months, basic, advanced and then CGC classes. The hardest part of the test for him was staying seated while someone came over greeted me and shook my hand. He thinks everyone wants to see him (which they usually do.) We had to practice that a lot. Good Luck.
  4. WonderBread

    WonderBread New Member

    Find a good dog training facility that holds multiple types of classes. Most of the things tested for in CGC are also part of an intermediate obedience training class. Make sure to look into the therapy dog certification program as some do not take raw fed dogs, if you do raw feeding.

    Take your dog everywhere now, there is something about a Berner that makes them irresistible to most people who like dogs. :)

    Good luck!

Share This Page