Guest Author: Jan Logan (American Bullmastiff Association Director & CGC Evaluator)
Last month, I was asked by the President of the Southwest Regional Club of the American Bullmastiff Association to have CGC testing available during the Specialty weekend. I was excited to have this opportunity and am very proud of our breed and our handlers!
When I first asked how many dogs were going to test, the answer was zero. None. During the club’s membership meeting, I gave a sales pitch, telling members how the new CGC title could benefit their dogs. For our breed, it is especially important that we are responsible owners and earning the CGC title shows that we take this commitment seriously. CGC training is valuable because it teaches functional skills (e.g., sit, down, come) and it provides a great basic foundation for therapy dog certification.
This started interested conversation and practical questions at our meeting, and members decided to start training and practicing the CGC skills with their dogs.
At the Specialty, we offered the CGC test for a four-hour span of time in order to give handlers an opportunity to juggle between the show site and the test site. Members watched the first few dogs being tested and realized that there was no reason to be intimidated.
There were 20 Bullmastiffs entered in the CGC test and 20 Bullmastiffs passed fair and square. We did not charge for the CGC testing because we wanted everyone who was interested to participate. Perhaps we will re-think that next year and use it as a fundraiser to support the club or donate our proceeds.
I hope this encourages all regional clubs to offer this testing during specialties. Now that CGC is an official AKC title (Thank you AKC!) having CGC testing at shows means that every dog owner who is willing to do some training and practice before the show can go home with a title. CGC offers a way for every dog and owner to win…in more ways than one.
Photo: Jan Logan awards the CGC rosette to new CGC title holder “T-boldts Stealing Bases Stealing Hearts” owned by Becky & Chuck Wootten (Breeder Sherry Boldt)