Well Monte and I failed to pass the CGC test last night. We knew it might be a long shot, he has only just barely turned 7 months old, and he has not had his "big boy" surgery yet, so lots of extra hormones and a puppy brain are just enough to make his behavior inconsistent. Thursday was just not his night, but I was still disappointed with a capital D. We had worked so hard, I mean, sooooo hard! I tested him in different situations, with different dogs, loose leash heeling, outside, inside, and I went into the test feeling confident. I had even asked Jeff to stay home so that Monte could not use him as a distraction. I so wanted to be the one who got Monte through the test successfully because he and I have struggled lately. He is becoming bigger and stronger and defiant, and I'm trying hard not to lose confidence in my ability to train him. He failed the dog distraction test, something that has been his biggest challenge. Then there was the simple stay, something totally unexpected, on my way back to him, he stood up...another strike. Darn! I must have looked outwardly dejected because Doug came over and sat beside me and gave me a nice fatherly pep talk, and it helped me put things in perspective.
So, we need to take what this little test showed us and build on it. It is true that each dog we raise teaches us something, and Monte is not allowing me to get too complacent, he's keeping me on my toes and keeping me sharp. I have to remember how much he actually has improved in just a week, and he is certainly leaps and bounds ahead of where he was 4 months ago! We are going to soak up every last bit of training we can get before Doug & Caroline head back to sunny CA, then Monte will have his surgery, and though it is sometimes a myth that it will do much to "settle" him down, it certainly cannot hurt (easy for me to say).