HE DID IT!!!! Ziggy is now an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen. The test went something like this:
Part 1: Accept a friendly stranger
Ziggy did very well with this, since the friendly stranger ignores the dog during the test. Ziggy has great manners with people who ignore him. He sat quietly while I spoke with the friendly stranger, and then walked away with me when I asked him to.
Part 2: Sit politely for petting
This was a bit more challenging for Ziggy. He doesn't particularly like people to pet him, so this was the thing we worked on most during the past six weeks of training. He did well and I was very relieved when he passed this section!
Part 3: Appearance and grooming
This is the other most challenging section for Ziggy. Instead of being brushed, he wanted to eat the brush. But he managed to pass this section as well.
Part 4: Walk on a loose leash
Ziggy does well at this. He stayed focused on me the whole time, which was awesome. I took him for a 30 minute walk before the test and again during the entire walk he stayed focused just on me. It's so much easier when there are no cows to distract him. He passed this section easily.
Part 5: Walk through a crowd
Ziggy had no problem with this part of the test. If people ignore him, he's happy to ignore them in return. Unless of course they have food - but fortunately no one was trying to eat a hotdog while being part of the crowd, so Ziggy passed this section easily as well.
Part 6: Sit and Down on Command and Stay in Place
Ziggy mastered these commands when he was a puppy, so this was pretty easy. He had to sit and then lie down on command, and then stay while I walked away, and remain in place until I returned. As usual, he didn't bother to get up even once I returned to him and released him from his "stay". Once he's down, he makes himself comfortable and usually won't get up unless I ask him to move!
Part 7: Come When Called
This is another one that Ziggy has known for a long time, but we've worked on it a lot over the past six weeks just to practice. Ziggy is one of the slowest pit bulls I have ever seen. He generally comes when called, but at his own pace. Even when he's in a hurry (for example, while chasing some bunnies in the back yard this morning), he only has a top speed of about 5 mph. Ziggy came as fast as he could when I called him, but it's a good thing it wasn't a race or a timed contest. He got there eventually and passed this section too.
Part 8: Reaction to another dog
Ziggy had to walk with me to meet another dog and handler, then stop and sit while we (the handlers) greeted each other, all while he ignored the other dog. This was easy for him too. Just like with people, Ziggy has great manners with dogs who ignore him, as long as there is no food involved. Ziggy passed this step easily.
Part 9: Reaction to distraction
This test is making sure the dog doesn't panic or become aggressive when faced with a distraction. They are allowed to show some interest and curiosity, which is exactly what Ziggy did when an umbrella suddenly opened up in front of him as we were walking. He didn't startle at all - just sniffed it as if to say "is this edible?" and then realizing it was not, continued walking. Another easy one!
Part 10: Supervised separation
This test shows that the dog can be left with a trusted person while their handler is gone for three minutes. This can be challenging for some dogs, but not for Ziggy. Remember how I complained that Ziggy never missed me when I left him at adoption events? That trait was very useful for this test, since Ziggy really didn't care if I was gone for 3 minutes or 3 days. He passed this section easily as well!
And that was it - Ziggy became a certified Canine Good Citizen. Great Job Ziggy! He celebrated on the way home by drinking the Pepsi I had left in the car. He then got the cup stuck on his nose. I guess you're right - being a Canine Good Citizen will probably not cause an end to future Ziggy stories.