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This book belongs to

ISBN Copyright 2009

This book is dedicated to responsible pet owners. There are no bad dogs only bad owners.


Note: If a child cannot personally attend one of Putter’s pawagraph sessions, he will send you one.

Too Cool for Obedience School

Written by Ariel Bouvier Illustrated by Trish Putnam Inspired by Prince Putter

Putter was so proud of his “2 Cool For Obedience School” t-shirt. He wanted to wear it every time he went to PetSmart™. He ran up and down the isles looking at the other dogs as he tugged on his leash.

The other dogs were so well behaved. They sat calmly or walked politely on their leash. But not Putter!

Putter had never been to obedience school and he did not want to go. He would come when called… sometimes. He would sit when he was told to sit…sometimes. He would stay when he was told to stay… sometimes.

Of course he was so cute that people didn’t seem to mind that he wasn’t obedience trained and only listened SOMETIMES.

He loved to go to the dog park and play. One sunny Thursday he went to the park with his friend Nick. Every dog in the city must have decided to go to the dog park that day.



here were dogs everywhere! There were short dogs, tall dogs, and fuzzy dogs. There were black dogs, white dogs, yellow dogs, and orange dogs. There were dogs with spots and dogs with stripes.

Putter was ready to play. He ran toward a poodle named Buffy. But Buffy would have nothing to do with him. She simply did not want to play and she did not like short dogs.

He saw a big, black lab wearing a really cool blue jacket.

“What’s your name, and where did you get that awesome jacket?” Putter asked.

“My name is Jake,” the lab replied as he jumped to catch a ball. “This is my Canine Good Citizen jacket and I wear it when I go to the hospitals and retirement centers. I just finished a visit to a nursing home nearby.”

“I want one of those,” Putter said. “Do they have those at PetSmart™?” “Well…what did you say your name was?’ “I didn’t, but my name is Putter. I was named after a golf club.”

“Sorry Putter, but you can’t buy

this jacket anywhere. You have to pass a lot of tests to get a jacket like this,” said Jake. “What kind of tests? I haven’t been to obedience school, but I’m really good at tests,” said Putter.

“The first test is accepting a friendly stranger. You must allow a friendly stranger to approach you and speak to you and the person holding your leash,” said Jake. “Jake, I think I can do the first one without a problem. I am a really friendly dog. What’s the next step?”

“Well, Putter, in test two you sit politely while someone pets you,” Jake said. “Test two sounds like an easy one. I like all kinds of attention and, I love for people to pet me. I think that I am really going to like this test. What’s next?”

“I don’t think that you will have any problem with test three,” said Jake looking down at Putter. “You look like a pretty well groomed dachshund to me. Your appearance and willingness to be groomed is test three.” “A person brushes you, and examines your ears, and gently picks up each front foot,” said Jake.

“I think I deserve a check plus for this one. On to the next test my friend.“

“Putter, don’t be so confident the tests are going to get a lot harder. In test four, you will be walking on a leash and you must pay attention. You simply can’t run and tug on the leash.”

“Actually I don’t really like to walk on a leash. I may need to work on the attentive part. I am usually on squirrel patrol and like to chase a squirrel whenever I get the chance. Strange thing is that I have never actually caught one of those squirrels. I even have a dog jacket that reads Squirrel Patrol.” “Well, I can work on this. I think I can be more attentive. I really want that jacket.”

“I’m going to love my new jacket!”

“In test five, you must move about politely among people and be under control in public places. You walk around and pass several people without jumping on them or tugging on your leash.” “But Jake I love humans. I get really excited when I am around humans. I wag my tail and sometimes run little circles around their ankles. Will I still get my jacket?” “No! You have to pass the test. You need to be calm and walk by the people,” Jake said firmly. “I guess I could try that. I sure hope the people don’t think I don’t like them because I am not excited.”

“Well if you do pass that one, you can move on to test six. You obey the commands: sit, down, and stay on command,� Jake said.


down, stay…I don’t like commands. Sure seems like a lot of work for a little jacket. I know I can sit, but I don’t like the down position and I don’t like to stay. I really don’t know if I can pass this one.” “Look Putter. When you are in that down position just stay there while you imagine yourself romping through the dog park in your new Good Canine Citizen jacket. Before you know it the test will be over and you will be one step closer to your jacket.”

“Putter I think test number seven will be the most difficult for you: Coming when called,� said Jake.

“But I do come when called…sometimes. If I am busy chasing a squirrel, I can’t just stop. If I see a cute terrier in the park, I can’t just turn and run because someone calls me. Someone calls me all of the time! Sometimes I get tired of hearing Putter come! Putter come! Putter you had better come right now!” “I told you this was the hardest test. And sometimes to make the test harder they have little squirrels run by. Just kidding! You should come when called. Nobody wants a dog that refuses to come when he’s called. Think about it!”

“Test eight should be no problem for you. It shows how polite you are around other dogs.” “I am polite. Last summer I was voted the nicest dog at Camp BowWow,” replied Putter as daydreamed about how he would look in his new jacket.

“This next one will be hard for you. Test nine is a reaction to distraction test,” Jake said. “If something is rolling past me I want to chase it. And I always bark when a jogger runs in front of me. Come to think of it, I bark most of the time,” Putter said surprised.

“Well if you chase or bark during this test, then you will never get your jacket,” said Jake.

“Well Putter this is the last test. Test ten is supervised separation. This test shows you can be left without a human and you have good manners.” “I do whine sometimes when my human leaves, and I bark for a few minutes. I thought that all dogs did that,” Putter said with a sad look on his face. “Not trained dogs like me. I think you might need to go to obedience school before you try and get that jacket.”

“I think you might be right, Jake. I never thought I would ever go to school, but I really want to be a good dog. And I really, really want that jacket.”

“You’ll do fine Putter I bet you’ll be top dog at Obedience School,” said Jake.

On the first day of class Putter was thinking...Look at all of these dogs sitting down, I think I will run around the room and visit each one of them.

“The little dachshund in the red jacket never sits still. He sure needs this class,” said the brown dog. “I wonder if he will get a Good Canine Citizen jacket like us?” asked the Rottwieler.

Dear Jake, I am almost through with obedience school. I really did not like it at first. There are so many rules. After a while it was fun and all of the humans seem to like me a lot more. I guess I wasn’t as cool as I thought I was. I will be getting my Canine Good Citizen jacket soon! We can go the hospitals and nursing homes together. Your best friend, Putter AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge . We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others. After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a

veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead) This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).


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