In april we will be taking our social housedog exam. I guess you can compare this to the canine good citizen test. Now on most parts of the test we will do fine, as we have been training this on and off for the past two years. I'll explain the tests we have to do. It is made out of two parts. The first will be just Jinx and me. We will have to do a loose leash walking course, with two turns and a stop(dog has to sit in heel). in this course there will be a visual distraction(someone will stand behand a screen and open an umbrella when we pass by) and a audio distraction( a loud noise will be made) They will judge the way the dog responds to these distractions and how it recovers from it. And there will be food layed out on the floor. We will have to walk by it(almost over it) without the dog going for it. Then 3 people will stand in a triangle. We will have to circle them and then stand in the middle. The 3 people will move in closely and then back off again. The judge will come and shake my hand, pet my dog and then I will have to show him Jinx's teeth. Again they will judge the dog on it's reactions. Then 3 people will sit in a circle(as if they were sitting at a table in a public place, but there will be no table) We will have to come and join them. Then 2 of them will ask if they can pet the dog. The dog will be judged on it's behaviour(no climing on top of people and not going towards the third person, so only going to the person who is inviting them) The second part will be with a group of people and their dogs(also taking the exam) We will have to do some loose leash walking all together. The judge will ask us one by one, to put our dog in a sit or down and do a recall. Then the dogs have to do a long stay(2 minutes). They will be tied to a pole and have to stay in a down, while the owners stand in the middle of the field. There will be distractions, in the form of two people walking by, and then a person and a dog walking by. In all this ofcourse they will judge the way the handler treats his dog. Like I said MOST of this will be fine, but... Recently we have started training for this exam for real and suddenly Jinx has desided that the umbrella is something to freak out about Now if she had never seen an umbrella in her life that would be ok. But we have been through this at puppytraining and on and off during our regular training. She had not done this exercise for, ooh, about 4 months maybe. And the other day she nearly hit the ceiling when the umbrella was opened And it happened in plain sight! She was absolutely freaked out off it. So we put the umbrella open on the floor, put some treats in. She did take the treats out and was ok with it lying there. But as soon as my trainer closed it and then opened it, off she went!! Not as jumpy as the first time, but this time avoiding that scary thing by walking all the way at the end of the leash on my right side, instead of staying at my left In the judging of this, they do allow for the dog to get spooked by something, but they will look at how quickly the dog recovers from it. Jinx has a tendecy to overreact to things. And I am afraid this is what she will do. So now I am opening up umbrellas everywhere I can. Pfff silly dog! I thought I was going to get in trouble with her interacting with humans as she tends to jump up at them, but no, THAT she does fine! We still have about a month to get this right, so I will be asking my trainer to use the umbrella a lot during our training. Especially while we are playing.