In lieu of Axle’s big TDI debut…and subsequent drop-out…we now present the World-Class Pet Certificate! To be eligible for testing, your dog must be alive and lucid. Well, mostly lucid, at least. The test involves the following:
1. Accepting the approach of a friendly stranger. No aggression accepted, but free to be a snob if he/she doesn’t like said stranger. Bonus points for enthusiastic tail wagging.
2. Politely accepting petting. Sitting not required. Jumping is frowned upon, but will not disqualify your dog. Bonus points for a big grin and lolling tongue.
3. Being able to accept grooming, including the touching of feet and ears. Ability to turn this into a game = bonus points.
4. Politely walking on a leash. Dog should not pull on the leash (this is human walking dog, not dog walking human). Bribes are acceptable.
5. Handling a crowd quietly. Just pretend there’s a pile of bacon when it’s all over! Bonus points for big grins and tail wags!
6. Sit/Down/Stay on command. Bribes are acceptable. Mulligans can be called.
7. Holding position/coming when called. Ok to hop in place wanting to get to you. Bonus points for tail wags and enthusiastic greetings. Jumping is frowned upon, but happy dances are acceptable.
8. Dog/Dog greetings. Dogs should be friendly – causal interest acceptable. Overly enthusiastic dogs should walk a little more before trying a greeting again. Super bonus for soft eye contact and tail wags.
9. Reaction to distraction. Dog should be able to handle loud noises, joggers, bicycles, vehicles, etc. without panicking or showing aggression. The use of thunder shirts is acceptable. Bribes are acceptable. Mulligans can be called.
10. Supervised separation. You should be able to leave your dog with another person without him/her going nuts over it. You are coming back, after all. No panicking, excessive whining or barking. Staring intently in the direction you left is acceptable. Bribes by handler accepted.
11. The “Loving Dog” test. This portion of the test can be either written (a 1 page paper about you and your dog, how you got together, and what makes you two great) or demonstrative (i.e. playing/communicating with your dog demonstrating a good, healthy relationship). Bonus points for slobbery kisses, enthusiastic tail wags, ginormous grins, and playful barks.
If your dog passes all of the above qualifications, congratulations! Your dog has passed the World-Class Pet Certificate test! Paper certificates are currently out of print, but feel free to create and share your own! (Post here or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org) We’d love to hear more about your dogs and their stories. E-mail pics and stories to the address given and check back at www.facebook.com/ohmypibbles to see if your dog has been featured as the dog of the week! We are happy to share non-pibbles, too.