Handling Skills

Your dog will need to be comfortable with being handled, groomed and examined by somebody other than you, the owner.  Veterinarians, vet techs, and groomers all need to be able to touch your dog.

In the CGC test, the evaluator will need to touch your dog to determine if its clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in a 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, in a natural manner.  She will then also lightly handle your dog’s ears and gently pick up each foot. Your dog doesn’t have to hold a specific position during this examination, and you are encouraged to talk to your dog, praising it and giving it encouragement throughout the examination.

The evaluator may give you specific instructions for handling the dog in a way that ensures safety. For example, the evaluator may ask you to lift each leg, or may ask you to hold the dog’s head steady while she examines his ears.

The evaluator may also hold the head away with one hand while lifting a foot with her other hand.

If your dog needs to be restrained to accept this handling, he will not pass the test. He may squirm or wiggle a bit, but this shouldn’t be so excessive that your dog can’t be brushed. Your dog should not struggle (pull away with intensity) to avoid the brushing.

Download Handling Skills PDF

Brendan Edmonds