Monday, April 18, 2011

CCA: Griffin is, in Fact, a Golden Retriever.

The Golden Retriever Club of America offers some specific titles/opportunities. One of them is the Certificate of Conformation Assessment. Instead of comparing a dog to the others in the ring, like in conformation, the CCA is a pass/not-pass test* where each dog is compared to the breed standard.

Yesterday we went to a CCA test held by the White River Golden Retriever Club. The day started with our dog-walking-person leaving the state ...I piled everyone into the van and off we went.

The club was nice and let us check in at noon before our 1:30 start time. Griffin got measured at 22.5 even with his scrunching down. Half an inch below standard, but there's an extra inch above and below. In his official photos he will look ridiculous.... he was sure I wanted him to line up for some sort of horrible vet exam.

We went into the ring with two other dogs-handler teams. If I had known what was coming next.... I would have waited a few years before entering. For the "mingling" portion, the three dogs were supposed to go nose-to-nose and be near each other. This is part of the 'temperament' evaluation. Griffin is not allowed to greet other dogs on leash. He is not encouraged to go up to other dogs. He didn't know what to do and barked at them.... he went licky face to a female and she snarled at him....he puffed up jumped back. And then barked at the people hanging out, as if they would be providing him information.

Three evaluators were present, a dog needs three passes (and only gets six tries in his lifetime) to complete the CCA. We spent about 15 minutes with each of the three evaluators. The evaluator would watch the dog stand and gait, as well as do a thorough hands-on exam, narrating some of it to the owners and making notes to the others.

As for the conformation parts of it...he doesn't have a lot of rib spring and doesn't look like a male. His body proportions are nice, maybe a bit more angulation in the rear than necessary. His head got some interesting comments.... the muzzle-skull comparison some felt was equal, others did not. And one talked about how his muzzle width made his nose appear more long and narrow than it actually was.

And Griffin did pass... his barking was considered rude, not aggressive. I was told he needs better manners, especially as he's almost three. And that this dog really needs a job.

We got to meet some of his extended family, which is always fun!

*I don't know if test is the right's not a trial or a show.... so the word seemed most appropriate!


Robin Sallie said...

Certificate of Conformation Assessment sounds like a great idea! I wonder if they have them for GSDs.

Megan said...

Oh Gryffindor, you passed! Hooray!

Geeze, Kristen, teach your dog some manners... :)

I'm glad it went well overall. Griff has a TITLE/Certificate/whatever now! Hooray!