Although they are yet to have it in writing, I Heart Pits (who are taking care of Samson) personally spoke with the trainer who did Samson’s CGC test who will also be doing this “uniform” test on him.
All of this has come about thanks to Samson’s supporters. It was announced on the I Heart Pits Facebook page July 29 that the city has agreed that police will not be present at the test.
For information on Samson and his family’s struggle to get him home, the original Examiner article can be found here.
The following is the guidelines that the trainer gave to work with Samson on, and the rescue would like to share the test Samson will have to pass in order to go home.
Greeting At the Door Exercises are to be taught as follows:
Knock / Doorbell
Desensitize your dog to hearing a knock or the doorbell by teaching him that when he hears a knock or doorbell, it means to look at you instead of running and barking at the door. Ask someone to knock on the door and before your dog gets a chance to bark, call his name and when he looks at you say “yes” and give him a treat. Help your dog by luring him with the treat and putting the treat close to his nose and bringing it up to your face. If your dog is not responding to the lure you can always start in another room. Once your dog stops barking with the knock, start to practice with the doorbell.
Go to your spot
Next teach your dog to go to a spot when someone knocks or rings the doorbell. Choose a spot that is about 20 feet or more from the door. Make sure the door is still visible to your dog. Start by saying “Go to your spot”, show your dog the treat, lure her over to the spot, say “yes” and give her the treat. Sometimes putting a dog bed or a blanket in the spot can make it easier.
Wait / Stay
Teach your dog to wait or stay in the spot while you go answer the door and let the guest in. Start by practicing this without guests first to make it easier. Ask your dog to stay and gradually move closer to the door each time while your dog stays in his spot. Once you can make it to the door then add a guest. Note that this is the most challenging part of the process. You may have to ask someone else to answer the door while you reinforce the stay / wait. If you don’t have someone to answer the door, you can ask your guest to let themselves in.
Greet / Recall
Once the guest is inside, allow your dog to greet the guest by saying “go say hi!”. Your dog must be staying or waiting before you release her, though. Next call your dog back to you with the command “Come here”, ask her to sit and “yes”/ treat. Call her quickly after the greeting before she has a chance to jump on your guest.
*If your dog is fearful of people don’t ask your dog to greet. Instead you can toss treats away from the guest and say “find it!” This helps to associate good things with people coming in your home.
*It may be helpful to have your dog on leash when you first start practicing these exercises to have more control over your dog if they are having a hard time focusing. Once they improve you can practice off leash. Also note that greeting the guest can eventually be their reward instead of a treat which will help with weaning them off of the treats.
Should Samson be tested?
There are many out there who still believe Samson deserves to come home without having any of these tests administered. After all, he did pass his first exam on July 13. Why is he having to take yet another test, that isn’t being administered to any other dogs in the Sterling Heights community who cause trouble for police?
Please continue to share the petition to allow Samson to return home. While it looks bleak that Samson can come home before passing this greetings test, it’s good to know he won’t be facing a police officer when he’s tested.
Come on Samson! You’ve already passed your first test with this dog behavior expert. Your family wants you home!
Readers, how do you feel about this latest development? Should the city officials be praised for keeping police away from Samson as he’s put through this test? Or should Samson have been allowed to return home weeks ago after passing the original test? Especially since his “look-alike” is still roaming the neighborhood causing mischief.
Your comments are welcome.
NOTE: Please do not contact city officials or the Sterling Heights PD with any threats. The situation is well under control and we don’t want to jeopardize Samson’s case.