Gator is our 18 month old deaf American Staffordshire Terrier. You can read more about Gator’s life story here on Deaf Dogs Rock – Meet Argus and Gator.

Gator is our second deaf dog but my first dog to go through the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) process. I felt like it was important for him to have this achievement not only because he’s deaf, but because he’s a pit bull. Being a deaf pit bull had been a disadvantage to him in the past: he waited 9 months for a potential forever home before we decided he was here to stay!

The process for Gator’s CGC wasn’t easy. We attended a CGC class, practiced every day, and he ate his meals either in his crate or from my hand. It didn’t hurt to have a lot of very awesome friends that were willing to help us practice. My other dogs are very willing herding dogs who love to train, but Gator would prefer to lounge around the house and be loved on instead. Gator likes to challenge the “pit bulls are so loyal they’ll do anything to please their owners” notion. As a family friend put it “Gator does what Gator’s gonna do!”.

Photos by Kristin Mahoney Photography

I was a nervous wreck in the week up to the test, but Gator didn’t let me down and he pulled it off flawlessly! I was so incredibly proud of him and almost in shock. A few days later our tester sent me a note about our test telling us how easy it was to score the test and making my heart swell; “You’ve done such a great job with him. He’s a lovely, normal, stable, confident dog.” One of the best compliments he has ever received. I’m so proud of my Gator man!

Because he worked so hard, we’re giving him a break and letting him do what he does best; maxin’ and relaxin’. As he gets older I think he might enjoy therapy work, especially with kids. He LOVES kids!

Note from Christina at Deaf Dogs Rock: I want to thank Reed Morgan for sending us Gator’s CGC story and also thank her for the work she does with Northern California Dog Rescue. Reed volunteers to foster dogs on a regular basis and she does amazing work with the deaf dogs she trains. If we had more people like Reed being the deaf dog’s advocate, we would have a lot more Deaf Dogs Rock Happy Tails to tell. Reed according to all my dogs, you totally ROCK! ~ Christina and Nitro