Dog in city

What place does our society leave to the dog?

More precisely, to what extent can the dog live decently in an environment as alien to its ethological needs as the city?

Jean-Claude ARNAUD, founder of ACCEFE, asked himself these questions and answered them by creating the CVCV© concept: dogs in life, dogs in the city. Since 2007, the concept has been transformed into a training program for dog educators.

To understand the concept, it is necessary to understand the life we reserve for our dogs in the city. Most often kept on a leash, our companion sees his outings reduced to a walk where the route is imposed on him, the pee breaks also and the possibilities to feel the marking of forbidden congeners. Running remains a sweet dream for our dog because the parks where he is accepted require him to be on a leash.

Faced with this observation, two paths are open to us: to enter into rebellion, to make fun of the rules of society and let Kiki romp around according to his natural laws or to invent a way of life that respects both his ethological needs and the urban environment.

The CVCV© training and therefore the walks of the same name respond to this second perspective.

Getting the dog accepted by city dwellers is the first test.

Nothing is more annoying than to see an owner “forget” to collect his dog’s excrements. The city is not the dog’s world and the dog refers to me to behave in the best possible way. I am thus his referent, it is up to me to do what he cannot do: leave the place clean.

The term “referent” is widely used today by dog owners without understanding the richness of the idea. Being the dog’s referent means doing everything possible to make the dog turn to us before acting. This involves enriching the human-dog relationship. Look around you, observe the dogs in the street. How many raise their head towards their owner to ask him: are we crossing? Which way are we going? What do we do with the dog that arrives? The man opposite, he’s weird, do I grunt or not?

Most often, to my great dismay, I see dogs walking on a leash without caring about the master or worse, the masters, with their eyes glued to the smartphone and a dog “abandoned” on its walk.

When a dog takes the liberty of settling a situation, it has most often looked at its master to question him with its gaze. Since he did not get an answer, he acts alone.

City outings called “CVCV©” teach how to find this missing communication in the dog-human pair. By using urban furniture, respecting safety and health rules, the group of owners, guided by a certified educator, discovers the possibility of transforming any walk into a working field.

Remember that work is a source of happiness for the dog. They find a way to collaborate with their owner. They also find a way to play a social role.

You doubt it? Then experience keeping one dog occupied while three others watch. They won’t take long to bark to ask to participate.

For example, crossing a simple crosswalk becomes a real committed job for the dog if the master sets up a ritual that includes all the behavioural phases. A first phase called appetite during which the pair will connect. A precise and clear request encourages the dog to think before acting. In the consumption phase, the dog executes the request with malicious pleasure. In the extinction phase, he notes his master’s joy and feels useful. The relationship between the two quickly becomes richer. As the exercises (around benches, studs, posts, etc.) unfold, the bond between the pair becomes closer and richer. This is not about agility in the city, but about working on the relationship for a better understanding between two elements of a pair. At the same time, the dog does cognitive work that tires him much more than jogging.

The benefit of a CVCV© walk is threefold: the dog comes home tired from his day. He is closer to his master. The latter has become aware of his dog’s needs.

Most of the educators trained at ACCEFE are CVCV© certified.

Click here to find an educator in your area.

I am in Paris, Saumur and Loudun.