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What is it?
The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program was started in 1989. The CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. The CGC is NOT considered a basics trained dog, only a dog that presents on leash control, stability and manners and is well on their way to becoming a TRAINED dog and handler in BASIC obedience.
Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with-they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life. We sincerely hope that CGC will be only a beginning for you and your dog and that after passing the CGC test, you’ll continue training in obedience, agility, tracking, or performance events.
AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is one of the most rapidly growing programs in the American Kennel Club. There are many exciting applications of this wonderful, entry level that go beyond the testing and certifying of dogs.
Many other countries (including England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC’s CGC Program. A CGC Neighborhood Model has been established, police and animal control agencies use CGC for dealing with dog problems in communities, some therapy dog groups use the CGC as a partial screening tool, and some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC as a beginning dog training program for children.
A number of specialty (one breed only) clubs give the CGC at their annual national dog show. Dog clubs have discovered that the CGC is an event that allows everyone to go home a winner. Veterinarians have recognized the benefits of well-trained dogs and there are some CGC programs in place in veterinary hospitals. State legislatures began recognizing the CGC program as a means of advocating responsible dog ownership and 34 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions.
In a little over one decade, the Canine Good Citizen Program has begun to have an extremely positive impact in many of our communities. This is a program that can help us assure that the dogs we love will always be welcomed and well-respected members of our communities.
AKC CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TEST
Founded in 1884, the AKC and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.
AKC® CANINE GOOD CITIZEN® PROGRAM
The CGC TEST consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs.
All of the exercises are done on a leash.
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation.
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
The dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so.
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
The handler/dog team will take a short “walk” to show that the dog is in control while walking on a leash.
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three) to demonstrate that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
The dog will respond to the handler’s commands to 1) sit, 2) down and will 3) remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).
Test 7: Coming when called
The dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog.
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
To demonstrate that the dog can behave politely around other dogs, two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet.
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
To demonstrate the dog is confident when faced with common distracting situations, the evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.
Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes.
You’ll need to bring your dog’s brush or comb to the CGC test. In the CGC test, dogs must wear a buckle collar or slip collar.
For details regarding equipment, expanded descriptions of the exercises above, and how the CGC Test is administered, see: