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Canine Good Citizen
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The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that is designed to (1) teach responsible dog ownership to owners and (2) certify dogs that have the training & demeanor to be reliable, well-behaved members of their families and communities. The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Program is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community because it is trained and conditioned to act mannerly in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
The Canine Good Citizen Test of your dog’s manners and training is not a competition and does not require the owner/handler and dog to perform with precision. Handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the test but cannot offer food or a toy.
The Canine Good Citizen Test is open to all dogs - both registered and unregistered that are 6 months of age or older.
All tests must be performed on-leash. Dogs should wear well-fitted buckle or slip collars made of either leather, fabric or chain. Special training collars or devices (e.g. pinch collars or “head halters”) are not permitted. The leash should be made of leather or fabric. Body harnesses may be used in the CGC test. The evaluator should check to make sure the harness is not of a type that completely restricts the dog's movement such that it could not pull or jump if it tried.
Dogs must be healthy, in good condition and clean to pass the test. A dog, whose appearance has been noticeably affected by a medical condition, may pass the test, provided at check-in the owner presents a letter of explanation and release from the dog’s veterinarian.
The dog must pass each of the following 10 test categories:
- Accepting a friendly stranger
- Sitting politely for petting
- Appearance and grooming
- Walking on a loose leash
- Walking through a crowd
- Sit and down on command, and stay in place
- Come when called
- Reaction to another dog
- Reactions to visual and auditory distractions
- Supervised separation