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Canine Good Citizen Test




The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test


The Canine Good Citizen Test (CGCT)  encourages owner responsibility. To earn this award a dog must pass a ten-part test.  The dog must also show good overall behavior at the test site, and his/her owner must sign a written pledge of responsible dog ownership.


Sponsored by clubs and trainers across the country, you could probably be tested right in your own town. Your dog must be licensed, vaccinated, well mannered, and show no signs of fearful or aggressive behavior.  While it may be frightening to “get your feet wet,” this could be a good entry-level introduction to the world of AKC events.


The Canine Good Citizen Award is not a title but a certificate, and it is awarded to those dogs who pass the test.  Dogs are tested in areas such as:


  1. Accepting the approach of a friendly stranger.
  2. Sitting politely for petting.
  3. Appearance and grooming will be checked by observing how the dog accepts a person such as a    groomer touching his/her feet and ears.
  4. Walking beside you without straining on the leash.
  5. Walking quietly through a crowd of people.
  6. Sit on Command and Down (No physical force) and Staying in Place while the owner goes 20 feet away   and comes right back.
  7. Holding position while the owner goes out 10 feet then calls the dog to come.
  8. While two persons and dogs approach each other and shake hands, the dogs will be tested on his/her     reaction to another dog.
  9. Reactions to distractions may include a jogger or bicyclist going past or unusual noises, and the dog     should exhibit no panic nor aggression.
  10. Supervised separation is tested by the handler going out of sight for 3 minutes while the dog is held by    an evaluator.


If you and your dog pass all parts of the test, you will earn a certificate.  If “needs more training” is checked on your score sheet, today wasn’t your day.  Don’t despair!  It’s fun to work with your dog regularly and you’ll probably find a passing score the next time you take the test.


Owners should make sure their dogs’ shots and licensing are current, and tags should be kept on the dog.  Avoid using corrections on the dog during the test.  Dogs should potty at home before arriving at the test site to help keep the test ring clean and avoid distraction.


Trainers can prepare you and your dog for the test so that you can exhibit the good manners required. An added bonus is that your vet will appreciate your well-behaved dog.  Get involved!


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