Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine

Boudicca Earned AKC’s Canine Good Citizen February 27, 2016!

CGC Certificate Boudicca February 27th 2016

Want to learn more about dog behavior, training and help your dog earn their Canine Good Citizen award? Lets get started, sign up for private lessons (minimum 6-8 lessons) covering everything you and your dog need to pass the test. A brief summary of what’s expected follows:

Canine Good Citizen

Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge; owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

This test demonstrates that 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

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

This practical test demonstrates that 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. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

This test demonstrates 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

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).

Test 7: Coming when called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations.

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.


All tests must be performed on leash. For collars, dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, and electronic collars are not permitted in the CGC test.

As of November 4, 2010, 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 up if it tried.

We recognize that special training collars such as head collars and no-jump harnesses may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to equipment that allows the evaluator to see that the dog has been trained.


Owners/handlers use praise and encouragement during testing. The owner may pet the dog between exercises.  No food, treats, toys are permitted during testing. We encourage food and toys during training and teach you how to effectively fade these prompts before testing. This is a normal part of the process when training dogs using teaching methods using positive reinforcement markers.

If your dog growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not ready for Canine Good Citizen training and needs special help. If your dog fits any of these descriptions, we can still help. We’re here to provide all the necessary training and education you’ll need to help your dog have the best quality of life possible, even if it means they might not earn this distinguished title. Don’t despair, it’s not about titles, it’s about providing your dog with the quality of life they deserve and a trusting relationship with you. 

AKC Community Caninesm  

AKC Community Caninesm is the advanced level of the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program. Dogs who pass the AKC Community Canine test earn the official AKC Community Canine title designated by the letters “CGCA” (Advanced CGC) on the dog’s title record.

The Canine Good Citizen tests are often tested inside or less distracting environments.  Situations are simulated. The AKC Community Canine test is done in real situations, ideally in your community.

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