In 1989 the American Kennel Club launched a new opportunity for responsible dog owners to have their well-mannered dogs recognized. They began administering the Canine Good Citizen tests, a series of 10 behavior evaluations that a dog must pass prior to earning a Canine Good Citizen title.
The behaviors are:
• Accepting a friendly stranger
• Sitting politely for petting
• Allowing basic grooming procedures
• Walking on a loose lead
• Walking through a crowd
• Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place
• Coming when called
• Reacting appropriately to another dog
• Reacting appropriately to distractions
• Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner
In addition to having a lovely companion, the CGC designation can make a dog welcome in hotels and other public places and can play a part in lower insurance rates. Dog owners that would like to do pet assisted therapy generally must pass the CGC prior to being Therapy certified.
Any dog can be a Canine Good Citizen but to have the title included in their name and to take the more advanced tests the dog must be registered with the American Kennel Club either through the breed’s registry or as a Canine Partner.
The Canine Good Citizen program also includes:
The STAR Puppy program, the starting place for your well-mannered companion. It includes a 6-week training course for dogs under one year of age. The Community Canine (CGCA) a more advanced evaluation simulating real world events.
The Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) an evaluation that is conducted in a real world urban setting that includes things such as entering a vehicle, waiting while their owner sits and eats a snack and entering an elevator.
Training of any kind is a great way to bond with your dog and the Canine Good Citizen is a great place to start. Atlanta is a dog-loving city with lots of fun places to enjoy with your best friends, CGC training makes them a welcome addition to any gathering.
For more information on the program akc.org/dog-owners/training
Jinnie Strickland, CGC Evaluator #93121
President – Atlanta Obedience Club