Canine Good Citizen Award
As a dog owner, you want your furry friend to behave and interact positively with people and other animals.
Achieving the title of Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is a wonderful step in fostering good behavior for your pup.
The CGC is a certification program run by the American Kennel Club (AKC) that recognizes dogs that exhibit exemplary behavior in public settings, such as on walks or at pet-friendly events.
What is the Canine Good Citizen Award?
Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is a ten-step course that rewards dogs for exhibiting excellent conduct in public.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) created it to promote responsible dog ownership and strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners.
The CGC test is composed of several exercises that evaluate a dog's obedience and sociability, like remaining still when petted, heeling on leash, and responding to a call.
This test does not involve any type of competition; you cannot pass or fail.
Instead, it serves as an evaluation of a dog’s manners and behavior, and provides owners with a checklist of areas where they may want to focus further training.
Overall, the CGC program is an excellent way to ensure that your dog is a well-behaved companion who is welcome in public places.
How the Canine Good Citizen Got Started
The Canine the American Kennel Club (AKC) created Good Citizen in 1989.
This program promotes responsible dog ownership and good citizenship among dogs.
The AKC created the CGC program to encourage responsible pet ownership and to help dog owners develop strong, lasting relationships with their pets.
Over the years, the program has become widely recognized and respected by dog owners, trainers, and veterinarians around the world.
What Do Dogs Get When Getting the Canine Good Citizen Badge
Dogs that pass the program receive a certificate and a badge.
Dogs that pass the program receive a certificate and a badge, which signifies their status as a well-behaved and obedient dog.
The CGC program has become widely recognized as a standard for basic training and obedience for dogs, and many pet owners strive to have their dogs pass the program to showcase their dedication to providing responsible dog ownership.
Overall, the CGC program promotes a positive relationship between dogs and their owners and helps to ensure the safety of both dogs and the broader community.
Teaching Good Manners to Dogs
The Canine Good Citizen is a program designed to teach good manners to dogs in public settings.
One of the key objectives of the program is to train dogs to be well-behaved in a variety of social situations.
This includes obedience training, as well as the development of good social skills with other dogs and people.
By teaching dogs to be calm and well-behaved in public, the program aims to increase public safety by reducing the number of aggressive or uncontrolled dogs in public spaces.
The Canine Good Citizen test is a nationally recognized certification that shows a dog’s ability to behave appropriately and safely in public settings.
The program promotes responsible dog ownership and to encourage more people to adopt dogs from shelters and rescue organizations.
By teaching good manners and responsible behavior, the Canine Good Citizen program helps to improve the lives of dogs and their owners alike.
Who can Take the Canine Good Citizen?
The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is open to all dogs regardless of breed or age.
For puppies, the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an excellent first in-person training class that teaches basic obedience and good manners that will set them up for success during the CGC test and beyond.
This program helps establish a sound foundation of obedience, socialization, and companionship, which will help your puppy have a healthy relationship with you and others as they grow into adulthood.
For adult dogs, the CGC is still an excellent way to show their abilities and can help reinforce positive behaviors in both shy and confident canines alike.
Training older dogs requires more patience, but it also has its rewards, especially once you see them pass their CGC test!
Breed and Age Requirements for the Canine Good Citizen
When it comes to breed and age restrictions for signing up a dog in the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is fairly open.
Purebred and mixed breeds are both accepted, and there is no minimum or maximum age for those who can take the test.
Even shelter and foster dogs have access to the program!
Puppies can enjoy an alternative program offered by AKC called S.T.A.R Puppy Program, which is geared towards socializing them better than well as providing them with basic training before enrolling in advanced classes like obedience training or agility trials.
Regardless of what type of breed or its age, getting any dog enrolled in one of these two programs can bring a bigger sense of responsibility to its handler while encouraging the best possible behavior standards among pooches.
Taking the Canine Good Citizen Test?
The American Kennel Club offers the Canine Good Citizen Test, an evaluation program which assesses a dog’s manners and overall obedience level.
The goal of this test is to ensure that all dogs are well-behaved, not only within their home, but in public spaces as well.
Owners who wish to take the Canine Good Citizen Test must find a location that offers it.
Each state has different locations where one can take the exam. Some of these places are dog training clubs and other organizations sanctioned by the AKC.
However, because of the limited resources and availability of trained evaluators, owners must research what options are available for them.
Owners can easily find nearby locations to take the test by visiting the American Kennel Club website, or searching for specified locations within their city or state.
Depending on the organization and availability of trainers, these tests may only be offered at select times and on specific days throughout the year.
Therefore, owners should look up details promptly in order to adequately prepare themselves and their canine companion for successful testing results.
Here is a FREE Printable List of Canine Good Citizen Test Items.
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What are the 10 Skills for Canine Good Citizen
The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test aims to evaluate a dog’s ability to display responsible companionship to humans.
Among one of the ten behaviors included in the canine good citizen test is accepting a friendly stranger.
This part of the test evaluates a dog’s ability to remain calm and under control in the presence of unfamiliar people.
The evaluator will approach the handler and greet them, while ignoring the dog’s presence altogether.
This is important so that the dog does not become overly excited in response to attention from a stranger and remains calm throughout this behavior test.
It is essential that during this test that the leash be kept tight, so that your pup does not jump at or show any signs of aggression or shyness towards the evaluator while they are taking place within close proximity.
Ultimately, if these guidelines are followed through successfully during this portion of the CGC Test, then you have successfully achieved exhibiting proper manners for responsible companion ownership with your furry best friend!
Sitting Politely When Petted
During this test, the handler and their pet should be engaging in polite barking or sitting.
The dog should remain at the side of the handler (either left or right) while they are being petted by the evaluator.
After the evaluator approaches and asks if they can pet their dog, the dog should not show any signs of aggression, irritation, or try to avoid being petted.
It needs to maintain a calm demeanor and gentle behavior throughout the experience. Jumping towards the evaluator enthusiastically is also not allowed, and neither is trying to escape from being petted.
The handler may talk to their pet while they are being evaluated; however, they need to ensure that their dog remains calm and under control during this test.
This is absolutely paramount for demonstrating to both themselves and their companion that positive reinforcement can help them progress in training with confidence and poise.
Also, by having a well-behaved dog exhibiting gentle behavior towards people passing by serves as an inspiring example for others too.
Appearance and their Grooming
Appearance and grooming is an important part of owning a dog, but it can also be a stressful experience for some. T
hat’s why in this test, the evaluators are looking for a dog who can remain calm during grooming and examinations at the veterinarian’s office.
This not only shows if your pet is well behaved, but also if the owner is responsible and taking proper care of the animal.
The evaluator will examine how clean your pet appears, as well as their overall health and well-being.
During testing they may brush or comb, gently inspect ears, and even pick up each foot, but it won’t be necessary to make your pup stand in any certain poses.
It’s becoming increasingly popular to bring your own grooming devices such as brushes or combs, as many dogs have preferences with which tools feel better for them (and sometimes plain old human hands).
However you decide to groom your pup during this test, remember that the goal is simply to prepare them for potential examinations or visits with their vet that may come in the future.
Walking Loosely on a Leash
Walking on a loose leash is an important part of good dog obedience, most especially when the handler and their canine companion are out in public.
This test requires that the dog must be attentive to the handler’s commands and direction changes as they walk around.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) regulation states that dogs in obedience competitions should always stay on the left side of their handler while they are walking, but this test requires the handler to switch between each side.
The evaluator can either provide instructions like “left turn,” “right turn,” or can use a pre-planned route for them to follow during this test.
There will also be one stop you need to make while walking and one at the end.
These exercises encourage better communication between the dog and handler, which teaches over all better manners with canine companions.
It also builds trust as it proves your puppy can take direction from something other than just you in public; preparing them for interactions with both family members and strangers alike when going for walks together.
Walking in a Crowded Area
Walking through a crowd is an important test for assessing the behavior of a dog.
It requires control, manners, and a good standing between handler and dog.
The test should begin by walking around at least three people in public place like markets or parks to assess the dog’s capacity to remain calm and focus on its handler among different stimuli.
During these circumstances, the dog should be respectful of other people’s space and never try to start contact with strangers.
It would also be useful to observe the reaction towards children, who might present more distractions for the canine; as well as other dogs in leash held by their owners.
The evaluator can take part as the people to assess how your dog behaves when needs to walk around someone known for them (they may come closer or just stay away).
It is important that the handler-dog team walk steadily and calmly around these obstacles without too much hassle from either side.
Sitting Down and Staying in Place
The Sit and Down on Cue/Staying in Place test is an important aspect of assessing a dog’s capabilities and training.
Prior to this test, the handler should switch their leash to either a 15-ft or 20-ft line.
This allows them more freedom without having to worry about the dog running away.
During this assessment, the handler will verify that their dog can obey the commands “sit”, “down”, and “stay” on cue.
They are even allowed to choose which position they want their dog in, whether to sit or down when executing the stay command.
Once they have given the command, they need to walk until they reach the end of the line while ensuring their pup remains in place until they are allowed to release him or her by the evaluator.
These tasks work together so that handlers can properly train and assess their dogs’ abilities and build trust and respect between them both.
Coming Back when Called
Coming when called is an important part of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen tests.
This test evaluates a dog’s willingness, as well as its ability to follow basic commands such as coming to the handler upon command.
During this test, the handler starts with the dog on a 20-ft line and then walks away from the dog 10 feet and turns around to face them before calling them.
The handler can either instruct their dog to stay or leave them without an instruction.
Encouraging body language may motivate their canine companion when calling them over.
However, if they move towards the handler while they walk away, then an evaluator is allowed to intervene in order to prevent any accidental failures.
Though this test does not directly assess a dog’s ability to remain in place after instruction, it evaluates how well trained and willing your pup will come when called.
It is an essential skill for all owners and should not be taken lightly!
Your Pups Reaction to Other Dogs
In this test, the handler and their dog must first encounter another handler and their dog from a distance of approximately 15 feet.
During this encounter, the handlers should briefly pretend to shake hands and have a brief conversation before continuing walking.
It is important that the dog being tested shows only slight interest towards the other dog, but they are not allowed to actively display any aggression or excitement.
The dog should continue walking with their handler without pulling on their leash or jumping to reach the other team.
In addition, care must be taken that your own dog does not move forward towards the other team nor turns around after both teams have continued walking and begin following the second dog.
This exercise tests the ability of a handler’s control over their own dog, as well as showing off its relatively calm demeanor when in contact with another canine.
An excellent performance during this task shows your dog has been appropriately socialized and is comfortable and confident around others.
The purpose of completing this reaction to another dog test is to set your pet up for success in real-life scenarios where other canines may be present so that it can remain focused in those situations without displaying signs of aggression or fearfulness.
Reacting to Distractions
With reactions to distractions during a canine test, the handler must remain especially vigilant. It is important that they can recognize their pup’s response and be able to address it effectively.
Often, noise and movement can cause a pet to become overwhelmed or act out inappropriately.
Therefore, it is beneficial that both the handler and dog are closely monitoring the environments surrounding stimuli.
Distractions such as a person using a walker, wheelchair, or crutches can easily lead to either positive or negative reactions from dog’s depending on their individual training history.
Seeing these movements from afar can trigger instinctual behaviors related to herding and protection, which has been known may cause unpredictable outcomes for humans and other animals alike.
Therefore, when choosing an appropriate distraction for the evaluation, care should be taken by everyone involved to ensure that all parties involved remain safe while doing testing protocols.
Your Dogs Manners with a Supervised Separation
Supervised Separation is a test that helps to measure the dog’s obedience and confidence in less familiar situations.
This test involves leaving the dog under the careful supervision of a reliable person.
The evaluator will hold on to the dog’s leash during this evaluation, with the owner having left the room for three minutes.
The evaluator is only allowed to use verbal cues to encourage good behavior, however he/she must not give any extra attention or play with the dog except what requires dogs in training.
The purpose of this test is to see if the dog can remain calm and keep his/her training while unsupervised for three minutes; however, it does not actually attempt to test all of a pet’s obedience skills.
Animals are allowed to change their posture and positioning as long as they do not display signs of anxiety like howling, growling, barking, whining, or rapid panting.
If he/she passes this assessment, then they have become an important indicator of their obedience, manners and trustworthiness when left alone without their primary source of comfort - their owner present.
Dogs that pass the program may be eligible for other AKC titles, such as therapy dog or the AKC Community Canine.
Successfully passing the CGC test shows your dog has basic obedience skills and good manners in public places. It also opens up opportunities for other AKC titles, such as the therapy dog or the AKC Community Canine.
These additional titles are not only a point of pride but also provide distinct advantages, such as being allowed to visit hospitals or retirement homes.
Therefore, the CGC program should be viewed as just the beginning of a journey towards responsible dog ownership, with its benefits extending far beyond passing the initial test.
Final Thought on The Canine Good Citizen Badge
In conclusion, the Canine Good Citizen program is a great way to train your dog to become a well-behaved and obedient pet.
It is a wonderful opportunity for dogs and their owners to bond while learning important skills that will help them in everyday life.
This program is a good foundation for further advanced training and activities, such as therapy dog work or dog sports.
By earning the Canine Good Citizen title, your dog will not only become a valuable member of your family but also a reliable and responsible member of the community.
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