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The Canine Good Citizen test or CGC is designed to show that you have basic control over your dog and that your dog is social, has good manners and is not a nuisance in public.

The CGC is a 10 phase test that includes:



Accepting a friendly stranger: The evaluator will approach the team and shake hands with the handler. The dog must not jump on the evaluator or growl etc.


Sitting politely for petting: The evaluator will pet your dog, the dog must not show shyness or resentment.


Appearance and grooming: The evaluator inspects the dog, combs or brushes the dog lightly, looks in the ears and picks up each front foot. The dog must accept the handling without showing resentment.


Out for a walk: The handler takes the dog for a short walk which includes a right turn, left turn, about turn and stop. The evaluator may call out the directions to the handler. The dog does not have to “heel” perfectly but needs to stay with the handler and not pull on the lead.


Walking through a crowd: The handler and dog walk close to several people (the people may be moving around). The dog may show casual interest but not jump up on any of the “crowd”.


Sit and Down on command/Staying in place: The handler shows that the dog can do a sit and a down. The handler may not push the dog into the down position. The handler will then choose which position to have the dog in to perform the stay. Once commanded to stay the handler will then walk to the end of a 20 ft line turn around and immediately return to the dog. The dog must hold the position and stay in place until the handler returns.


Coming when called: With the dog on the 20 ft line the handler walks out 10 ft turns and calls the dog to come. The handler may use enticement such as patting legs or clapping hands but may not pull the dog by the lead. The dog should respond quickly and happily to the handlers call. The dog does not need to sit upon arriving to the handler but should not run off either.


Reaction to another dog: Two handlers with dog’s approach one another, shake hands and exchange pleasantries then move on. The dogs should remain next to the handler and can show casual interest but should not attempt to play or show aggression to one another.


Reaction to distraction: Distractions are presented such as people on crutches or in wheelchairs, books dropped, umbrella opened/closed etc. The dog may not panic or show aggression.


Supervised separation: The handler will hand the dogs leash to the evaluator or assistant and go out of sight for 3 minutes. The dog should remain calm; no excessive pacing, no whining/barking, no jumping on the evaluator, no trying to escape etc.


   To pass the CGC test the dog must pass all 10 items of the test. If you pass you will receive a document stating that fact which you send to AKC for an official certificate. Having a dog that has passed a CGC test will sometimes be helpful with insurance companies, landlords etc. The CGC is not an obedience title; it just shows that you have basic control over your dog and that the dog is not a threat to the public.
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