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HumaneK9 Dog Training

AKC Canine Good Citizen Test - Title Recognition Program

CGC is a title recognition program designed to recognize dogs with good manners --- at home and in the community. This two- part CGC program stresses responsible pet ownership and basic manners for dogs. Dogs passing the ten step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

The CGC program is beneficial for people who would like to do Therapy work with their dogs. Additionally, the CGC program is the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog teaching the CGC skills, you'll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog.

Training enhances the bond between dogs and their owners. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with. They respond well to household routines and have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs. They fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life.

All dogs, (pure and mixed breeds) are welcome to participate in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen®- CGC program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines. Owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge attesting to the dog's standard veterinary care.

On January 1, 2013 Canine Good Citizen®- became an official AKC title that can appear on the title records of dogs registered or listed with AKC. Dog owners who complete the CGC as a Title process may list the suffix "CGC" after the dog's name. Additional information can be found here: http://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/training-testing/

  1. 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. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

  2. 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. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

  3. 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. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

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

    This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired. Read More: How To Train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash

  5. 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. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

  6. 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). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

  7. Test 7: Coming when called

    This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

  8. Test 8: Reaction to another dog

    This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

  9. Test 9: Reaction to distraction

    This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

  10. 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. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright"). Read More: How to Teach Your Dog To Stay


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.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog's brush or comb to the test.


Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.

Failures &mdash- Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

Bring to class:

  • Water for yourself and your dog
  • Dog crate if testing more than one dog (Dogs should be inside the locked/zipped crate when not being tested)

General Info:

  • Please wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers or closed toe shoes are recommended
  • Bring appropriate sun protection as this is an outside venue
  • Do not let your dog socialize with other dogs, but instead keep his/her focus on you
  • Be respectful of other dogs' space and allow adequate room between your dog and other dogs
  • Please keep your dog under control at all times. Excessive barking will not be tolerated
  • Please ensure your dog has gone potty prior to class and bring bags to remove any waste
  • No female dogs in heat or dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs and/or people

Fees: The test fee is $30.00 and fees are non-refundable whether your dog passes or fails.


Payment will be required two weeks prior to the start of a class. Unpaid registrations cannot be held and will be given to any student on our waitlist. Classes with less than minimum participation (determined by the number of paid spots) are subject to cancellation. If you have registered for class and can no longer attend, please notify us in writing at least 3 days in advance and we will refund your payment. Refunds cannot be offered once classes begin. Payment options include: cash, checks or PayPal.

Date: 12/21/2019 (Sat.)

Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm EST

Location: HumaneK9 Dog Training

Created by:   Marni Bellavia - HumaneK9 Dog Training
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Linda Wald
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