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What is the Canine Good Citizen Exam?

December 5, 2019

The American Kennel Club Canine Citizen Exam is a test that emphasizes responsible dog ownership, good manners, and obedience. Having the title of Canine Good Citizen demonstrates that your dog has mastered basic obedience skills, behaves well around people and other dogs, and is a good friend and neighbor. Over 1 million dogs have earned the Canine Good Citizen award.

Who can participate in the training?

Both purebred and mixed breeds are invited to participate. Dogs do not have to be registered with any organization to take the exam. The only requirement is that the dog take the exam with its owner. There is no age minimum or maximum – yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

What are the benefits?

Learning and practicing the skills covered in the exam will help you learn the basics of dog training and teach your dog important skills to becoming a happy and well-adjusted pet. The training will also improve communication and deepen the bond between you and your dog. Homeowners’ insurance programs or hotels may offer discounts for dogs qualified as Canine Good Citizens. Being a Canine Good Citizen may be a requirement for certain therapy dog programs. The skills learned for the exam can create the foundation for participating in other activities such as agility, therapy, or tricks.

What is covered in the Good Canine Citizen exam?

The ten skills covered in the test are:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger – Your dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and you without showing resentment or shyness.
  2. Sitting politely for petting – Your dog will sit quietly and show no shyness while a friendly stranger touches it.
  3. Appearance and grooming – Your dog will sit quietly while the evaluator examines and grooms it.
  4. Out for a walk – Your dog will walk with you in control on a loose leash.
  5. Walking through a crowd – Your dog will walk quietly with you and pass around several people.
  6. Sit and down on command and staying in place – Your dog will obey commands to sit, down, and stay.
  7. Coming when called – Your dog will come when called.
  8. Reaction to another dog – Your dog behaves politely when approached by other handlers with dogs.
  9. Reaction to distraction – Your dog will not be upset by distractions by barking, showing aggressiveness, or trying to run.
  10. Supervised separation – Your dog will behave well when handled by a different handler.

Who administers the exam?

To get the most out of the training and preparation, the AKC recommends finding a group class. A class will give your dog not only the benefit of an experienced trainer but also an opportunity to practice socialization with other owners and dogs.

At Peace Love Dogs, we have 6 Good Canine Citizen AKC recognized evaluators. We will prepare and test you on the 10 Test Items needed to earn a CGC title. Open to PLD Alumni only – call to find out how to become one!

Peace Love Dogs offers Canine Good Citizen preparation classes in six 1-hour sessions for a total cost of $225.

As a premier dog and puppy training facility in Houston, TX, Peace Love Dogs has a variety of dog training classes to meet your needs. Learn more about Dog Training programs. 

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