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PugetHounder Asks "Is Your Dog A 'Canine Good Citizen?' "

Of course your dog is a good dog! Right???! But is he/she a good citizen? The American Kennel Club started a program called American Kennel Club ® Canine Good Citizen ® Program in 1989. The purpose of the program is to teach responsible dog ownership and provide good manner training to dogs and their owners.

The AKC sponsors Canine Good Citizen® testing. If you and your dog pass the test, you will receive a certificate from the American Kennel Association. Earning the CGC certification helps you to develop a closer bond with your dog, is a stepping stone to more advanced obedience training, and ensures that your dog is a well-respected member of the community.

AKC Canine Good Citizen® Program

So what does your dog need learn to to pass the Canine Good Citizen® test?

  • Accept A Friendly Stranger
  • Sit Politely for petting
  • Welcome being groomed and examined by a friendly stranger
  • Walk on a loose leash, demonstrating that the handler is in control of the dog
  • Walk through a crowd without acting shy, resentful or over exuberant
  • Respond to handler's command to 'Sit', 'Down' and 'Stay' in place for a designated amount of time
  • Come when called
  • React to another dog with only casual interest when two handlers and their dogs approach each other from about 15 feet
  • React without barking, panic, or aggression to common distractions
  • Demonstrate good manners when left with a trusted person during a supervised out of sight seperation from handler for three minutes.


"Why, that dog is practically a Phi Beta Kappa. She can sit up and beg, and she can give her paw - I don't say she will, but she can." - Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) U.S. humorous writer

For a list of AKC approved trainers, visit the AKC Web site -- American Kennel Club - Canine Good Citizen Evaluators or call 212-696-8343

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