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The What and Why of the CGC Program
The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Citizen Test is a certification program that tests dogs in simulated everyday situations in a relaxed atmosphere. It identifies and rewards dogs that have the training and demeanor to be reliable family members as well as community members in good standing.
The purpose of the CGC Test is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community because it is trained and conditioned to act mannerly in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs. The program embraces both purebred and mixed-breed dogs, as the anti-canine sentiment does not discriminate between the purebred and the non-purebred.
Canine Good Citizen training is fun and useful. Through it, you and your dog will establish a closer bond, and your dog will have the added benefit of knowing how to please you. This test of your dog’s manners and training is not a competition and does not require that you and your dog perform with precision.
The American Kennel Club urges all dog owners to participate in this program, thereby assuring that our beloved dogs will always be welcome and respected members of the community.
Note to Prospective Pet Partners: Many of the exercises in the CGC test are similar if not identical to those in the Pet Partners Evaluation. Therefore, prospective Pet Partners should seriously consider taking the CGC test in preparation for the Pet Partners Evaluation.
Creating a Canine Good Citizen
When man took the dog from the wild as his companion, he assumed responsibility for the dog’s care and upbringing. Over time, man taught dogs to obey household rules so they would be welcome family members. Today, dogs must also have good manners in public to live harmoniously within communities and survive the increasing challenges of anti-canine advocates.
Every dog should respond to at least four basic commands to function acceptably in public: “heel,” “sit,” “down,” and “stay.” Response to these commands gives dogs the social skills that defuse anti-canine feelings and foster good citizenship. However, your dog is not capable of training itself. It needs your help to become a Canine Good Citizen.
Training results in a controlled dog, one that does not bother the neighbors or their dogs and does not balk at grooming procedures or a veterinarian’s examination. Training stimulates your dog’s intelligence and gives its life meaning by letting it know how to please you and what you expect. In an emergency, training can save your dog’s life.
A trained dog has good manners, which reflect favorably on its owner, its breed and its species. The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program will help you and all dog owners everywhere achieve this goal. In addition, the AKC recognizes your accomplishment.
Dog Training are offered and taught by Mark Sumonka and Ken Bell. Their CGC Course prepares you and your dog for the Canine Good Citizen Test. These courses allow you and your dog to work with others who share your goal. Ken and Mark will sponsor the test upon completion of the course. The cost for the test is included in the class sign up. All dogs who who successfully complete the CGC test can receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club and are automatically recorded in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Archive.
To receive the CGC award, dogs must successfully complete the 10 item Canine Good Citizen Test. Items on the test include:
Test 1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger
Test 2. Sitting Politely for Petting
Test 3. Appearance and Grooming
Test 4. Out for a Walk (walk on a loose leash)
Test 5. Walking Through a Crowd
Test 6. Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place
Test 7. Coming When Called
Test 8. Reaction to Another Dog
Test 9. Reactions to Distractions
Test 10. Supervised Separation
To learn more about each of these tests, see CGC Test & Training.
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