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Passing The CGC - Is Your Dog Ready?

The Canine Good Citizen program, otherwise known as the CGC is a two-part program designed to set a standard for responsible pet ownership and basic good manners for dogs. For many dog owners getting their dog in Canine Good Citizen training is the first thing they do to lay the foundation their dog needs before proceeding to basic training and other performance events. What is a Canine Good Citizen? Since its inception in 1989, the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program has rapidly grown and positive impacts in communities. The program is highly regarded by veterinarians, dog clubs, 4H clubs, animal control agencies, and even State Legislatures are recognizing the benefit the program has had in their communities. The success of the program has resulted in CGC programs being implemented in veterinary hospitals and 34 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions. All dogs, both purebred and mixed breeds, are welcome to participate in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program. The Canine Good Citizen program lays the foundation for all other AKC activities, including obedience trials, agility, tracking, and performance events. CGC Requirements Dogs of any age can take their CGC. The dog must be old enough to have completed their immunizations and vaccines and owners must sign the Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge Owners and agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others. The CGC test consists of 10 skills needed by all well mannered dogs. All dogs who pass the test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club, which shows that they have the skills needed to be a good canine citizen. Requirements of the CGC Canine Good Citizen Test (all of these exercises are performed on a leash):

1. Accepting a friendly stranger-must greet people in a friendly manner.

2. Sitting politely for petting-the dog must tolerated being petted and show no sign of resentment or shyness.

3. Appearance and grooming-the dog must appeared well cared for and tolerate the examiner to exam the paws, ears, and brush.

4. Dog will walk on a loose lead-dog must walk on a loose lead, pay attention to its handler, turn right and left, and may walk on a designated course.

5. Walking through a crowd-the dog must politely walk near at least three strangers without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment.

6. Sit and down on command and staying in place-the dog must sit and down on a 20’ long line.

7. Coming when called-from 10’ away, the dog must come when called.

8. Reaction to another dog-two handlers with dogs must meet and greet while the dog shows no more than a casual interest in the other dog.

9. Reaction to distraction-the evaluator will create two distractions. The dog may show interest or surprise but not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark.

10. Supervised separation-the evaluator will hold the dogs leash for three mintues, the dog must not bark, whine, or pace.

Benefits of the CGC: Having your dog pass the CGC may have some additional benefits. You may be able to a discount on your homeowners insurance or even have an easier time purchasing insurance, if you own a certain breed of dog. From the National Animal Interest Alliance: “Nationwide now offers homeowners insurance to the owners of some previously prohibited breeds and mixed breeds if the dog successfully completes the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test. The CGC is the American Kennel Club’s assessment that recognizes responsible owners of well-behaved dogs. Prior to this initiative, many insurance companies automatically excluded households with certain breeds from homeowners' insurance no matter how well- mannered the dogs, no matter how responsible the owners.” What you’ll need to bring to your CGC exam: You’ll need to bring your dog’s brush or comb to the CGC test. In the CGC test, dogs must wear a buckle collar or slip collar made of fabric or leather or chain. Training, choke or electronic collars are not allowed. For details regarding equipment, expanded descriptions of each of the exercises, a video showing details of test and how the CGC Test is administered, or to find an evaluator in your area see: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm


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