The Canine Good Citizen Program is offered by the American Kennel Club. All dogs, whether purebred or mixed breed, can participate. This is basically a demonstration that the dog has confidence and good manners, and is under the owner's control. The dog must complete the following series of exercises:

  1. Appearance and Grooming : Demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger (such as a veterinarian or someone other than the owner) to do so.

  2. Accepting a Stranger : The Evaluator and handler will shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the Evaluator.

  3. Walking on Loose Lead : Out for a Walk. Demonstrates that the handler is in control.

  4. Walk Through a Crowd : Demonstrates that the dog should have no difficulty in moving through crowded areas. The dog and handler will walk around and pass close to several persons. The dog may show some interest in the strangers without evidence of shyness or resentment. The dog should not be straining at the leash.

  5. Sit for Exam : Demonstrates that the dog will allow the approach of a stranger and permit petting. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

  6. Sit, Down, & Come on Command : Demonstrates that the dog has had some formal training and will respond to the handlerís command. The handler may not force the dog into either the sit or down position, but may use more than one command.

  7. Stay in Position (Sit or Down) : Demonstrates that the dog will assume and remain in the position in which it was left until the handler returns and releases the dog.

  8. Reaction to Another Dog : The dogs should demonstrate no more than casual interest in another dog, without going to the other dog or handler.

  9. Reactions to Distractions : Demonstrates that the dog is confident when faced with distractions. The dog may express natural curiosity and may startle, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark.

  10. Supervised Isolation: Demonstrates that the dog may be left with someone other than the handler, and still maintain good manners. A sit or down stay is not necessary. The dog should not bark, whine, howl, or pace unnecessarily or register anything other than mild agitation or nervousness. (adapted from AKC #E-128)

The Greater Kansas City Dog Training Club offers CGC tests as part of the Beginner classes. Others who wish to take the test may do so at those times, within certain parameters. Call GKCDTC's information line at

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