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    Every pet owner wants a well-behaved pet. The kind that walks nicely on  leash, does not jump on other people or make a nuisance of barking or acting up around strangers and other dogs.  The majority of people take obedience classes with their dogs to achieve precisely those things.

In response to the needs of pet owners, 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 handler’s 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 II
classes. Others who wish to take the test may do so at those times, within certain
parameters. Call GKCDTC's information line for more information.