Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Canine Good Citizen Degree

Image from akc.org
Since 1989, the AKC offers a Canine Good Citizen test, and over 600,000 dogs have passed it. The idea is to offer a fun and satisfying way for dogs and owners to work together towards the goal of a well-trained and well-socialized dog.

The CGC is now an official title. Dogs who successfully completed the 10-step test can have the title "CGC" affixed to their name. 

To make things even better, there's now an advanced degree as well: AKC Community Canine, or CGCA. In order to earn this title, the dog must have a CGC award or title, and have an AKC number. (All dogs can get an AKC number, it doesn't matter if it's a purebred or mixed.)

Both tests focus on a dog's social skills. Evaluators stage a series of ten common situations a dog and owner might encounter, and to pass, the dog must react in a calm and well-mannered way. For the CGC, the tests are simulations of real world skills, but the CGCA performs the test in a natural setting. 

To pass the test, the dog must:
  1. Stand, sit, or lie down and wait while the owner is busy doing something else.
  2. Walk on a loose leash in a real-life situation.
  3. Walk on a loose leash, without pulling, through a crowd.
  4. Walk, without pulling, past distraction dogs.
  5. Sit and stay in a group of three other dogs and owners.
  6. Allow an approach and petting from a person carrying a backpack or other object.
  7. "Leave it" - be able to ignore food on command.
  8. Down or sit-stay from a distance.
  9. Recall in an environment with distractions.
  10. Sit or stand-stay while owner enters/exists a doorway or a narrow passage.
To read more about these degrees, visit akc.org!

~ Maria Sadowski ~


  1. Yep, our dogs wouldn't pass. But I love the list; most of it is doable for our dogs. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. My dogs wouldn't pass. They can do some of them, but not all ten. It would be cool to train them and give it a shot, but I don't have the attention span, LOL!

  2. Mom is hoping to get Bailie one of these, but since she is such a scent oriented dog, we aren't so sure she will make it. She is way too young right now, but we will see in a year or so, if she doesn't flunk out of obedience school!

    1. You're all such good girls, I'm sure she'll be able to do it. Would be a fun project for your blog! =D

  3. Once Vlad is released from the vet, the CGCA is what we'll be training for (again). After the vet put him on leash-walk-only with no running at 5 mths, we had to stop regular training because he wouldn't quit running on the recall. Today is actually his 23rd-month day, so he's supposed to be released from the vet's orders in one more month!

    1. No running, that would be a hard rule to follow. Hope everything works out and he gets released from the vet's orders!