AKC’s Canine Good Citizen®

Evaluators

CGC curriculum sample

Teaching Responsible Dog Ownership

A sample CGC course outline (for an 8 week class) is provided at the bottom of this page to help instructors who are planning a class. Please remember that the CGC concept applies to both ends of the leash and all CGC classes should include training for the owner on responsible dog ownership. Some instructors start the class by having the dogs relax (down on leash) while owners get a 10-15 minute owner lesson. Following the owner lesson, the dog training portion of the CGC class begins. Topics for owners should meet the needs in your community and can include: Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pet Dogs, the Purpose of Dog Shows, How to Start Formal Obedience or other Companion Events, What it Means to be a Responsible Owner (hotels, hiking trails, being a good neighbor, etc.) Legislation and how you can help, Crate Training, etc. The AKC has educational materials on many of these topics.

Sample CGC Class: An 8 Week Session

We frequently receive calls from instructors who request a course outline for teaching the skills on the Canine Good Citizen Test. There are many possible variations on the outline below. This outline is based on an 8-week session with Graduation (taking the CGC test) in the 8th week. Typically, classes are 1-hour per week with owners given homework and instructed to practice about 15 minutes per day. If you are using a CGC curriculum with your students and would like for us to share it with other CGC evaluators, we will be happy to post it here for you.

WEEK SKILLS TAUGHT TEST ITEMS
1 Intro to class, introduce people and dogs. Class rules-responsible dog ownership-cleaning up, etc. Talk about your philosophy of training (e.g., will you use food lures, clickers). Fitting of training collars. Meet and greet dogs (petting, ears and feet). Demo and practice walk on loose lead; start training Sit. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
2 Questions, problems with your dog during the week? Meet and greet the dogs; touch ears and feet, try a brush or comb. Practice and feedback on walk on a loose lead; practice and feedback on sit. Demo sit/stay and try it. Demo down and try it. Start Coming When Called. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
3 Questions, any behavior or training problems this week? New person (asst. or a student while you hold their dog) does meet, greet, brief groom. Walk on a loose lead (one at a time with feedback). Walk by distraction dog (can use other students at a farther distance and with necessary precautions). Sit and sit-stay; down and start down-stay. Add time to sit-stay. Coming when called 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
4 Greet dogs as students arrive-touch ears, feet, etc. Problems this week? Walk on a loose lead-closer to other dogs and near other people. Weave in and out of people if students are ready. Students show dogs can sit. Sit-stay: add time and distractions. Down and down-stay with added time and distractions. Start on Supervised Separation. If students bring crates, some can put dogs up and hold dogs of others. Coming when called-can be done on leash or long line. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
5 Students have been introduced to all skills. Work on problem areas. Add more difficult distractions, add time to stays, start having the owner move away from the dog on the stays which to this point may have been with the owner simply stepping out in front. Add distance to come. (Use long lines for safety). All Items 1-10
6 Continue to work on problem areas, increasing distances, adding distractions, changing locations and formats for the exercises. All Items 1-10
7 By now students should be going out the full 20-ft. on the stays, out 10 ft. for come. Dogs should not be jumping on distraction dog and should tolerate the touching of their ears and feet. Review and work on any problems. All Items 1-10
8 CGC Test Night All Items 1-10