October 2014 AKC Gazette President’s Letter

October 2014 AKC Gazette President's Letter


Happy birthday, CGC! We’re proud to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC®) program this year. As the gold standard of behavior for all dogs, the program has had a major impact on the dog world.

The first official test was held in Dunedin, Florida in 1989 after then AKC VP of Obedience, James E. "Jim" Dearinger, led the creation of a program that would fulfill the need to recognize well-behaved dogs and their responsible owners in communities across the country.

Since that first test, more than 600,000 dogs have passed the CGC test (recently featured in USA TODAY) and the US Senate and 42 state legislatures have passed Canine Good Citizen resolutions or proclamations advocating for responsible dog ownership. Dogs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Detector Dogs program currently take the CGC test as part of their graduation, and many therapy dog groups require successful completion of the CGC test before a dog is considered for therapy dog testing.

Under current Director Mary R. Burch, PhD, AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program has continued to grow.

In January 2013, after frequent requests from fanciers, Canine Good Citizen became an official title. "CGC" now appears on dogs’ title records and in show catalogs. An advanced CGC title was implemented in October 2013 to encourage continued training and to serve as a bridge into sports like AKC Rally® and obedience. AKC Community Canine results in dogs earning the "CGCA" (advanced CGC) title.

To celebrate this 25-year milestone, we’re sending out free Canine Good Citizen 10-dog test kits to clubs or evaluators who register their CGC class or test as an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. You’ll also receive a website listing and a free box of giveaways and goodies to hand out to visitors. Learn how to register here or contact communications@akc.org.

We hope that YOU’LL celebrate these 25 wonderful years by getting your dog’s CGC or CGCA title. We’d love to see a shot of your dog taking the test or posing with the certificate – share with us on Facebook or Twitter.


Dennis B. Sprung
President and CEO