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A goal for nearly every dog owner is to have a dog that is a joy to live with. This is a dog who is well-mannered at home and in the community.

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program provides a perfect starting point in training for all dogs.
cocker spaniel

Canine Good Citizen test is a nationally recognized program that instills a sense of responsibility and good manners in dogs and owners alike. The heart of the CGC program is the 10-step CGC test. CGC The test consists of the following practical exercises:

1. Accepting a friendly stranger

2. Sitting politely for petting

3. Appearance and grooming

4. Walking on a loose leash

5. Walking through a crowd

6. Sit and down on command and staying in place

7. Coming when called

8. Reaction to another dog

9. Reacting (or not reacting) to a distraction

10. Supervised separation.

The CGC test is open to all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. Dogs who pass the test may receive a certificate or title from the American Kennel Club.

CGC is considered a good beginning step for any advanced training with dogs in agility, therapy dog work. Some insurance companies will insure breeds of dogs not otherwise insurable if the dog has the CGC award, and CGC is required for dogs living in some condos and apartments.

How to Find CGC Training and Testing Near You

If you are interested in training your dog to be a Canine Good Citizen, AKC is here to help. Click here to find a list of trainers near you. You can also email for assistance in finding CGC training and testing.
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Whatever the reason you decide that you and your dog should take the CGC—to advance her training, as a precursor for therapy work, or because it’s a nice certificate to have to earn the official AKC CGC title, there are plenty of opportunities available for you to accomplish the proper training and take the test. and your dog to earn the Canine Good Citizen award—the gold standard of behavior for dogs in our communities.
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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

This program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. In CGC, dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title.
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