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Giving responsible dog owners a whole new level of achievement for their dogs, the American Kennel Club® (AKC®) has developed a new advanced level title – AKC Community Canine – as part of the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC®) training program.  Since 1989, the CGC program has rewarded more than 600,000 dogs and their owners who have passed the test, which recognizes the dogs’ good manners at home and in the community.

With the introduction of AKC Community Canine, the AKC's CGC program now provides a comprehensive three- level training program for you and your dog. Beginning with AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, progressing to Canine Good Citizen and now to AKC Community Canine, the CGC program trains dogs through all stages of life to be well behaved in society. 

“AKC Community Canine expands on CGC skills and lays the beginning foundation for obedience, rally and therapy dog work,” Director of the Canine Good Citizen program Mary Burch, PhD, said. “While Canine Good Citizen tests are simulations of real world skills, the goal of AKC Community Canine is to test the dog’s abilities in a natural setting. Rather than the test being administered in a ring, certain elements will involve the dog walking through a real crowd, whether at a dog show or on a busy sidewalk.”

As with CGC, AKC Community Canine requires a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Community Canine title:

  • Dog sits or lies down and waits under control
  • Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring) and does not pull                         
  • Walks on a loose leash through a crowd
  • Dog walks past distraction dogs present and does not pull                               
  • Sit-stay in small group (3 other people with dogs)
  • Dog allows person who is carrying something to approach and pet it
  • Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it”                  
  • Down or sit stay-distance (owner’s choice)       
  • Recall (coming when called) with distractions present
  • Dog will enter/exit a doorway or passageway with owner and remain under control


Eligible dogs for the AKC Community Canine title must have a CGC certificate or title on record at AKC and must have an AKC number (AKC registration number, PAL number, or AKC Canine Partners number). Dogs passing the AKC Community Canine test will earn the “CGCA” (advanced CGC) title.


Instructors can learn more about the program and begin training their students on AKC Community Canine skills by visiting the AKC Community Canine page.  AKC Community Canine testing will be administered by approved AKC CGC evaluators nationwide beginning in October.

Giving responsible dog owners a whole new level of achievement for their dogs, the American Kennel…