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Importance of Responsible Dog Ownership Now Recognized by 21 States

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC) applauds the state legislatures of Colorado, Delaware and Texas for recently passing AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC™) resolutions. The three states join 18 others and the U.S. Senate in recognizing the importance of responsible dog ownership, and the fact that dog-related problems are most often caused by irresponsible owners, not the dogs or the breeds themselves.

With the additions of Colorado, Delaware and Texas, in total 21 states have adopted CGC™ resolutions, including Massachusetts, Maine, Florida, Kansas, Alaska, Utah, Illinois, Louisiana, Georgia, New York, Alabama, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, Washington, New Hampshire and the U.S. Senate.

“With an increase in breed-specific legislation being introduced at the local level, it's wonderful to see so many states acknowledge the fact that responsibility for a dog's behavior rests with the owner,”said Dr. Mary Burch, animal behavior expert and AKC's CGC™ Director. “We thank our CGC™ evaluators in Delaware, Colorado and Texas for their tireless efforts, as well as the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs, Delaware Representative Wayne Smith, Colorado Representative Al White and Texas Representative Corbin Van Arsdale for recognizing the importance of responsible dog ownership.”

“I'm glad to help recognize the important work being done through the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program and I'm proud to be supporting its effort to promote responsible dog ownership in the state of Delaware,” said Representative Wayne A. Smith, House Majority Leader, Delaware General Assembly.

“The AKC Canine Good Citizen® program started in 1989 as a means of rewarding good dogs and responsible dog owners,”said Representative Al White. “Today, I am proud that with HJR05-1034, the Great State of Colorado joins others who recognize that all dogs need responsible owners.”

“The CGC™ test provides an opportunity for any dog owner to achieve nationally recognized certification for their pet. It also serves as a good baseline test for handlers wishing to progress to other activities with their dogs, such as an animal assisted therapy program,” said Shannan Koucherik, the Colorado dog advocate who worked closely with the state legislature to sponsor the resolution. “By passing this resolution, the Colorado Legislature is recognizing the importance of the animal/human connection.”

The Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs, the Colorado Legislature and other organizations celebrated the passing of the resolution with an event entitled, “Colorado Capitol Honors Canine Good Citizens ” on Tuesday, April 19, 2005.

CGC™ is a 10-step certification program that rewards dogs with good manners at home and in the community. Viewed as the first step in dog training, CGC™ lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, rally, tracking and performance events. CGC™ is one of the fastest growing programs at AKC and it has become a model for similar programs adapted in countries such as England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark and Canada.

Additionally, police and animal control agencies use CGC™ for dealing with dog problems in communities; therapy dog groups use CGC™ as a partial screening tool; and, some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC™ as a beginning dog training program for children.

To find a CGC™ Test or Evaluator near you.