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What is Canine Good Citizen (CGC)?

At the AKC, we believe that all dogs can be good dogs, and all owners can be great owners, all it takes is a little bit of training, lots of love, and of course, plenty of praise along the way.

That’s why we created the Canine Good Citizen™ (CGC) program: an expert-made training program designed to help you and your dog be the best you can be–together.

Canine Good Citizen is a 10-skill test that teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners.

Who Can Participate in CGC?

CGC is open to all dogs–purebred and mixed breed. There are no age minimums or limits for participating in the Canine Good Citizen program, because yes, you can always teach an old dog new tricks!

With that being said, we also know that training a puppy can be very different than training an adult dog. Check out our specialized training program for puppies, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, which teaches the basics to get your puppy off to a good start and is an excellent first in-person training class.

CGC Resources

Training Resources

Every dog (and human!) learns differently. Start here to find CGC group classes offered at all Petco locations and private lessons or explore our AKC.tv video series to try your hand at practicing some CGC skills at home.

Take the CGC Test

Whether you and your dog have completed CGC classes, worked with a private trainer or practiced at home, when you’re ready, the next step is to take the 10-point CGC test with a approved evaluator in your area.

Beyond CGC

Your journey doesn’t have to end once you and your dog earn your Canine Good Citizen award. There are several other training activities in which you can continue to grow your skills and enjoy fun and rewarding activities together.

For Evaluators

Your one-stop if you are a CGC Evaluator. Here you can renew your status, download station signage, or test summary forms, or—if you’re new to the program—explore how to become an Evaluator.

Share Your Canine Good Citizen With Us!

Tag #cgc in your post for a chance to be featured!

Benefits of CGC

By training in CGC, you and your dog will deepen your bond and become a more connected team. Not only will you and your dog learn the basics of dog training and master skills like sit, down, and stay, but your dog will become a welcomed community member when out in public.

The CGC title is a prerequisite for many therapy dog certifications, as well as a great introduction to more advanced dog sports and activities.

 

Danny and his dog, Buddy, were both 11 years old when they started training for their CGC title. James, Danny’s dad, had already owned Buddy for five years, and while Buddy was always very well mannered, it had never crossed James or Danny’s mind to start Buddy on any tricks beyond basic training. At the show, someone asked if the family wanted to try CGC. Danny wasn’t sure how they would do, so he gave Daniel the choice to try it “just for fun.” Imagine his surprise when Buddy did the CGC skills for Danny! He was amazed at how well Buddy listened to Danny’s commands. They have both caught the training bug and even made a consistent effort to continue training at home. James credits most of the pair’s success to the South Jersey Cocker Spaniel Club for giving Danny and Buddy a chance to see what they could do in the ring.
James
The Stone City Kennel Club is hard at work, introducing young people to the world of dog sports. In addition to working with 4-H, Stone City KC works with several area Girl Scout troops. The Club has offered free lessons to the Girl Scouts to train their dogs to pass the CGC test and earn AKC Trick Dog titles. This has sparked an interest and now several scouts are learning conformation by showing retired dogs.
Stone City Girl Scouts
Sometimes success stories also come from our beloved AKC Approved Evaluators. One in particular, Sallie Shepherd, went above and beyond the call of duty to help a little boy, Antonio, who wanted his dog to earn the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy award. As a result, Antonio’s mother wrote to us - Miss Sallie didn’t have to do all she did for us. She taught my son how to better handle his dog and she offered us some fantastic guidance about how we could better socialize our dog, Rex. Sallie was fantastically patient with my son. Antonio is so proud of what he learned to do with his dog. We can see the heart of a natural dog lover developing. Antonio is now saying he wants to learn to be a handler.
Antonio