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Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

CGC: What’s After CGC?

After CGC: What’s Next?

A well-trained dog is a joy to live with, and the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is a great first step in providing your dog with a solid foundation of basic training skills and intellectual stimulation. When you complete CGC training, you will have a canine companion who responds to core commands such as sit and down and who remains under good control on a leash.

While this is a fabulous beginning, we strongly encourage owners to continue training beyond CGC in order to develop off-leash control, increase the dog’s reliability, and to further enhance the bond that has been built during CGC training. There are many other AKC activities that are rewarding, enriching and fun for you and your dog.

After CGC, be sure to consider:

AKC Family Dog Program

After Canine Good Citizen, a core part of the AKC Family Dog Program, many dog owners choose to participate in the advanced levels of the CGC program: AKC Community Canine and AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen.

  • AKC Community Canine (CGCA) is all about having a well-behaved dog in the community. Whereas Canine Good Citizen tests are most often tested in a simulated environment at a training facility or in a ring. The 10-step AKC Community Canine test is conducted in real life situations, which can include walking through a crowd on a busy sidewalk or in a local park.
  • AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) requires that the dog demonstrate CGC skills and beyond in an urban setting. As with Canine Good Citizen, AKC Urban CGC has a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Urban CGC title, but it is administered in a place where there are cars, streets to be crossed, noises, and distraction

The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog organizations. Once dogs are certified by one of these qualified organizations, they are eligible to enroll in the AKC Therapy Dog Program and apply for AKC Therapy Dog titles.

Trick dog training is a great way to provide dogs with physical and mental exercise. From basic tricks such a high five to more advanced tricks such jumping in their owner’s arms, this fun activity shows that every dog can learn something new. CGC provides great preparation to get started with AKC Trick Dog. Plus, by earning the CGC title first, dogs only have to perform 5 tricks from the Novice checklist to earn an AKC Novice Trick Dog title. This is often called “CGC + 5.”

AKC Sports

Canine Good Citizen also provides a great foundation for getting started in dog sports. The basic skills and teamwork gained through CGC are easily translatable across a multitude of AKC sports, including:

In order for your dog to earn a CGC title (in addition to a CGC certificate) and titles in other AKC activities and sports, you’ll need to get an AKC number.
An AKC number can be one of four times types:

  • AKC Registration Number – listed on a dog’s AKC registration certificate for all AKC registered breeds
  • AKC Canine Partners Number – for mixed breed dogs or a purebred dogs otherwise not eligible for AKC registration
  • Purebred Alternative Listing Number (PAL) – If a dog is an AKC-recognized breed, but the owner doesn’t have their AKC registration papers, they can apply for a PAL number.
  • Foundation Stock Service® (FSS) Number – for breeds whose status is currently in the foundational stage of being recognized by AKC

Learn more about how to obtain an AKC number for your dog.

We hope you take the next step in training and enjoy a lifetime of fun and engaging activities with your dog through the AKC.


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The Canine Good Citizen Program is sponsored by Geico