Sit, roll over, earn a certificate; if your dog is a good citizen, here’s a test you’ll want to know about

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Does your pup amaze you with his or her good behavior or ability to learn? If you answered ‘yes,’ you might want to know about the Good Canine Citizen Program, which was created in 1989 to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.

According to the Paws for People website, The Canine Good Citizen Program is a program that stresses responsible pet ownership and good manners for dogs. 

Dogs and their owners can either take CGC classes or practice at home. When the dog is ready, the next step is to find an evaluator in your area and take a 10-point CGC test. Dogs who pass the test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. In addition to the certificate and related bragging rights, both dogs and their people will likely bond through the process and set good examples for others, who may also be inspired to try the program. 

The video linked to below shows a dog taking the CGC test:

 

There is no age minimum for the test, but dogs must have received necessary vaccines, including rabies. Owners need to sign a Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a veterinarian.

According to the American Kennel Club’s site, puppies are sometimes more suited for getting their AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy award first, then moving up to CGC after graduation. 

There’s also a CGC-Ready program, through which dogs in shelters and in other facilities can receive training for the CGC test via volunteers. 

For more information about the CGC program and test, please visit: https://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/

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