Canine Good Citizen
Tyler Obedience Club of Tyler offers American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Testing. Please contact TOTC for evaluation dates and times.
CGC Test Procedures
The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Program is to ensure
that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected
member of the community. To receive the CGC certificate,
dogs take the 10 item Canine Good Citizen Test. Items on the
Test Item 1:
Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly
stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a
natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the
dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner,
ignoring the dog.
The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange
pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or
shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the
Test Item 2: Sitting politely for
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly
stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With
the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the
exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body.
The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the
exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The
dog must not show shyness or resentment.
Test Item 3: Appearance and
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome
being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as
a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It
also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of
The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean
and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition
(i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler
should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog.
The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a
natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks
up each front foot.
It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position
during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog,
praise it and give encouragement throughout.
Test Item 4: Out for a walk
(walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the
dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's
position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to
the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and
changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned
with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the
handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In
either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an
about turn with at least one stop in between and another at
the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way,
praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice.
The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
Test Item 5: Walking through a
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely
in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.
The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several
people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in
the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler,
without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment.
The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the
dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people
in the crowd or strain on the leash.
Test Item 6: Sit and down on command - staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will
respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will
remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down
position, whichever the handler prefers).
Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line
20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of
time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and
then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has
responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not
force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer
When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog
to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and
returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in
the place in which it was left (it may change position)
until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the
dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
Test Item 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by
the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog,
turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use
encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to
tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away,
giving no instructions to the dog.
Test Item 8: Reaction to another
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely
around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each
other from a distance of 20 to 30 feet, stop, shake hands
and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10
feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in
each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its
Test Item 9: Reaction to
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all
times when faced with common distracting situations. The
evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples
of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate
dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog,
or dropping a crutch or cane.
The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or
may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to
run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk
to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the
Test Item 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted
person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good
manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like,
"Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of
the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three
minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but
should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily,
or show anything stronger than mild agitation or
All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear
well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric,
or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars,
head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We
recognize that special training collars may be very useful
tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs
are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they
are transitioned to regular collars.
The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The
owner/handler should bring written proof of rabies vaccines
and the dog's brush or comb to the test.
Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout
the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food
and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use
of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something.
We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable
reinforcement or encouragement during the training process
but these items should not be used during the test.
Failures - Dismissals
Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked
failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination
is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is
Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to
attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and
must be dismissed from the test.
How much does the test cost?
The cost varies, but minimal, to have your dog tested. If your dog passes, you will send in the original copy to AKC with a $5.00 fee to received your official Canine Good Citizen Certificate.
Can my dog be tested?
If dogs have been trained at home and are well-mannered, owners can have their dogs tested. Clubs and training programs in almost every city can provide CGC training to owners and dogs who need to learn a few more skills before taking the test.
Who can take the test?
All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the CGC program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines, and there is no age limit on the test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. If the CGC test is given at an AKC show, the age requirements for the show apply to CGC also.
Is the CGC an official AKC title?
The CGC award is not an official AKC title because the testing is not administered by our licensed judges. Owners should be proud of the award and recognize that the CGC is gaining credibility and recognition in our communities. Participating in this program helps spread the word about the importance of responsible dog ownership.
More information can be obtained at the American Kennel Club's website.