The Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program started in 1989, CGC is a certification program that is
designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.

Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge.
We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the
pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and
quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after
their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the
CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 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 evaluator.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
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 3: Appearance and grooming
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 responsibility. 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 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 5: Walking through a crowd
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 6: Sit and down on command and 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). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner
chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. 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 gentle guidance. 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 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 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and
their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 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 handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
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 exercise.

Test 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 nervousness.
Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or
management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").


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 the dog's brush
or comb to the test.
AKC Canine Good Citizen
American K-9   508-259-1911
Dog Training That Works!