Canine Good Citizen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Canine Good Citizen
Dogtags cgc fxwb.jpg
Canine Good Citizen dogtag
PurposeDetermining dog aggression
Year started1989; 34 years ago (1989)
Restrictions on attemptsMust pass all 10 exercises in a single attempt. Can retry test as desired.
Countries / regionsUnited States
FeeNominal fee varies by tester

The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, established in 1989, is an American Kennel Club program to promote responsible dog ownership and to encourage the training of well-mannered dogs.[1][2][3] A dog and handler team must take a short behavioral evaluation of less than half an hour; dogs who pass the evaluation earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate, which many people represent after the dog's name, abbreviating it as CGC; for example, "Fido, CGC".[4]

The evaluation consists of ten objectives.[5] All items must be completed satisfactorily or the team fails. Test items include:

  • Accepting a friendly stranger.[6]
  • Sitting politely for petting.[6]
  • Allowing basic grooming procedures.[6]
  • Walking on a loose lead.[6]
  • Walking through a crowd.[6]
  • Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place.[6]
  • Coming when called.[6]
  • Reacting appropriately to walking by a dog and person.[6]
  • Reacting appropriately to distractions.[6]
  • Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner.[6]

Evaluators sometimes combine elements during the actual test. If a dog fails the test initially, owners can continue training with their dog and retake for the test in the future.

If all ten objectives are met, the handler can apply for a certificate and special dog pet tag from the AKC stating that the dog has earned the CGC.[7]

Dogs do not have to be registered with the AKC to earn a CGC, nor do they have to be purebred or, in fact, registered with any canine organization.[8][9] The goal is to promote good citizenship for all dogs.

Since its inception, the CGC program has become the model for similar programs around the world, is the backbone of other exams, such as those given for therapy dogs, and is a good starting point for more advanced dog training.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Breed discrimination bites homeowners". Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  2. ^ Bouyet, Barbara. Akita, Treasure of Japan. Magnum Publishing. ISBN 9780971614604. Retrieved 13 November 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Volhard, Jack; Volhard, Wendy (14 September 2011). Dog Training For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118054529. Retrieved 30 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ O'Neil, Jacqueline (3 March 2011). Chihuahuas For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118052259. Retrieved 30 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Aingworth, Nancy (14 June 2012). Tons of Golden Fun: Ten Exciting Dog Sports Your Golden Retriever Will Love!. BookBaby. ISBN 9781623091934. Retrieved 30 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hughes, Val. "WHAT IS THE CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TEST?". FOX 28 Spokane. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  7. ^ Rice, Dan (30 August 1999). Training Your German Shepherd Dog. Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 9780764108525. Retrieved 30 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "What happened to Michael Vick's dogs ..." Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Becoming in Kind, Race, Class, Gender, and Nation in Cultures of Dog Rescue and Dogfighting"" (PDF).
  10. ^ Prisco, Joanna (15 March 2015). "Why your dog should get officially certified as a 'good citizen'". NY Post. Retrieved 17 December 2018.

External links[edit]