What is the Canine Good Citizen test and why does my dog need one?
The American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program rewards well behaved dogs and responsible owners with the chance to gain nationally recognized certification. Many doggie daycare and pet hotel businesses require dogs to pass a Canine Good Citizen's test in order to stay at their location.
Who is eligible?
All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines. Owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a veterinarian who will work with the owner to determine an appropriate plan and schedule for vaccines and other health care procedures.
There is no age limit for the CGC test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. Puppies who have completed all immunizations and boosters may be tested, however, because we know that behavior and temperament can change over time, when puppies pass the CGC test, owners should have them re-tested as adults.
What do I need to bring/not bring?
Bring your dog on a flat buckle collar, limited slip collar, or harness. The dog must be on a 4-6 foot lead. No flexi’s or long lines. As per AKC rules and HSHV policy, no corrective tools like choke/pinch collars or shock (e-stim) collars). The AKC also does not permit the use of head halters during the test, as they are considered a training aid even though they are not a corrective tool. It will also be nice to bring a mat, some treats, and water for your dog while you wait for your turn. (Note: No treats will be allowed during actual testing.)
What's the test like?
Before the test begins, you will sign a Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge. You will then be asked to complete a series of 10 tasks including: Accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, accepting handling and grooming, walking on a loose lead, walking through a crowd, sitting and lying down on cue and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to distraction, and supervised separation.
What do I get if my dog pass the test?
If your dog passes all 10 tasks you can apply for a CGC certificate and dog tag. If you have an AKC number for your dog (see AKC website for details), you can also to have the CGC title added to your dog’s records.
What if my dog does not pass the test?
A test just tells you where you are at one point in time and lets you know what there is to work on. HSHV offers a variety of classes that will be able to help you address the things you still need to work on.
What are the benefits of taking the test?
The cost is $20 per dog, with a portion going directly to HSHV.
How long will it take?
The test itself takes about 10 minutes, but the amount of time you are waiting will vary based on number of dogs being tested. If we have a large turnout, we will assign a window of time for you and your dog.
Will I get a chance to practice?
We will conduct a mock test (treats allowed) a few weeks before the actual test.
More Information About Becoming a Canine Good Citizen:
CGC Program Overview
Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge
Both the morning practice and evening test will be held in the education center at the Humane Society of Huron Valley, 3100 Cherry Hill Road. Cost is $10 for practice and $20 for the test. You may sign up for just the practice or just the test or both.