Lately we’ve been getting a lot of request for Canine Good Citizen training, so it seems right to discuss the program and why we think it’s so important.
Here at iWorkDogs, our aim is to educate people as much as it is to train dogs. We believe there are standards for well behaved dogs, and requirements for responsible dog ownership. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Program is the benchmark. It’s the first step for so many dog related programs and activities. If you want to compete in agility, bite work, tracking, obedience or even want your dog do therapy dog work, the Canine Good Citizen training is the prerequisite. Additionally, having a CGC can be required by some Los Angeles landlords, and some homeowner insurance companies. It is recommended that service dogs and emotional support dogs pass a CGC as well. As a responsible dog owner, this should be your first goal…
What is The Canine Good Citizen (CGC)?
As I mentioned before, the Canine Good Citizen training program is binary. On one side, it’s about having a well mannered dog, but on the other hand it’s equally about responsible dog ownership. The CGC is a non competitive test composed of 10 simple exercises. It’s a pass or fail sort of thing, and you have to pass all 10 items to pass the test.
The Dog’s Part – 10 test items (links to videos included):
The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation.
The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.
The dog will permit someone to check it’s ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.
Following the evaluator’s instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner).
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 must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet on a leash).
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.
The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.
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”).
The Human’s Part – AKC CGC Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge:
- I will be responsible for my dog’s health needs. These include:
- routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines
- adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times
- daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming
- I will be responsible for my dog’s safety.
- I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate, not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public.
- I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification when appropriate (which may include collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID).
- I will provide adequate supervision when my dog and children are together.
- I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others.
- I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood.
- I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard, in a hotel room, etc.
- I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in all public areas such as on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc.
- I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in wilderness areas, on hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.
- I will be responsible for my dog’s quality of life.
- I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs.
- I will give my dog attention and playtime.
- I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.
About Our Canine Good Citizen Training Program
All of our basic training packages are designed with simple training goals to prepare dogs and their owners to effectively pass the CGC.
The behaviors highlighted in our training programs are things that dogs and handlers should know and be able to demonstrate in private or public with varying levels of distractions. Skills like SIT, DOWN, STAY, HEEL, LEAVE IT, and COME help ensure success even for dogs with aggression issues. Your dog’s ability to execute the prescribed behaviors will allow your friends, family and neighbors to witness what’s expected of a well behaved dog. We want all of our clients to meet this standard. We pride ourselves on them having the type of control on their dog that invokes onlookers to compliment them on their dog’s behavior.
Looking at the bigger picture… High standards of dog behavior and ownership are necessary to keep dogs in people’s homes and out of shelters. Dogs and owners who uphold this standard of canine behavior will improve the overall perception of all dog breeds. Breed perception is particularly important with all the dogs being added to the restricted dog lists here in LA. Additionally, if breeders, rescues, and shelters inform and persuade perspective buyers to aim for a CGC title, they can help set more dogs up for success in their new homes.
If you’re interested in canine good citizen training or just interested in taking the test, schedule an evaluation or call us at (323) 325-5251.