Is your pup well behaved and you want to show off this accomplishment. The AKC has a program specifically for you called the Good Citizenship Program. This program offers owners and their dogs to show they have what it takes to be a good doggie citizen.
A Little History
The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program was started in 1989 and promotes responsible pet ownership and good manners in dogs. A certificate is awarded to those who pass the test as a reward for completion and the names are stored in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Archive. In addition to the certificate come the satisfaction of a well-behaved pet and a sense of completion.
Why Is This Desirable
Besides showing you are a responsible pet owner there are other reasons as to why individuals train and complete the CGC Program. One major reason is this is the first step in having your dog accepted in pet therapy programs. Owners with a desire to allow their dogs to participate in pet therapy should look into the Canine Good Citizen Program to see if their dog would make a good therapy dog.
Another reason many seek the Canine Good Citizen recognition is so a dog may come to the owner’s place of employment. Many employers such as nursing homes, small shops and others will allow owners to bring their pets in to visit residents or customers if the dog is well mannered. This is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved when done properly.
Although there are many reasons for owners to seek CGC award the owner should be note that the main reason should be to spend quality time with their dog. Training can often make a dog’s life more enjoyable as they get to spend additional time with their owners and are mentally challenged. Even if the desire to get involved in the CGC program all owners should take an active role in obedience training for their and their pets well being.
Although not required, several formal training classes are offered for owners wanting a formalized method to prepare for the test. These classes are usually around 8 weeks in length and help prepare the owner and dog in what to expect during the test.
The test itself is made up of 10 separate parts. The majority of the test is focused in how the dog will behave when confronted by strangers and reacts in public, Below is a breakdown for each section:
1. The dog will be expected to sit and stand calmly while you stop and speak to a stranger.
2. The dog must demonstrate it can remain calm while being walked in a crowd.
3. The dog should be able to allow a stranger to walk it on leash while the owner is not present.
4. The dog will need to walk with the owner on a loose leash. Be prepared to also demonstrate the dog’s ability to turn left, right and coming to a stop.
5. The dog must sit while a stranger pets it.
6. The dog should demonstrate focus when confronted with common, unexpected events such as loud noises or a passing person walking nearby.
7. The dog must allow a stranger to groom it with a brush and examine its feet and ears.
8. The dog will be required to meet another dog without overreacting and should show only a casual interest.
9. The dog must be able to stay on command while the owner walks away.
10. The dog must come on command.
Find more details on the CGC Program at the AKC
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