AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC)

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is the next logical step after S.T.A.R. Puppy. The CGC Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step CGC test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies are encouraging CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test.


Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler.


Test 2: Sitting politely for petting The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler. 


Test 3: Appearance and grooming The dog will permit someone to check its ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.


Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose leash) Following the evaluator’s instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner). 


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). 


Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place The dog must sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in a STAY. 


Test 7: Coming when called This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet on a leash). 


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. 


Test 9: Reaction to distraction The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc. 


Test 10: Supervised separation This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person. The evaluator will hold the dog’s leash while the owner goes out of sight for three minutes.