Companion Dog Titles — Canine Good Citizen

Sep­tem­ber is Respon­si­ble Dog Own­er­ship Month.  Spunky Dogs is cel­e­brat­ing by host­ing an event with Rally Obe­di­ence and fun cir­cus trick work­shops as well as CGC test­ing.  For those of you in the Seat­tle area you can find out more here.

For all the rest of us, we can honor this month by brush­ing up on our basic man­ners and a great place to start is with the Amer­i­can Ken­nel Club’s Canine Good Cit­i­zen test.  The Canine Good Cit­i­zen test is 10 sim­ple exer­cises that do a great job of reflect­ing real-life sce­nar­ios that the aver­age social dog might encounter.  Below are the ten exercises

Test 1: Accept­ing a friendly stranger — This test demon­strates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the han­dler in a nat­ural, every­day situation.

Test 2: Sit­ting politely for pet­ting — This test demon­strates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.

Test 3: Appear­ance and groom­ing — This prac­ti­cal test demon­strates that the dog will wel­come being groomed and exam­ined and will per­mit some­one, such as a vet­eri­nar­ian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walk­ing on a loose lead) — This test demon­strates that the han­dler is in con­trol of the dog.

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.

Test 6: Sit and down on com­mand and Stay­ing in place — This test demon­strates that the dog has train­ing, will respond to the handler’s com­mands to sit and down and will remain in the place com­manded by the handler.

Test 7: Com­ing when called — This test demon­strates that the dog will come when called by the handler.

Test 8: Reac­tion to another dog — This test demon­strates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs.

Test 9: Reac­tion to dis­trac­tion — This test demon­strates that the dog is con­fi­dent at all times when faced with com­mon dis­tract­ing situations.

Test 10: Super­vised sep­a­ra­tion — This test demon­strates that a dog can be left with a trusted per­son, if nec­es­sary, and will main­tain train­ing and good manners.

The test must be done on leash with flat col­lar or rear-attach har­ness and with­out the use of food or treats.

A review of these exer­cises is a great way to gauge our progress and help us pin­point areas that need more work.  A good intro­duc­tory basic man­ners or puppy class with a qual­i­fied reward-based trainer is a great start.  If you need more help, the AKC has intro­duced a helpline, Good­Dog!, for ques­tions and prob­lem solving.

Happy train­ing!

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