How can I get my dog eligible to pass the Canine Good Citizenship test?

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All dogs, whether they are purebreds, mixed-breeds and designer, can be eligible to take the Canine Good Citizen test. It is an honor, because it proves that your dog is a polite, well-respected member of the community. And you are, too, since you’ll have to sign the Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge.

Being eligible to take the test and passing it are two different things, though. There are ten very specific components and your dog must pass all of them; failure of even one portion will mean that she’ll need to take the entire exam over.

Here are some things you can do to ensure that your canine passes:
• Familiarize yourself with the requirements of the Canine Good Citizen test. Be certain that you understand all of the tasks to ensure your dog is trained properly.
• Find a training class that will prepare your dog for the Canine Good Citizen test. Many breed dog clubs have the Canine Good Citizen program.
• Practice regularly. Your dog must be able to sit calmly and allow a stranger to approach and touch her. Make sure your dog is well socialized and used to interacting in a variety of situations.
• Visit your veterinarian to make sure your dog is in good physical condition and up to date on all shots. Proof of current vaccinations and a dog license are required at the time of the test.
• Ensure you are ready to take the Canine Good Citizen test by having different people help you simulate the tests at a park.
• Walk your dog before the test to make sure she is well exercised and able to focus. Make sure she eliminates before the test, because any dog that does it during the test is disqualified, as is any growling, biting, snapping or other exhibits of aggressive behavior.

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