What agency sponsors the Canine Good Citizenship test?

The Canine Good Citizen Test program was launched by the American Kennel Club in September, 1989 in response to the “anti-canine sentiment gaining momentum in society today,” says the AKC.

Any AKC Club of record or any other qualified dog training organization may sponsor and hold a CGC Test.


Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is not an official AKC title, but is meant to reward dogs for having good manners which enhances the public acceptance of dogs; both pure-bred and non-purebred dogs are eligible. It is a requirement for all Therapy and Delta Society dogs.

The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) is to demonstrate that the dog, as a companion, can be a respected member of the community, and be trained and conditioned always to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs in a manner that will reflect positively on the dog.

The CGC Test is not a competitive program, but rather a program of certification; it seeks to identify and recognize officially those dogs that possess the attributes that enable them to serve effectively as personal companions and as members in good standing with the community.

There may be up to 3 persons evaluating the dog: The Evaluator must have considerable knowledge of dog behavior, he or she must have experience in the working and training of dogs as well as a keen awareness of the public’s attitude toward dogs.

Before the evaluator passes the dog, the following questions should also be considered:

• Is this the kind of dog you would like to own?
• Would this dog be safe with children?
• Is this the kind of dog that you would feel comfortable having as a neighbor?
• Is this the kind of dog who makes her owner happy?

Dogs will be evaluated on the basis of Pass Fail, and the dog must pass each of the 10 test categories. The dog needs only to pass this test once in order to receive a CGC certificate.

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