Canine Good Citizen

"CGC"

 

The Canine Good Citizen Program (CGC) was started in 1989, by the AKC as a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

 

Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you'll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with-they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life. We sincerely hope that CGC will be only a beginning for you and your dog and that after passing the CGC test, you'll continue training in obedience, agility, tracking, or performance events.

 

Many other countries (including England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC's CGC Program. A CGC Neighborhood Model has been established, police and animal control agencies use CGC for dealing with dog problems in communities, some therapy dog groups use the CGC as a partial screening tool, and some 4-H groups around the country have been using the CGC as a beginning dog training program for children.

 

A number of specialty (one breed only) clubs give the CGC at their annual national dog show. Dog clubs have discovered that the CGC is an event that allows everyone to go home a winner. Veterinarians have recognized the benefits of well-trained dogs and there are some CGC programs in place in veterinary hospitals. State legislatures began recognizing the CGC program as a means of advocating responsible dog ownership and 17 states now have Canine Good Citizen resolutions.

 

In a little over one decade, the Canine Good Citizen Program has begun to have an extremely positive impact in many of our communities. This is a program that can help us assure that the dogs we love will always be welcomed and well-respected members of our communities.

 

   What Is A Canine Good Citizen?

A Canine Good Citizen is a friendly, well-behaved dog that we can take virtually anywhere without risk or bother to others -- a dog who behaves well in a crowd, has good manners when guests visit our home, is reliable around children, and who doesn't lunge, bark at, or threaten other dogs or passersby.

Components Of The CGC Test

The Canine Good Citizen Test is a certification program that tests dogs in simulated everyday situations in a relaxed atmosphere. It identifies and rewards dogs that have the training and demeanor to be reliable family members as well as good-standing community members. All dogs passing the Canine Good Citizen Test receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.


The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Test is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community because it is trained and conditioned to act mannerly in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs. The program embraces both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs.

Canine Good Citizen training is fun and useful. Through it, you and your dog will establish a closer bond and your dog will have the added benefit of knowing how to please you. This test of your dog's manners and training is not a competition and does not require that you and your dog perform with precision.

The American Kennel Club urges all dog owners to participate in this program, thereby assuring that our beloved dogs will always be welcomed and respected members of the community.

Demonstrating Confidence and Control, The Dog Must Complete These Ten Steps:

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. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.


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. While the dog is sitting at the handler's side, the evaluator pets the dog on head and body only, then circles the dog and handler, completing the test. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.


Test 3: Appearance and Grooming

This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears and each front foot.


Test 4: Out for a Walk (Walking on a loose leash)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler, whichever the handler prefers. There must be a left turn, a right turn and an about turn, with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.


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). The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing over exuberant, shy or resentful. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not be straining at the leash.


Test 6: Sit and Down on Command/Staying in Place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's command to sit and down and will remain in place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to make the dog sit and then down. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of a 20-foot line. The dog must remain in place, but may change positions.


Test 7: Coming When Called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The Handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and will call the dog. The handler may use body language and encouragement to get the dog to come. handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the evaluator provides mild distractions (e.g. petting).


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 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.


Test 9: Reactions to Distractions

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations, such as the dropping of a large book or a jogger running in front of the dog. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and may appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.


Test 10: Supervised Separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left alone, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encourage to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and a person will hold the leash of the dog. The dog will be held for three minutes and does not have to stay in position, but should not continually bark, whine, howl, pace unnecessarily or show anything other than mild agitation or nervousness.

How Does LSMF Participate?

LSMF has members who are CGC licensed and ready to certify any dog who displays the correct apptitude, personality and passes the certification test.  We activily take our mastiffs on public outings and Meet-the-Breed gatherings at local shows.  The club holds certification events that allow any breed a chance for certification at locations around the state and in conjunction with local shows.  LSMF are firm believers in the betterment of the Mastiff Breed and what better way than the CGC.  For information on certification locations and times please check out the event calendar or drop us an email.  We'll be glad to help set you and your dog, on a wonderful journey of discovery.