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Posted 05/28/98


As a means of fighting the growing anti-dog sentiment in the country, the AKC introduced the Canine Good Citizen program in 1989. Participation is open to mixed breeds as well as pure-bred dogs. The purpose of the test is to demonstrate that a dog has good manners. It is noncompetitive. A certificate will be given to all dogs that pass. This is not considered an AKC title, which means that it will not be registered as part of a dog's record at the AKC as other titles are.

A dog must pass all ten parts of the test to earn a certificate. All parts are performed on a leash. The ten parts are:

  1. Appearance and grooming. Owner must present proof of vaccinations. Evaluator will brush the dog.
  2. Accepting a stranger. Evaluator and owner will shake hands.
  3. Walk on loose lead. Dog will heel and execute turns and halts.
  4. Walking through a crowd. Dog should walk without straining at leash, passing close to several people.
  5. Sit for exam. Evaluator will approach and pet dog.
  6. Sit and down on command. Owner may use more than one command, but not force dog into position.
  7. Stay in sit or down. Owner will drop leash, walk 20 feet away, and return.
  8. Reaction to another dog. Two handlers and dogs approach each other, stop, and shake hands.
  9. Reaction to distractions. Distractions may be a jogger passing by a bicycle, a shopping cart, people acting excited, or a sudden noise.
  10. Dog left alone. Dog will be fastened with leash while owner goes out of sight for five minutes.

ANTIC, Fall, 1991


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