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Started in 1989, the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is the gold standard of behavior for dogs in our communities.

The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups, some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The tagline of the CGC program is, “Responsible Owners, Well-Mannered Dogs,” and that is what CGC is all about. 


The heart of the CGC program is the 10-step Canine Good Citizen test. At the beginning of the CGC test, handlers sign the Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge before taking their dogs through the 10 step test with an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator.

CGC Test Items —

Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger. The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler (the dog owner) in a natural, everyday situation.

Test 2: Sit Politely for Petting.  The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with the handler.

Test 3: Appearance and Grooming. The dog will permit someone to check its ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.

Test 4: Out for a Walk (walking on a loose lead). Following the evaluator’s instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner).

Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd. The dog will walk through a small crowd of pedestrians, passing in close proximity to at least three people.

Test 6: Sit and Down on Command and Stay in Place. The dog must demonstrate sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.

Test 7: Coming When Called.  The dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet away on leash).

Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog. The dog will behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries.


Test 9: Reaction to Distractions. The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.


Test 10: Supervised Separation. This test demonstrates that your dog can be left with a trusted person. The evaluator will hold your dog’s leash while you go out of sight for three minutes.

AKC CGC Program and Aussies

canine good citizen testing and what it means


MarLoWin Aussies