Canine Good Citizen

Who may participate?

All dogs, both purebred and mixed breed. 

Puppies must have had necessary immunizations, and owner will sign Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a Veterinarian.   

AKC Registered or PAL Numbers are acceptable.

If test is given at an AKC show, the age requirements for the show will apply.

The Canine Good Citizen is part of the AKC Family Dog Program. Basset Hound (and other breeds) owners might choose training for their CGC as a good beginning for training their dogs.  This program offers many advantages to both dogs and owners.  Therapy dogs often require a CGC as a prerequisite for their training.  Some insurance companies encourage it for those with their homeowners insurance.

Most people do it to encourage good manners which will make for a great pet long term.  It does help socialize dogs, so it is a good opportunity to provide a stepping stone to future event training.

This is a ten step test.  (As shown on the AKC Website)

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.

If you wish to have CGC listed at an official title, your dog must be registered with the AKC or have a PAL, or AKC Canine Partner number.

If you wish to have a CGC Certificate only without the official title, AKC will mail you one with a processing fee.  If you wish to have the title added to your dog’s name, there is a higher processing fee.  For more complete information, consult the AKC website.

There is complete information on the Canine Good Citizen on the American Kennel Club Website at