In 1989, the American Kennel Club (AKC), began the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training program. The program was designed to encourage training for well-mannered dogs both in the home and in the community. Since it’s inception, the program has awarded CGC titles to more than 600,000 dogs and their owners who passed the test. It is geared towards all dog breeds, including mixed breeds. Recently, the AKC announced a new, advanced level to the CGC program, the AKC Community Canine.
The AKC Community Canine title provides a new level of achievement for dogs and their owners and rounds out a three-stage approach to obedience training. The training begins with the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, moves to the CGC and now to the AKC Community Canine.
“AKC Community Canine expands on CGC skills and lays the beginning foundation for obedience, rally and therapy dog work,” Director of the Canine Good Citizen program Mary Burch, PhD, said. “While Canine Good Citizen tests are simulations of real world skills, the goal of AKC Community Canine is to test the dog’s abilities in a natural setting. Rather than the test being administered in a ring, certain elements will involve the dog walking through a real crowd, whether at a dog show or on a busy sidewalk.”
Similarly to the CGC, the new level tests 10 skills that candidates must master to earn the AKC Community Canine title. The steps for the AKC Community Canine, taken from the AKC website, are:
Dog sits or lies down and waits under control
Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring) and does not pull
Walks on a loose leash through a crowd
Dog walks past distraction dogs present and does not pull
Sit-stay in small group (3 other people with dogs)
Dog allows person who is carrying something to approach and pet it
Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it”
Down or sit stay-distance (owner’s choice)
Recall (coming when called) with distractions present
Dog will enter/exit a doorway or passageway with owner and remain under control
To be eligible to take the AKC Community Canine test, dogs must have a CGC certificate or title on file with AKC and must have an AKC number (this includes an AKC registration number, PAL number or AKC Canine Partners number). Testing will begin nationwide in October.
There are many locations throughout the Sacramento area that offer classes to prepare for the CGC test. Several of these locations also administer the CGC test. For example, the Sacramento SPCA’s intermediate training class teaches the skills required for the CGC exam. They will be offering the next exam Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 9 am. The exam fee is $20. Registration is required. Please visit their website for more details.