Canine Good Citizen Test Requirements

Video performances from actual CGC tests will help demonstrate the correct (and incorrect) ways to perform the exercises. Some videos are of multiple test exercises.

Meeting 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.

Sitting Politely for Petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while out with its handler. The dog should sit at the handler’s side as the Evaluator approaches and begins to pet the dog on the head and body only. The dog may stand in place to accept petting. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

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 sense of responsibility. The Evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears of each front foot.

Video performances of the Meet a Friendly Stranger, Sit Politely for Petting and Appearance and Grooming exercises:


Correct

Incorrect

 

Out for a Walk (Walking on Loose Leash)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog can 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.


Correct

Incorrect

 

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 the place commanded by the handler (sit or down, whichever the handler prefers). the handler may take a reasonable amount on 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 position.

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 call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell the dog to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog as the Evaluator provides mild distraction (i.e. petting)


Correct

Incorrect

 

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 pleansantries and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.


Correct

Incorrect

 

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 places (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.

Reaction 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/or appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark.

Video performances of the Walking Through a Crowd, Reaction to Distraction, Reaction to Medical Equipment and Acclimation to Infirmities exercises:


Correct

Incorrect

 

Supervised Separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain its training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine or pace unnecessarily or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

Read Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dog Requirements

 

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