A dog with a Canine Good Citizen certification is not necessarily trained for any specific purpose but has shown a commitment to obedience and exhibits calm behavior, and is poised to easily transition into more advanced roles.
The American Kennel Club oversees the Canine Good Citizen program. The CGC is considered a first step in preparing a dog for advanced tasks like agility, rally, therapy service or obedience, though many owners opt to take a dog through the program simply for the basic training benefits.
To become a Canine Good Citizen, dogs must complete an 11-step test. Test tasks include meeting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, walking well on a leash, dealing with crowds and demonstrating a solid “stay."
CGC certification is seen as a positive thing for both the dog and his owner, and can make it easier to get involved in therapy programs and other dog-based volunteer organizations. In fact, many such organizations require CGC certification as a first step.
CGC dogs are personal pets; their breeds vary as much as the personality of their owners. Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, boxers, Boston terriers, border collies, rescued mutts, and tiny show breed dogs have all earned CGC recognition.
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