What is the Canine Good Citizen (CGC)?

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The PAWS Training Group

Dogs are our passion.

The CGC Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step Canine Good Citizen test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies are encouraging CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The CGC Program also includes the AKC CGC℠ Responsible Dog Owner Pledge.

The CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.  All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. While this program is hosted by the AKC, you do not need to be registered with the AKC in order to take part in the program. On January 1, 2013 Canine Good Citizen® became an official AKC title that can appear on the title records of dogs registered or listed with AKC. Dog owners who complete the CGC as a Title process may list the suffix "CGC" after the dog's name. If you would like your CGC to be an official title on your dog's record, you must register your dog with the AKC.  Click here for more information.

All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines. Owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a veterinarian who will work with the owner to determine an appropriate plan and schedule for vaccines and other health care procedures.

There is no age limit for the CGC test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. Puppies who have completed all immunizations and boosters may be tested, however, because we know that behavior and temperament can change over time, when puppies pass the CGC test, owners should have them re-tested as adults.

There are 3 levels of the Canine Good Citizen.  For information and test items, please click below.

  1. Canine Good Citizen
  2. AKC Community Canine
  3. AKC Urban Canine