The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification program is to indicate how well you and your dog work as a team. There are 10 tests in all. Most dogs can attain this certification after taking one obedience class of 6 or more weeks. Preparing for CGC testing is not difficult. Your dog must be able to walk through a crowd of people and not jump on them, accept a friendly stranger without showing aggression or shyness, and sit, lie down, and come on command. All exercises are done with the dog on a six foot lead. You may use a choke chain, a well-fitting buckle collar or a martingale collar. Prong collars, HALTIs or any other type of head collars are not permitted.
Test #1: Accepting a friendly stranger. This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler. The dog is in the sit position for this test.
Test #2: Sitting politely for petting. This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while out in public with it’s handler.
Test #3: 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, to touch the dog. This test also demonstrates the willingness of the owner to take proper care of the dog.
Test #4: Out for a walk on a loose leash. This test demonstrates that the dog can walk with the owner without pulling or straining at the end of the leash.
Test #5: Walking through a crowd. This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. Again this is done on a loose leash.
Test #6: Sit and lie down on command/staying in place. This test demonstrates that the dog has training and will respond to the handler’s commands to sit, lie down, and remain in place.
Test #7: Coming when called. This test demonstrates that the dog will come to the handler when it is called.
Test #8: Reaction to another dog. This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely when around other dogs.
Test #9: Reaction to distractions. This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. This is usually something dropped on the floor, or a shaker can that can startle the dog.
Test #10: Supervised separation: This test demonstrates that the dog can be left in the presence of a trusted person and will maintain its training and good manners. You may talk to your dog in all the tests except this one. This test is not hard for bull terriers to get, but it does take time.
Diane Thomas - CGC Evaluator