AKC Canine Good Citizen: Encouraging Responsible Ownership

canine good citizenThis week Stefani Fortney, Guthrie Pet Hospital’s certified dog trainer, will talk about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, that promotes responsible pet ownership and basic good manners for dogs.

We’ve all been there. We invite friends over, picturing our dog lying quietly at our feet while we visit. Then our company knocks on the door, and Fido goes into a frenzy of jumping, licking, and barking. It’s embarrassing, annoying, and frustrating.

Or maybe you have a fantasy of sitting at an outdoor café with Puddles relaxing under your table, enjoying a perfect summer evening, but the reality is that Puddles wants to run after every passing dog and hides every time she hears a car approach.

If you can relate to these scenarios, getting involved with a Canine Good Citizen class may be the best way to start your dog down the road to becoming a better member of your community.

What is the Canine Good Citizen?

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program was developed to help owners and dogs establish and maintain the basic training needed for our canine companions to be good Canine Good Citizenmembers of our communities. By offering a 10-component test, the AKC provides a guideline to measure your dog’s manners and, by passing every phase of the test, your dog can earn their canine good citizen certification. That certification shows that your dog has the skills and training necessary to function safely within the community. The Canine Good Citizen Award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage Canine Good Citizen testing, and some apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen test. The Canine Good Citizen Program also includes the AKC Canine Good Citizen Responsible Dog Owner Pledge.[Tweet “The Canine Good Citizen Award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups.”]

Who can take the Canine Good Citizen test?

Any dog who is old enough to have received all required vaccinations is eligible to test for the Canine Good Citizen. It doesn’t matter if your pooch is purebred or not—the Canine Good Citizen is open to all canine companions. Your dog may have gone through a basic obedience course, a class specifically designed as preparation for the Canine Good Citizen, or you may have trained them yourself. Dogs registered with the AKC can earn the Canine Good Citizen as a title added after their name. Dogs not registered with the AKC receive a certificate.

How do I learn more about Canine Good Citizen preparation and testing?

Classes to help you and your dog prepare for Canine Good Citizen testing are available Canine Good Citizenthrough many obedience training programs, including right here at Guthrie Pet Hospital. Our on-site trainer–Stefani Fortney–is a registered Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and she provides a course specifically designed to help you and your dog get ready for the Canine Good Citizen test. More information is also available at www.akc.org. To speak to Stefani about testing or to sign up for the Canine Good Citizen Prep course, call Guthrie Pet Hospital at (405) 282-8796.  Need help finding a trainer read Four tips to finding the right dog trainer.

Here is the whole series, in case you missed one:

 

 

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