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Canine Good Citizen Prerequisite


To participate in the AAC Academy with a dog, your dog must have a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate. This is to ensure that you and your dog have mastered basic skills as a team and are ready for more advanced training in the AAC Academy. The AAC Academy application is extended until 4/30/17 so that teams have time to work toward this prerequisite. There are a variety of places that offer CGC preparation classes. You are not required to take classes to earn the CGC certificate, but you must pass the CGC Test prior to applying to the AAC Academy.

Canine Good Citizen Test Skills

1. Accepting a friendly stranger

The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation.

2. Sitting Politely for Petting

The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.

3. Appearance and Grooming

The dog will permit someone to check it’s ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.

4. Out for a Walk (walking on a loose lead)

Following the evaluator’s instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner).

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. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three).

6. Sit and Down on Command and Staying in Place

The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.

7. Coming When Called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet on a leash).

8. 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 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries.

9. Reaction to Distraction

The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.

10. Supervised Separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then 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. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").

More information about the Canine Good Citizen program can be found at this website: