Canine Good Citizen
Community Canine​

Sharon Bednar​- Evaluator
All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program and Community Canine (CGCA) 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 or CGCA test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen or community canine. However, before taking the CGCA test, dogs must have  CGC test on record at AKC. 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 a few exceptions relating to participation in a CGC test. If the CGC test is given at an AKC show, the age requirements for the show apply to CGC also. Further, when the CGC test is administered at an AKC show, the test may be restricted to only dogs entered in the show or to purebred dogs.

Some dogs who are entered in CGC tests will have completed CGC classes or basic obedience classes. Owners who have trained their dogs themselves may also have their dogs tested. Clubs and training programs in almost every city can provide CGC training to owners and dogs who need to learn a few more skills before taking the test.


All tests must be performed on-leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars, such as pinch collars or head collars, are not acceptable. The leash should be made of either leather or fabric.The evaluator will supply a leash or cord of 20-feet (or 15-feet attached to your leash) for Item 6. Owners should bring a brush to the test for the grooming exercise.  


A score is not given in CGC as in formal obedience. No dog "fails" the Canine Good Citizen Test. If a dog has not yet learned a skill, it simply needs a little more training. To pass the CGC test, your dog must pass all 10 items of the test. You will be allowed to talk to your dog during testing and you may offer praise and encouragement. Food can not be used as a reward during testing."00 NOT PASS" Any dog that eliminates during testing must not pass. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in Item 10, but only when the test is held outdoors.


Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.


At check-in, before beginning Item 1, the handler will be required to sign the Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge indicating that the dog has a veterinarian who provides guidance, care, and recommendations on routine health matters such as rabies vaccines, etc.


If your dog has minor problems with one item during the test, the Evaluator may choose to allow you to try the test again at the end of testing.


The CGC TEST consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs. All of the exercises are done on a leash.

Test 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.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
The dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
The handler/dog team will take a short “walk” to show that the dog is in control while walking on a leash.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three) to demonstrate that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
The dog will respond to the handler’s commands to 1) sit, 2) down and will 3) remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).

Test 7: Coming when called The dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk
10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
To demonstrate 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, and continue on for about 10 feet.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
To demonstrate the dog is confident when faced with common distracting situations, the evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.

Test 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.

You’ll need to bring your dog’s brush or comb to the CGC test. In the CGC test, dogs must wear a buckle collar or slip collar.

AKC Community Canine

​​To earn the CGCA title, the dog must:

be registered or listed with AKC (AKC number, PAL, or AKC Canine Partners number) and,
already have a Canine Good Citizen award/title on record.
Dogs must pass all 10 items of the test to receive the CGCA title.

Dogs who pass the AKC Community CanineSM test are eligible to earn the AKC’s “CGCA” title. To earn the CGCA title, the dog must 1) be registered or listed with AKC (AKC number, PAL, or AKC Canine Partners number) and, 2) already have a Canine Good Citizen® award/title on record.

1. Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control
while the owner sits at the registration table and fills out paperwork, or, while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with someone (e.g., at a park).

2. Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring)-does not pull.
left and right turn stop fast and slow pace

3. Walks on a loose leash through a crowd.
This item is tested in a real crowd, not in a ring.

4. Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.

5. Sit-stay in small group (3 other people with dogs).
Owners and dogs are in an informal group while owners have a conversation.

6. Dog allows person who is carrying something (e.g., purse, computer case, backpack) to approach and pet it. “May I pet your dog?” (Item is put on floor/ground before person pets dog)

7. “Leave it.” Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”

8. Down or sit stay (owner’s choice) at a distance.

9. Recall with distractions present (coming when called).
Handler goes out 20-ft. (off center) and calls dog. Dog comes past a distractor to return to handler.

10. Dog enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway (on leash, with owner) in a controlled manner.