Last weekend, at a BigD HRC sponsored event, Colt earned his Canine Good Citizen award, establishing his newest moniker – Doubleplay Mandigo Kingmaker’s Colt, CGC.

What is the Good Canine Citizen Award?

The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, established in 1989, is an American Kennel Club program to promote responsible dog ownership and to encourage the training of well-mannered dogs. A dog and handler team must take a short behavioral evaluation of less than half an hour; dogs who pass the evaluation earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate, which many people represent after the dog’s name, abbreviating it as CGC; for example, “Colt, CGC”.

CanineGoodCitizenThe evaluation consists of ten objectives. All items must be completed satisfactorily or the team fails. Test items include:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger.
  2. Sitting politely for petting.
  3. Allowing basic grooming procedures.
  4. Walking on a loose lead.
  5. Walking through a crowd.
  6. Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place.
  7. Coming when called.
  8. Reacting appropriately to another dog.
  9. Reacting appropriately to distractions.
  10. Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner.

Dogs do not have to be registered with the AKC to earn a CGC, nor do they have to be purebred or, in fact, registered with any canine organization. The goal is to promote good citizenship for all dogs.

Since its inception, the CGC program has become the model for similar programs around the world, is the backbone of other exams, such as those given for therapy dogs, and is a good starting point for more advanced dog training.

Merits of a Good Canine Citizen as a Stud Dog

Earning the CGC demonstrates that the trained dog is a respected members of their community and acts mannerly in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs. It is also a great indicator of the temperament of a dog, and how they will interact with owners, trainers and potential breeding partners.

While the CGC is a foundational component of many future training activities, it is not to be confused as a permission for owners to consider their dog a Therapy Dog or a Service Dog. These require specialized training and a different set of certifications.