Featuring Jen Larson, KPA-CTP & Whitney Spence, CPDT-KA
Concept by Courtney Emken

The Canine Good Citizen test is an exam that the American Kennel Club (AKC) created to certify that your dog can behave well around a wide range of different people and in different situations. We are going to walk you through all ten test items, and what someone who administers the test for you and your dog will be expecting to see. So, let’s jump on in!


– Hello, I’m Whitney, I’m one of the certified trainers here at DogBoy’s Dog Ranch and we are here with Jen our Training Manager, and today we will be demonstrating the ten test items for the canine good citizen test.

– So the canine good citizen exam is designed to test ten different skills, so showing that the dog has good manners in the community, can perform some basic behaviors like sit, down, stay, coming when called, being okay with grooming or being handled by a stranger, things like that. So if the dog can pass all those ten different test items then they become certified as canine good citizen which is really cool. And this is Sam, he’s gonna be our assistant for test one and he’s a Pyrenees.

– All right so a few things to know before we start the test is that treats are not allowed during the test, so you can use your voice and you can praise your dogs through it just no treats are allowed during the test. So item number one is accepting a friendly stranger, I’m going to walk over to Jen, shake her hand, exchange a few words and then turn and walk away. What I’m expecting from Sam is for him to have attention on his handler or just casually looking around. He is allowed to look at me and mildly engage with me as long as he doesn’t jump on me or have any negative reaction. Hello how are you?

– Hello, good.

– I love your dog.

– Oh thanks.

– Oh he’s great. So Sam definitely passed test item number one and so we’re going to move right into test item number two which is sitting politely for petting. And all I’m expecting him from that is having no negative reactions towards me reaching towards him and touching his head and body.

– Good boy Sam, yes.

– Hello, may I please pet your dog?

– Yeah definitely.

– Hi bud.

– Say hi Sam, Good boy.

– Good job. So Sam did great, so we’re moving on to item number three which is appearance and grooming, so this is just making sure that he has no negative reaction towards a brush or being brushed, and to check to make sure that his nails are nice and trimmed and his ears are clean that he allows me to touch his paws and ears.

– So Sam is laying down right now which is totally acceptable for this test item, as his handler I can get him into any position that he feels comfortable in and I’m allowed to help him feel comfortable, so I can help hold him or pet him or keep him calm while the evaluator is doing the test.

– Alright hi Sam

– Good boy Sam

– have a look what you think, yeah?

– Yeah

– Oh we love it, good job.

– That’s a good boy.

– yeah.

– Good boy bud.

– Good job, oh good boy

– Good job.

– Oh yeah So Sam did fantastic and we’ll move on to the next test item which is out for a walk. This item is testing loose leash walking skills and making sure that the handler can keep their dog right next to them. Go ahead and start walking.

– Come on Sam.

– So turn right.

– Good boy.

– Turn left.

– Good boy Sam.

– Can you turn around.

– Yeah good job Sam keep coming.

– And stop.

– Stop, sit.

– That was beautiful.

– Good.

– Sam did great, now moving on to step five which is going to be walking through a crowd. So Sam just has to loose leash walk through a crowd of people and have no reaction, not wanting to jump on them or be too interested in them.

– Good boy Sam come here, good job good job Sam, lets go this way, good boy good boy, you wanna come over here? come on Sammy, good boy, you’re getting sleepy, come here Sam, good job.

– Good, that was perfect.

– Good so good.

– Sam did awesome so we are moving on to the next one which is sit and down on cue and then staying in place. Right, whenever you’re ready.

– Okay, Sam Sit, good boy come here good job

– And down.

– Down, good good boy

– And lets see a stay in place, if you could take

– Stay.

– some steps away from him. Perfect, and then come right back.

– Good boy.

– Wonderful. So Samwise did great, a good thing to keep in mind that during the test your dog does need to hold a 20 foot stay so make sure you practice that. The next test item that we’re going to be working on is going to be a 10 foot recall. Whenever you’re ready.

– Sam come, good boy Sam keep coming, yeah so good.

– Perfect.

– Good boy.

– So Samwise did great, we’re moving on to the next test item which is going to be a reaction to another dog. I’m gonna be using Charlie and I’ll just walk Charlie right up to Jen, shake Jen’s hand and then turn and walk away. What I’m expecting is for Sam to not jump on Charlie or act negatively towards Charlie at all.

– Hi

– Hello

– Sam stay, good.

– Good boy

– Good boy.

– Good job. So Samwise did great, we’re moving on to test item number nine which is going to be reaction to distraction. I’m going to use this metal bowl and drop it, as well as using a walker around Sam just to make sure that he doesn’t have any extreme reactions to the items. So I’m gonna start with dropping the bowl. Perfect reaction there. Now Grandma Whitney coming through

– Good boy Sam, what’s that? What is that?

– Perfect. So Samwise did fantastic and moving on to last test item which is going to be a three minute supervised separation. So I’m not gonna make you sit here and watch me for three minutes so I’m just going to show you what it’s going to look like I’m going to hold on to Sam’s leash and Sam’s handler Jen is going to exit the room and as long as he stays calm and isn’t panicking while she’s gone for three minutes then he passes.

– Okay, here you go, Sam stay. Good job Sam.

– Good job. Congratulations Sam, you’re a canine good citizen.

– [Both] Yay

– Good job

– Good boy So Samwise did fantastic at showing off his canine good citizen skills, if you’re ever interested in the CGC test, you can contact any of our trainers and we do sometimes have CGC classes going on.