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Canine Good Citizen certificate
 The Canine Good Citizen test came about as an effort by the AKC to promote responsible dog ownership. The test consists of 10 components. If the dog successfully completes all 10, then a Canine Good Citizen certificate is issued.   
   If not, the dog can reenter another CGC test and try again at another time. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the CGC became an official AKC title. It is regarded as a sign that the dog has excellent manners and is under his handler's control and a pleasure to be around. It can be regarded as a step towards more advanced training or a short-term goal. It is important to keep in mind that a CGC test is not a test of your dog's formal obedience but of his control and manners.
     The AKC Canine Good Citizen program provides an excellent foundation for training in other fun activities such as Rally, Obedience, and Agility. It results in a well-mannered dog who is a joy to live with. Some insurance companies recommend CGC training an an increasing number of apartment and condo complexes are requiring CGC certification for resident dogs.
     The BCDTC CGC class and test covers:

1. Accepting a friendly stranger.
This demonstrates that the dog will allow a stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural everyday situation. Evaluator approaches and shakes hands with the handler and does not touch the dog.

2. Sitting politely for petting. This demonstrates that dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while out with it's handler. The evaluator pets the dog and then leaves. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

3. Appearance and grooming. This demonstrates that the dog will allow grooming or examination by a stranger. Evaluator inspects the dog, lightly combs or brushes and examines each foot.

4. Out for a walk. This demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. It is a simple heeling pattern. It is not expected to be precise and the dog does not have to sit at each stop. If your dog can walk calmly on lead, he can pass this.

5. Walking through a crowd. This demonstrates that the dog can move politely in pedestrian traffic.

6. Sit and down on command/staying in place. This is very basic for most of us. It is a very short stay (You can either use a sit or a down stay. I always recommend a down.)

7. Coming when called. This demonstrates that the dog will come directly to you when called. He must not come before called. He does not have to do a perfect front and a finish is not asked for. Both the come and stay are done on a long line.

8. Reaction to another dog. This demonstrates the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two dogs and handlers approach each other, exchange pleasantries and continue on.

9. Reaction to distractions. This shows confidence. The dog may show interest or startle. He should not show aggression, bark or panic.

10. Supervised separation. This test shows that the dog can be left with a trusted person and will maintain its good manners. Dog will be on a 6-foot lead and held by an evaluator while the handler is out of sight for three minutes.

Here is a link to the official owner pledge and AKC list of test items.


Canine Good Citizen classes/testing

Harry Stiller coordinates CGC classes and testing. Both are open to the public as well as club members. Fees are involved with either option.

See Harry at training for dates or check here for updates.

2017 CGC schedule
CGC test: June 28
CGCA test: June 24

CONTACT: HARRY STILLER (610-670-0302 or
harry.stiller@icloud.com) if interested.

Click here for the form to fill out and bring with you.



The Berks County Dog Training Club was founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization with the purpose of training you to train your dog. To this day we continue with that same purpose. Through the years we have grown to a membership of several hundred people. We are a very active group with many dedicated volunteers who would welcome the opportunity to "train you to train your dog."
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