Canine Good Citizen

General Information

General Information about the CGC Test


Equipment :


For training purposes it is fine to use a head halter or walking harness.  However, we will work on transitioning your do to the standard flat, or buckle collar.  Testing will only be done with your dog on a standard collar.

Long Line:

Each handler should have a long line by class #2.  A long line of 20 feet can be purchased at most pet stores, or you may construct one yourself by purchasing the required length of clothesline rope and attaching a snap to the end of the rope.

AKC regulations : Equipment
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, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog's brush or comb to the test.

Additional items for class

Water bowl, folding chair, if desired, treats, bait bag, fanny pack , or other container that can be WORN on the handler to contain bait/treats/markers.

Use of food or toys :

For training purposes handlers should bring their own supply of dog's favored treats or toys to use for training sessions.


Testing will be conducted without the use of treats or markers, so we will be using a variable reinforcement schedule to ensure your dog will perform the exercises without the treat being given/present.


AKC regulations : Encouragement. Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.


Urination and defecation during class :
Since the AKC rules specify that urination or defecation during the test, except on test 10 if held outdoors , is a flunk, handlers should be encouraged from the start to get in habit of potty breaking their dogs at home before class and again on arriving at the class site.

Handlers should also bring clean up equipment to class.

Reactive Dogs:

The AKC Canine Good Citizen test may not be passed upon first try by dogs that are overly reactive or aggressive.  Growling, snapping or hair raised on the back will cause your dog to be dismissed.

However, handlers can and should continue to work with the dog to retake the test at a later date.  Some dogs can make amazing improvement if the handler is serious about training the reactivity out of the dog.

            AKC regulations:   Failures - Dismissals Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 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. 







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