AKC Canine Good Citizen Program

                   What is the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program?

The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

Many dog owners choose Canine Good Citizen training as the first step in training their dogs. The Canine Good Citizen Program lays the foundation for other AKC activities such as obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Dogs who have a solid obedience education are a joy to live with, they respond well to household routines, have good manners in the presence of people and other dogs, and they fully enjoy the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation, and a high quality life.

What Dogs Can Participate?

All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed are welcome to participate in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) 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.

Is There An Age Limit For The Dog?

There is no age limit for the CGC test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. 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.

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is the gold standard of behavior for dogs in our communities and is part of the AKC Family Dog Program

Besides knowing that you have a well trained dog the CGC program offers many practical advantages too. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing. An increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. The tagline of the CGC program is, “Responsible Owners, Well-Mannered Dogs,” and that is what CGC is all about.

 Contact Two Bears for more information regarding training and testing for the AKC CGC and its related programs.


Diann has been a registered AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (#67628)  since 2010. During that time she has tested many dogs and awarded them their CGC certificates. Getting a CGC was the first step on the road to becoming a registered therapy dog for her lab mix, Devon. Diann is well versed in what you and your dog need to become a therapy dog, a good family companion or a competitive sport dog.