Canine Good Citizen 


Take A Paws CA offers AKC CGC Certificates to those interested in obtaining one. 

Please read the following requirements and scroll to the bottom to book your AKC CGC Test

The cost is $25 and can be done alongside your therapy dog certification.

Do you have a dog that excels at all forms of training? Do you want something to show for your dog's abilities? Are you interested in showing off your dog’s talents? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be interested in getting your dog certified as a Canine Good Citizen (CGC).

Once it passes the CGC test, your dog is certified as a well-behaved animal in the community and in home environments. Many training schools offer CGC training, and a good number of specialty dog clubs offer the certificate. But before you sign up, you should first learn a bit about this certification.

 The CGC is a program developed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) to recognize and reward "responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs." In addition to receiving a certificate from the AKC, the dog is automatically recorded in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen archive.

AKC encourages all dogs to take the test, even mixed-breeds which are normally not acknowledged.

To pass the CGC test, a dog must prove they are able to behave in a public setting.

10 reasons to prepare for the Canine Good Citizen test

1. Use the CGC test to your advantage against breed discrimination laws.

2. Some apartments only allow dogs that have a CGC certificate.

3. It’s a good measurement to see where you are at with training. It doesn't matter if you fail the test. 

4. The CGC test gives you a goal to work toward.

5. The Canine Good Citizen test is a good first step to becoming a therapy dog.

6. Visiting new places will not be such a big deal to your dog.

7. The Canine Good Citizen test is a good preparation for more advanced training.

8. Set a good example for other dog owners.

9. Your dog will become more socialized.

10. The CGC can earn you discounts on your homeowners insurance


To receive a CGC certificate, your dog must pass a 10-part test.


Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger.


This test demonstrates that the dog can be still and not break position when a friendly stranger approaches the handler. 

The hander must then speak with the stranger and shakes his or her hand, all while the handler gives the dog minimal attention.


Test 2: Sitting politely for a petting.


This test demonstrates that the dog will stand in place, without fear or resentment. 

It will allow a friendly stranger to touch and pet it while it is out with its handler.


Test 3: Appearance and grooming.


There are two aspects of this test. First, the evaluator checks the dog to see whether it is well groomed and healthy. 

Second, the dog is tested on its compliance during physical examinations or grooming.


Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead).


This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog, and that the dog is attentive to all of the handler’s moves. 

The dog must perform this on a loose lead.


Test 5: Walking through a crowd.


This test demonstrates that the dog is under control and can be walked on a leash, or in a public place with humans close by. 

The dog doesn't without getting over-excited or straining at its lead.


Test 6: Sit and down on command and staying in place.


This test demonstrates that the dog has been trained and will respond to the handler's commands: "sit" or "down." 

The dog must then remain in place until the handler releases it by command.


Test 7: Coming when called.


As the name suggests, this test demonstrates that the dog will come to the handler when he calls.


Test 8: Reaction to another dog.


This test demonstrates that the dog can behave appropriately when it is around other dogs, maintaining a neutral stance.


Test 9: Reaction to distraction.


This test demonstrates that the dog does not panic or get aggressive when faced with common distractions, such as items being dropped or people running.


Test 10: Supervised separation.


This test demonstrates that the dog can be left with a trusted person while its handler is away, without getting overly anxious.