How To Prepare Your Dog For The Canine Good Citizen Test?

Author : Mrinalini Khusape | Published On : 22 Mar 2024

The Canine Good Citizen test is a significant milestone for dogs and dog parents. The certification is globally recognised. It demonstrates that your dog has excellent manners, and social etiquette and is a well-behaved citizen of the society.


The CGC test evaluates 10 skills that your dog must possess. The program provides a structured framework for training your dog.


Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you prepare your dog for the Cannie Good Citizen test.


Tips to Prepare For the CGC Test

1.Greeting a Stranger

In this test, the evaluator walks up to the dog and owner and greets the owner while ignoring the dog. The dog must remain calm and show no signs of resentment. Socializing your dog is the key to effectively training him for this activity.Begin by exposing your dog to known individuals like your neighbours. As your dog becomes more comfortable, expand to unfamiliar faces. Keep motivating your dog to stay calm during these practice encounters. We advise against using treats or toys as they are not permitted while taking the actual CGC test. Practice consistently, consistency is the key to ensuring your dog behaves well in public settings and associates meeting new people with a positive experience.

2.Sitting Politely for Petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it. The evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The dog must allow petting and stand in place without showing any signs of aggression.

Start by letting someone familiar with your dog pet him on the head and body. Move on to practice the same with friendly strangers. Allow your dog to sit or stand during these sessions. Motivate your dog during these practice sessions by praising them, smiling and using encouraging words. Gradually practice this task in different locations to ensure your dog stays composed in diverse settings.

3.Accepting Grooming & Examination

In this test, your dog must demonstrate a willingness to be groomed and examined by allowing a veterinarian, groomer, or a friend of the owner to do so. This not only showcases the dog’s temperament but also reflects the owner’s care and sense of responsibility. To prepare your dog, start with gentle handling at home. Gradually introduce tools like combs and brushes, using them in a way that mimics the evaluator’s actions. Encourage your dog to stay calm during these grooming sessions. Reward positive behaviour with verbal praise and motivation. Practice lightly examining ears and lifting front feet, ensuring your dog remains comfortable and cooperative.

4.Walking on a Loose Leash

In this test, the evaluator assesses the dog’s ability to walk politely on a loose leash. The dog should walk close to the handler without pulling or straining. To prepare your dog for this exercise, focus on leash training. Begin in a quiet environment, rewarding your dog for walking calmly beside you. Never reward your dog if he pulls. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or verbal praise, to encourage loose-leash behaviour. Gradually increase the level of distraction during walks, reinforcing the importance of staying close. Consistency is key; practice regularly in different settings, reinforcing the concept of walking on a loose leash.

5.Walking Politely Through a Crowd

The test evaluates your dog’s ability to stay calm and move politely in pedestrian traffic. To prepare your dog, take him for regular walks in public parks or busier areas where other strangers are passing by. You can even take him on walks around pet-friendly areas, where there are other dogs and cats. Remember, your pooch should not bark, jump on strangers or strain on the leash. With regular practice and exposure to public settings, your dog will stay calm, composed, and well-mannered in crowded places.

6.Sitting & Lying Down on Command or Staying in Place

Basic commands like sit, stay and come form the cornerstone of obedience. Utilize the lure and reward method for sit and down commands. Hold the treat to your dog’s nose. Lift it up and over the head for a sit. Move it down and along the ground for a down. Mark and reward, but gradually transition to empty hand. Introduce a verbal cue aligned with a hand signal, marking and rewarding each successful sit or down.

For the “Stay” command, consider the three Ds – distance, distractions, and duration. Start with short intervals, gradually increasing time. Use a release word like “Free” to signal the end of the stay, rewarding your dog. Gradually extend the duration, incorporating high-value treats during the stay and low-value treats upon release. Introduce distance incrementally, ensuring success at each step before advancing.

7.Coming When Called

In this test, the evaluator will walk 10 feet away from the dog, turn to face the dog and call the dog. Begin in a quiet, controlled setting, calling your dog and rewarding their prompt response with treats and praise. Gradually increase distractions, reinforcing the importance of returning promptly on command. Try this in public parks and crowded places for added challenges.

8.Reacting to Another Dog

This test evaluates your dog’s ability to behave politely around other dogs. While walking, observe your dog’s reaction to other passing dogs. Ideally, your dog should not react to other dogs or only show casual interest.

Begin with controlled interactions and reward calm behaviour. Gradually, expose your dog to other dogs. Consistent, positive reinforcement in various settings ensures your dog can confidently and politely react to other dogs, demonstrating good social behaviour.

9.Reacting to Distraction

This test evaluates your dog’s ability to stay calm and confident amidst the distractions. Distractions may include loud noise, vehicle movement or anything unfamiliar. Commence training in controlled settings, progressively intensifying distractions. Reward your dog for sustained focus and calm behaviour. This prepares them for real-world scenarios.

10.Supervised Separation

In this test, your dog must demonstrate composure when left with a trusted person while you step out of sight for a brief period. Begin by having someone your dog is familiar with, gradually increasing the duration of separation. Reward calm behaviour upon your return. Extend separation in various settings, reinforcing the idea that being temporarily apart is a positive experience.

CGC Training With Paw Purrfect

Paw Purrfect offers full-fledged training to prepare your dog for the Canine Good Citizen test. Our skilled trainers use positive reinforcement methods, covering essential skills from obedience to social behaviour.

Contact us today to start training for your dog.