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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Has Your Dog Passed the Test?

The AKC's Canine Good Citizen Test can be taken by any dog and handler, whether the dog is a registered purebred or an unpapered mutt. It's a way to gain recognition for your dog's good manners, and for the work you've put into training him to be a socially acceptable pooch.

The CGC Tests are administered by AKC-approved evaluators. Sometimes the tests are scheduled in connection with a pet expo or dog show. Other times, the evaluator will test dogs on an as-needed basis. Fees are usually $5 to $10.

The test takes about 15 minutes and can be done indoors out outdoors, depending on the evaluator's preference and facilities.

During the test, you accompany the dog and are evaluated on how well your dog completes each exercise. Here they are:
1. Accepting a friendly stranger
2. Sitting politely for petting
3. Appearance and grooming
4. Out for a walk on a loose leash
5. Sit and Down, and Stay in Place
6. Coming when called
7. Reaction to a crowd
8. Reaction to another dog
9. Reaction to a distraction
10. Supervised separation

You and your dog are NOT required to perform these with the precision expected in obedience competition. Your dog doesn't have to be "perfect" to pass the test. If you're reading this column, you probably already have higher standards for your dog's public behavior than are required for this test.

To find out where and when a test session will be scheduled, call your local dog trainer or kennel club. You can check out the detailed criteria and a study guide for the C GC test here:

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