The Canine Good Citizen Program
By launching the Canine Good Citizen Program in 1989, the American Kennel Club established a training benchmark, for both pet dogs and their owners, that represents a solid, basic foundation for the well-adjusted dog. The tests involved in the Canine Good Citizen Certification represent the facets of dog behavior that are important in the home environment, social situations, and even veterinary visits.
Although the program establishes training goals and works with other organizations and local governments to encourage the adoption of their standard, it is the certification exam that they are most known for. In fact, obtaining the Canine Good Citizen Certification is a prerequisite for some assistance and therapy dog organizations, and it is considered the starting point for other obedience and performance events.Who Can Take the Certification Tests?
Any dog, whether purebred or mixed breed, can take the tests and obtain Canine Good Citizen Certification. The only requirement is that the have all necessary vaccinations and boosters, including rabies, so there is an implicit minimum age for participation. Additionally, the program encourages owners who obtain certification with a puppy to re-test when the dog reaches adulthood, to make sure the training and behavior is maintained through the normal behavioral changes that occur as a dog matures.
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