The Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) was created by the American Kennel Club to recognize well mannered dogs and is open to all dogs, not just purebreds. Dogs that pass the test are eligible to receive a certificate suitable for framing. It may be helpful in getting landlords to agree to rent to dog guardians. For more information on the rules and what the test involves go to the AKC website .
Basically the dog must be able to walk on a loose leash without pulling, do a sit and down stay, come when called, accept petting and grooming from a friendly stranger, tolerate some minor distractions and wait quietly while a friendly stranger holds the leash and the handler is out of the dog’s sight for three minutes. The dog must be able to walk through a crowd of people (at least 3) and continue to walk with his or her handler with minimal distraction. The dog and handler team will need to demonstrate that they can walk up to another handler and dog team and display no more then casual interest.
The Sonoma County Humane Society requires a dog to have passed the CGC test to become part of its Pet Assisted Therapy Program. The volunteers and their dogs visit many convalescent hospitals and rehab facilities in Sonoma County. To become a volunteer you can visit the SCHS website and download their volunteer application.
The CGC test is on Sunday mornings at 10 AM approximately every two months. To reserve a spot for the CGC test you need to preregister by sending a check for $10 made out to County Wide Dog Training Club or CWDTC. Send the check to: Debbie Stoner, 499 Pleasant Hill Road, Sebastopol CA 95472.