The Canine Good Citizen Test
Dog bites and dog attacks have been in the forefront of the news lately. You've probably heard about how a child has gotten mauled by a dog or someone has been seriously bitten or even killed. These attacks seem to be growing in number.
Municipalities have stepped in to try to prevent such tragedies, but ironically, this blanket punishment tends to affect those with well-behaved dogs. Breed bans are meant to curb dog aggression. However, these breed bans don't address the real problem, which is irresponsible ownership. Sadly, rottweilers are one of those breeds the government tries to ban.
If you've been training your rottie, you and your friends know that your rottie is a good citizen — but how does anyone else? There is a way, and that's through the Canine Good Citizen test (CGC). Training facilities and fun matches often offer CGC testing for a nominal fee. Some trainers have whole courses devoted toward obtaining your dog's CGC.
What Is the Canine Good Citizen Test?
In 1989, the AKC decided to proactively promote responsible dog ownership with its Canine Good Citizen test. Those who train and show dogs understand that it is not the breed that's the problem, but the individual dogs. By creating the Canine Good Citizen test, the AKC created a test that would showcase particular dogs as model citizens. This is a series of temperament and obedience tests designed to show that the dog that receives his CGC title is an outstanding member of the canine community.
Any dog, purebred or mixed breed, may test for his CGC. The test is pass or fail. Dogs may take the CGC test until they pass. Your rottie must pass a series of ten tests in order for him to receive the CGC title. These tests include the following:
Accepting a friendly stranger: The dog must show no fear when someone strange approaches his owner and talks to him or her.
Sitting politely for petting: The dog must accept petting by a stranger when the dog is with his owner.
Appearance and grooming: The dog must accept being brushed gently by the evaluator and allow the evaluator to pick up each foot and examine his ears. The dog is also judged on whether the dog is clean and groomed.
Walking on a loose lead: The dog must walk on a loose lead and walk with the handler including turns and stops.
Walking through a crowd: The dog must walk through a crowd of people without pulling, jumping on people, or acting fearful.
Sit and down on command and staying in place: The dog must sit and lie down on command. The dog must then stay in place while the owner walks twenty feet away and returns to the dog. The dog may change position, but he must stay in the same place.
Coming when called: The dog must wait while the owner walks ten feet and then calls him. The dog must come to the owner.
Reaction to another dog: The dog must show no more than a casual interest in another dog as that dog and his handler approach the first dog and his owner.
Reaction to distraction: The dog must show no fear when faced with two everyday distractions. The dog may show curiosity, but not aggression or shyness.
Supervised separation: The dog must accept being left with the evaluator for three minutes while the owner is out of sight.