AKC Community Canine Certification

Dog Training Certification: AKC Community Canine

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The AKC Community Canine (CGCA) certification is a program devised by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

AKC Community Canine has a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Community Canine title. This is a title that appears on the dog's title record at AKC.

The Test

The heart of the CGC program is the 10-step Canine Good Citizen test. At the beginning of the CGC test, handlers sign the Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge before taking their dogs through the 10 step test with an AKC-Approved CGC Evaluator.

  • Test 1: Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control while the owner:
    • sits at the registration table and fills out paperwork, or,
    • if the test is done in the community, dog waits while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with another person (e.g., at a park)

  • Test 2: Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring) - does not pull.
    • Left turn
    • Right turn
    • Stop
    • Fast and slow pace

  • Test 3: Walks on a loose leash through a crowd.
    • this item is tested in a real crowd, not in a classroom
    • in the community, dog walks on sidewalk, through a crowd at a community fair, park, on a trail, through a busy hallway, etc.

  • Test 4: Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull. This item may be tested along with Test 3 if there are dogs in the crowd, etc.
    • at a show or class, dog walks by dogs waiting in the crowd - dogs are two feet apart
    • in the community, dog walks by other dogs on a trail, sidewalk, in a hallway, etc.

  • Test 5: Sit/stay in small group (3 other people with dogs).
    • Owners and dogs are in an informal circle/square while the owners have a conversation
    • Dogs are all on the owner's left side, on leash; three feet apart, for at least 30 seconds

  • Test 6: Dog allows person who is carrying something (backpack, computer bag, etc.) to approach and pet it.
    • "May I pet your dog?" (Item is placed on floor/ground before the person pets the dog)

  • Test 7: "Leave it." Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, "Leave it."
    • This can be food placed by the evaluator on the floor or ground, in a food dish with a wire cover.

  • Test 8: Down or sit or stay with distance (owner's choice).
    • Dog is on 20-foot line, owner walks away with back to dog, picks up an item (e.g., backpack, training bag, clipboard, folder etc.) placed on the floor/chair/ground by the evaluator and returns to the dog.

  • Test 9: Recall with distractions present (coming when called).
    • Handler goes out 20 feet (off center) and calls dog.
    • Dog is on the 20 foot line from Test 8 above.

  • Test 10: Dog will sit or stand stay (owner?s choice) while owner enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway. Owner calls dog through door when ready.
  • Owner may also choose to:

    1. send the dog through first and have the dog wait for the owner, or
    2. the owner may choose to have the dog go through the doorway at the owner's side.

    Whichever method is used, the dog must not pull the owner and must be under good control. Think of the handler having the leash in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. The doorway or gate can be real or simulated with ring gates, two chairs, or a natural passageway (e.g., entrance to trail) in the community.

Testing Dates

No test dates are scheduled at this time. Please check back, and let us know if you're interested.


The cost of the CGC test is $50. We need to receive payment in advance in order to reserve your place.

There is also a nominal fee that you will need to submit to the AKC in order to receive your actual certificate.

Time Requirement

The test takes about 15 minutes to finish, per dog. There will be other dogs on the date you arrive, so will need to be patient as we take each dog one by one through the test.

If Your Dog Doesn't Pass

In order to receive your certification, your dog needs to pass every skill as part of the overall test, as judged by our evaluators. If it doesn't pass a certain skill, you can try again the next time. The same fee applies to additional tests.