Canine Good Citizen Certification Chicago

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Canine Good Citizen Logo

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is an international program devised by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Benefits of CGC Certification

Training certification is beneficial in many ways:
  • Great to show a prospective landlord or condo association, letting them know your dog is well-mannered and at a low risk of causing issues that they may be concerned about
  • Can lower your homeowners insurance - ask your provider
  • Can be helpful if needing to book a hotel reservation that includes your dog
  • Helps you assess how your dog is doing, and what areas need further improvement
  • It's a great capstone to training you may have taken, giving you important goals to strive towards across a variety of important skills
  • Prerequisite for therapy or service dog work
  • It's fun to reach new heights and show off your dog's skills to the world!

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.

CGC Testing Items
  • Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger. The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler (the dog owner) in a natural, everyday situation.
  • Test 2: Sit Politely for Petting. The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with the handler.
  • Test 3: Appearance and Grooming. The dog will permit someone to check its ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.
  • Test 4: Out for a Walk (walking on a loose lead). Following the evaluator's instructions, the dog will walk on a loose lead (with the handler/owner).
  • Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd. The dog will walk through a small crowd of pedestrians, passing in close proximity to at least three people.
  • Test 6: Sit and Down on Command and Stay in Place. The dog must demonstrate sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.
  • Test 7: Coming When Called. The dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet away on leash).
  • Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog. The dog will behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries.
  • Test 9: Reaction to Distractions. The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.
  • Test 10: Supervised Separation. This test demonstrates that your dog can be left with a trusted person. The evaluator will hold your dog's leash while you go out of sight for three minutes.

Testing Dates

No tests are scheduled at this time. Please 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 you will need to be patient as we take each dog one by one through the test. You do not need to arrive exactly at the overall start time. If you bring another person, such as a spouse, one of you may be asked to help with certain tests that require additional people, such as walking through a crowd.

No Treats

Treats are not allowed during the CGC test. Your dog must be skilled enough to pass each test without treats.

Different Trainer

Please note that according to AKC rules, the evaluator must be a different person than your trainer.

Didn't Take Training With Us?

You can still take the test even if you have not taken training with us, or even if your dog hasn't gone through formal training. It can be a great way to see how well your dog can perform.

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.