Canine Good Citizen

This class teaches the skills needed to pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen® test. It is open to all dogs, purebred or mixed breeds. Dogs must already have good basic obedience skills. This class covers what is on the test, practices the test items, and the test will be offered as part of the class. We love this class because it provides practice for a number of skills. Even if people don’t care about the award or simply don’t mail in the test results, it’s great to have a dog that can be greeted by a friendly stranger, walk on a loose leash around other dogs, and hold a sit while someone says hello.  

The canine good citizen class is a great dog training obedience standard. Our class includes practice and the test at the end of class, or, if you're ready, you can take the test!

This course is five weeks in length, one hour per week, and is $100.

Class will start on Saturday, March 25th, at 8:00 a.m.

Reservations are required. To reserve your spot, email [email protected]


If you would like to be notified when a class is upcoming, submit your information using the “Interested?” tab below.

If you would like to take the CGC test without taking the class, please go to the American Kennel Club website, study the test, and then either email us or call 760-630-4824 to schedule the test. Cost for the test only is $20.

Dogs in our Canine Good Citizen classes practice the exercises around distractions. Practice makes perfect! If needed, we also offer dog obedience classes.

From the AKC website:

The CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. All dogs, including both purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program. Dogs must be old enough to have received necessary immunizations such as rabies vaccines.



Owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge attesting to having the dog under the routine care of a veterinarian who will work with the owner to determine an appropriate plan and schedule for vaccines and other health care procedures. There is no age limit for the CGC test. A dog is never too old to be a good citizen. Puppies who have completed all immunizations and boosters may be tested, however, because we know that behavior and temperament can change over time, when puppies pass the CGC test, owners should have them re-tested as adults.



The CGC Program teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step Canine Good Citizen test is a non-competitive test for all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies are encouraging CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test.

The CGC test includes: (clicking on highlighted text will redirect you to a YouTube video produced by the AKC, to illustrate the test item.)

  1. The dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler.
  2. Sitting Politely for Petting The dog will allow a friendly stranger to pet it while it is out with its handler.
  3. Appearance and Grooming The dog will permit someone to check it’s ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do.
  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).
  5. Walking Through a Crowd This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three).
  6. Sit and Down on Command and Staying in Place The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay.
  7. Coming When Called This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler (from 10 feet on a leash).
  8. Reaction to Another Dog This test demonstrates that the dog can 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.
  9. Reaction to Distraction The evaluator will select and present two distractions such as dropping a chair, etc.
  10. Supervised Separation This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).

AKC CGC℠ Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge   I will be responsible for my dog’s health needs. These include:

  • routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines
  • adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times
  • daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming

I will be responsible for my dog’s safety.

  • I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate, not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public.
  • I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification when appropriate (which may include collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID).
  • I will provide adequate supervision when my dog and children are together.

I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others.

  • I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood.
  • I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard, in a hotel room, etc.
  • I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in all public areas such as on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc.
  • I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in wilderness areas, on hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.

I will be responsible for my dog’s quality of life.

  • I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs.
  • I will give my dog attention and playtime.
  • I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.

This class will be scheduled in response to student interest. We will contact you when we have enough students on the sign up list to comprise a class.

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Which Class are you interested in?

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When would be best for you? Mark any days and times you'd be willing to attend. We'll schedule classes as best we can for everyone.
Weekday eveningsSaturdays at 8amSaturdays late afternoon