For the month of November/December 2017

What is the CGC?



The letters CGC stand for Canine Good Citizen, which was started in 1989 through the American Kennel Club. This program was designed to reward and recognize dogs that must pass a 10-step test to show us they can perform the basic obedience commands and represent how a dog with good manners behaves while out in the public as well as at home.

Once the dog passes the test, they will be given a certificate and will also be recognized through the AKC. Due to frequent requests from dog owners and instructors, on January 1, 2013, the CGC became an official title that can appear on your pet’s title record and can appear as part of your dogs titled name.

The CGC program involves basic obedience training and will encourage you to continue training your pet through the years and many a student has gone on to do competitions and earn other titles as well.

At Bella’s, you will go through Level 1 Obedience,  and then move on to Level 2 Obedience where at the end of the 8 week course, the CGC test will be offered.


These are the 10 steps that are required to pass the test.

Accepting a friendly stranger. Your dog should allow a friendly stranger (tester) to come up to you and speak to the handler in an everyday situation.

Sitting for Petting. The dog will allow the stranger (tester) to pet the dog while it is out with it’s handler.

Appearance and Grooming. The dog will allow a stranger (tester) to touch and pick up feet and allow a brush to be passed over the dogs fur.

Walking on a loose lead. The instructor may call out command such as “heel, left turn, walk slow” to make sure your dog is walking next to you calmly and not pulling you.

Walking through a crowd. Again, you want your dog to calmly walk through a group of people politely without making a scene.

Sit, down and stay. The handler must demonstrate that their dog can do these commands when asked.

Come when called. The handler will ask the dog to “wait” and handler walks 10 ft. away from dog, turns to face their dog and then calls the dog to come to them.

Reaction to another dog. You and another student with their dog will approach one another from about 20 ft. apart, stop and shake hands (with your dogs sitting calmly next to you and in control) you may exchange pleasantries, and then continue on for about 10 ft.

Reaction to Distraction. You and your dog will begin walking while the tester will drop something behind you and your dog as a distraction. Your dog may react slightly, but should continue on with the walk without showing fear or aggression to the object dropped.

Supervised separation. You will hand your dog off to another person and you will leave the room for a period of 3 minutes. This test is to show that your dog will remain with a trusted person should you have to leave your dog with someone you know for a short period of time.


We all want to be Responsible Owners who will love their pets, make sure their health needs are met, insure they get plenty of exercise and look into a good training program that you and your pet will both enjoy. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to take your pet out in public and have them behave. Training classes are a great way to create a wonderful bond that you and your pet can share together.

I encourage you to look into the Level 1 Obedience Class at Bellas, and I know, once you have completed the first 8 weeks, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and want to continue on with your training.

Bella’s has classes available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, so please be sure to check the calendar on what is coming up, new classes are posted all of the time. And please feel free to stop in when class are in session if you would like to see just what it is you will be learning. We would love to see you!


Submitted by: Debbie Smith