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CANINE GOOD CITIZEN
DO IT YOURSELF
PRE-TEST

Working toward your (CGC) Canine Good Citizen

Do you think your pup is about to pass?

Want to assess which test items you still need to work on?

Call for a consultation or try the DO-IT-YOURSELF PRE-TEST

 

HOW TO DO IT YOURSELF PRE-TEST

First, if you have a friend who has never met your dog, that person is the ideal helper for running through the CGC test items to see how your dog behaves.

 

Before you start the test, you decide how much you want to manage your dog’s behaviors versus how much you want to observe their behaviors, so you know their strengths and weaknesses without much support from you.

 

While still in training it may be a good idea to use treats for your pre-test. While you’re not allowed to use treats on the actual CGC test, you’re allowed to talk to your dog as much as you like to help him. When your pup completes a test item well you may want to reinforce that behavior with both food and praise at first.

 

Think about what you might say to your dog too as your run through these ten tasks.

 

1. ACCEPTING A FRIENDLY STRANGER 

  • Coordinate with your friend where you’ll meet, preferably someplace with few distractions.

  • Once your friend sees you with your dog, ask them to causally walk toward you, but ignore your dog.

  • Say hello to one another while maintaining proper social distancing.

  • Your dog may sit or stand for this task.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog lunge toward your friend?

Jump on them?

Did your dog hide or try to hide behind your legs?

Did your dog growl or whine or make other noises indicating discomfort?

 

 

2. SITTING POLITELY FOR PETTING 

  • As long as the person-to-person greeting went well with your dog, have your friend ask you if they can pet your dog.

  •  When you say yes, be sure to tell your friend WHERE to pet your dog. Many people will pass a dog on the top of their head. For many dogs that is very unpleasant and will discourage your dog from allowing strangers to greet. I like to direct people to pat on the chest or shoulder, but you can choose any body part.

  •  Once the petting occurs your dog may sit or stand. 

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog lunge toward your friend? Or jump on them?

Did your dog shy away from the person trying to pet them?

Did your dog growl or whine or make other noises indicating discomfort?

 

  3. APPEARANCE & GROOMING 

  • Hand your friend a brush or comb that you know your dog is familiar with and likes. On the actual CGC test, you are supposed to bring a brush or comb for this task, so identifying one that your dog likes is a good strategy. 

  • Tell your friend to let your dog sniff the brush or comb for 10-20 seconds, or whatever time length you think will help your dog. 

  • Tell your friend that they should kneel down to your dog’s level. Remind them NOT to hover over your dog. 

  • Tell your friend to lightly check your dog’s ears, gently pick up each front paw, and softly comb or brush your dog. 

  • You can instruct your friend to do these three tasks in any order. 

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog growl or whine or make other noises indicating discomfort?

Did your dog move around excessively, indicating nervousness, shyness, or resentment?

 

 

4. OUT FOR A WALK (WALKING ON A LOOSE LEAD) 

You will make a short walk with your dog showing that your dog is paying attention to your cues and changes in direction.

 

  • Walk straight with your dog on either side.

  • Make a right turn.

  • Make a stop.

  • Make a left turn.

  • Make an about-face turn.

  • Stop at the end.

These actions may be performed in any order but practicing in the same order may result in a failure if the live test is not recognized by your dog.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog strain on your leash creating a consistent tight leash?

Did your dog sniff the ground excessively?

Did your dog completely ignore you and miss turns or stops?

  

 5. WALKING THROUGHA CROWD 

You’ll be loose leash walking with your dog again.

  • Ask your friend to walk around you and pass by you.

  • If there are other people around, walk around them as well.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog lunge at anyone or pull on the leash?

Did your dog excessively sniff anyone?

Did your dog jump on or try to jump on anyone?

Did your dog try to hide behind you or shy away from people?

 

 

6. SIT & DOWN ON COMMAND & STAY IN PLACE 

Swap out your leash for a 20-foot lead.

Place your dog in a sit.

Place your dog in a down.

Choose the sit or down placement for demonstrating stay.

Place your dog in a stay.

Walk out 20 feet. Be careful not to tug on the lead.

Turn around and walk back to your dog.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog refuse to sit and/or go down?

Did your dog break the stay?

 

 

7. COMING WHEN CALLED 

  • Place your dog in a sit or down.

  • You may tell your dog to stay or wait, or you may just walk away from your dog.

  • Walk away ten feet. Again, be careful not to tug on the lead.

  • Call your dog to you.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did you have to call your dog numerous times (more than 2-3x)?

Did your dog refuse to come back to you?

 

 

8. REACTION TO ANOTHER DOG 

This task is the hardest one to pre-test since it requires another person with a neutral dog who won’t be interested in your dog.

 

  • While on walks with your dog, notice how your dog reacts to other passing dogs.

  • Notice the body language and energy level of those passing dogs too.

  • You can encourage your dog to look at you and continue to walk on a loose leash. Your pup can consistently looks at other dogs, but must keep walking with you, no pulling or lunging.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

If your dog has a hard time remaining neutral (i.e., barks, pulls, lunges, whimpers, or shows other signs of discomfort, fear, or shyness), then you’ll want to spend time working on this skill.

 

 

9. REACTION TO DISTRACTION 

For this task, most evaluators will use two distractions: one visual and one auditory.

 

  • Ask your friend to jog by your dog.

  • Ask your friend to drop something or clap their hands. 

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

Did your dog growl?

Did your dog bark more than once?

Did your dog lunge toward the distraction?

Did your dog try to run away?

Did your dog urinate or defecate?

 

 

10. SUPERVISED SEPERATION 

  • Leave your leashed dog with your friend. 

  • You hide out-of-sight. Go around a building corner, or to the other side of a pillar or fence, anything that prevents your dog from seeing you. 

  • Listen for how your dog reacts.

 

For the test, you must remain out-of-sight for 3 minutes.

For a pre-test, try a limit that seems reasonable to you.

 

Reactions that will result in failing this task:

If your dog begins pulling excessively toward you while you try to walk away, then that’s your indicator that you need to work on supervised separation.

Did your dog whine excessively? Or bark or howl?

Did your dog pace around panting nervously or breathing hard?

 If you have a small dog, did he try to jump into your friend’s lap?

 

 Remember, you’re a team. If you failed more tasks than you passed, we are here to help!

 

If you decide that you want to laser focus on CGC and sign up for a Canine Good Citizen Class, you’ll definitely get practice and tips for the ten tested skills. If you don’t pass CGC the first time, that’s okay. We can revise your training plan. You can keep building your bond with your dog. Practice makes

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TESTS & CERTIFICATIONS

 
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