Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test
Photo courtesy of Natalie Heath
Canadian Good Citizen Certification Program
The CCGC Certification Program is a ten-step test that assesses a dog’s behaviour in simulated everyday situations in a relaxed atmosphere. It identifies and rewards dogs that have the training and demeanour to be reliable family and community members.
The purpose of the Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test is to ensure that our favourite companion and assistant, the dog, is a respected member of the community because it is trained and conditioned to act mannerly in the home, public places and the presence of other dogs. All dogs are eligible for the test and certification, i.e. dogs with or without a pedigree.
Canadian Canine Good Citizen training is fun and useful. Through it, both the handler/owner and dog will establish a closer bond and the dog will have the added benefit of knowing how to please his or her handler/owner. The test of a dog’s manners and training is not a competition and does not require the owner/handler and dog to perform with precision.
Why a test?
It is only through some kind of test that a dog’s manners in public places can be assessed. It is useful to have a standardized form of evaluating dog behaviour under real life conditions. The CCGC Test was developed by Canadians advocating modern non-aversive training methods. It encourages responsible dog ownership and good dog behaviour in everyday surroundings.
What are the benefits of CCGC Certification?
Upon successful completion of the test, the owner is awarded a CCGCT certificate signifying that the owner is a responsible dog owner who has taken the time and effort to provide his or her dog with basic good manners and that, on the day of the testing, the dog demonstrated that it is a socially acceptable dog.
Dogs that have solid obedience training are a pleasure to live with, adapt well to a human living environment, exhibit good manners in the presence of people and other dogs and are content in the company of the owner who took the time to provide training, intellectual stimulation and an enriched quality of life.
Who may host a Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test?
The CCGC Test is a great opportunity for clubs, organizations and shelters to encourage and reward responsible dog owners, and earn money to support their mandates.
Any club, organization, training school or shelter wanting to host a Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test may do so by following these simple steps:
Currently, Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC) hosts regular testing in Ottawa, Ontario and is working to schedule regular testing in other provinces.
RDOC members and evaluators across Canada wanting to host an RDOC-sponsored test in their area, or wishing for more information, should email us at: email@example.com
Test kits are free, and will be emailed to you upon request.
A test kit contains the following materials:
Test Station Signs (1 through 10) are also available here.
A blank CCGC Test Poster for advertising a test date is available here.
Want to become a CCGC evaluator?
Responsible Dog Owners of Canada invites and welcomes applications for CCGC Evaluators. Any person with the following qualifications may apply to become a CCGC Evaluator:
A CCGC Evaluator Application Form will be emailed to you upon request.
The Canadian Canine Good Citizen Test
The CCGC Test takes place in a public setting with appropriate distractions. A vaccination certificate, licence, a grooming tool, a plastic bag and a leash with a buckle collar, body harness or martingale collar are required for this test. A dog straining on its lead or touching anyone with teeth or feet is unacceptable and, therefore, a failure.
(Please Note: CCGC applicants should be members of RDOC)
Test Number 1 -
Accepting a friendly stranger: Owner shakes hands with a friendly stranger. This test displays a dog’s acceptance of unfamiliar adults and children.
Test Number 2 -
Patiently sitting for petting: A test for shyness and defence of personal space.
Test Number 3 -
Appearance and grooming: Reveals owner’s care and sense of responsibility for their dog.
Test Number 4 -
Out for a walk: Illustrates handler’s control of his or her dog.
Test Number 5 -
Walking through a crowd: Demonstrates that the dog moves around in a crowd without being unduly distressed and is under handler control.
Test Number 6 -
Response to commands “sit”, “down”, “stay” and “come”: This exercise exhibits that the dog is trained and responds well to its handler/owner.
Test Number 7 -
Praise/Interaction: Shows the dog’s relationship with its owner and that the dog can be calmed down easily.
Test Number 8 -
Reaction to passing dogs: Demonstrates that the dog behaves politely around other dogs.
Test Number 9 -
Distractions: Illustrates that the dog is confident when faced with common distractions.
Test Number 10 -
Supervised isolation: Reveals that the dog can be left with someone other than its usual handler and will maintain its training and good manners.
Please email us for a list of CCGC Test Evaluators in your area.
For more information, contact
RDOC at 613.868.2201 (leave a voice message)
or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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page updated November 2019
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