The Canine Good Citizen and It's Importance
We are now offering services pertaining to the Canine Good Citizen test, in partnership with the American Kennel Club. The CGC is a test that was designed to measure dogs against a standard of behavior that a dog should have to be a "good citizen". This test includes basic obedience, as well as basic levels of sociability with both people and dogs. In addition to being a good goal for any dog owner to aim for, the CGC is a test that is sometimes used by home owner's insurance companies and landlords to make sure that their client's dogs are well behaved and that they will not be a liability. For those wishing to go further than this basic level, there are two additional levels of the CGC. The urban version, the CGCU, includes test items that are designed to test how dogs behave in the big city. The CGCA is an advanced test, that includes tasks such as a food refusal and controlled door entries.
There is no age limit for the CGC, but it is recommended that dogs be at least 6 months old before testing. No corrective collars or food are allowed to be used during the test, but you are allowed to verbally praise your dog during the test. Dogs must pass each of the 10 test items in order to pass the test, and the dog owner must also sign a pledge of responsible dog ownership. Once the dog has passed the test, the test form will be sent in to the AKC so that your achievement will be on record. At this point, you can also choose to add the CGC as a title at the end of your dog's name if they are AKC registered. We can also supply passing dogs with a CGC collar tag, bandana, or other accessory that lets others know that your dog has passed the test.
The S.T.A.R. Puppy Test
The S.T.A.R Puppy is a precursor to the CGC, and is designed to prepare puppies for being social, stable, and well mannered members of society. S.T.A.R stands for socialization, training, activity, and responsibility, and each one of those items is taken into consideration for the test. A puppy that takes this test must have completed a 6 week training class with the puppy, and the test is typically given on the last day. Outside of class, a puppy taking this test must have received all of the standard vaccines as part of the responsibility section of the test. Unlike the CGC test, people taking the S.T.A.R with their puppies are allowed and encouraged to use food rewards when working on the obedience section of the test. The emphasis at this point in the puppy's life is not on rock solid obedience, but rather on confidence building, learning good social skills, and learning basic obedience concepts.
Class Offerings at Kentucky Dog Training LLC
Starting this summer, we will be offering group classes for those who wish to achieve the S.T.A.R Puppy, CGC, or one of the advanced titles. If you are interested in taking one of these classes, please contact us so that we can put you on the interest list.
S.T.A.R Puppy Class: Open to puppies 6 months and younger. This class will cover: sit, down, stay, recalls, loose leash walking, focus and engagement, and crate training. We will also cover important puppy topics like socialization, good manners, potty training, mouthing, digging, and nutrition. The S.T.A.R test will be done on the last day of class. 6 weeks long, $120.
CGC Prep Class: Open to dogs off all ages that have passed a basic obedience class. Dogs who completed a class with a different trainer will need to pass a short evaluation to ensure that they are at the right level. This class is focused on building reliability and proofing obedience exercises in preparation for both the CGC and real life scenarios. The CGC test will be offered on the last day of class. 6 weeks, $120.
CGCA Prep Class: Open to all dogs with a CGC. This course will target the test items of the CGCA, and will build upon the existing skills that the dogs already have. Higher levels of distractions will be used to proof all aspects of obedience training. The CGCA test will be offered on the final day of class. 4 weeks, $90.
CGCU Prep Class: Open to all dogs with a CGC. This course will build upon existing obedience skills to prepare dogs for the urban test. In preparation for this, these classes will be held at various places around the city of Lexington. The CGCU test will be offered on the final day of class. 6 weeks, $150.
Sam is the owner and head trainer at Kentucky Dog Training LLC. She set up this blog to share success stories, training tips, the progression of dogs in our training programs, and other thoughts on dogs and training.