By HELEN PALMER
January 15, 2013
Happy New Year everyone! I have good news for those who wish their canine friends had some titles attached to their names.
The American Kennel Club has just made this possible and the owner doesn’t have to work very hard to teach the pet the necessary 10 objectives that make up the test to earn the title.
Over the holiday I received an e-mail from the AKC announcing that the club’s Canine Good Citizen is now an official AKC title. To quote the announcement, “In celebration of dogs with good manners at home and in the community, beginning January 1, 2013, passing the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test can be recognized as an official American Kennel Club title for all dogs.”
Note it reads “all” dogs because even mixed breeds can earn the title and can use the initials after the dog’s name as long as the dog is listed or registered with the AKC.
Thus, if your dog is called Scamp’s Scorpion Stinger, the CGC would be placed after “Stinger.” Or you might have a simple name like Max, CGC. The announcement says that for dogs passing the test on or after Jan.1, the owners have a choice of having the CGC as a title or just receiving the CGC certificate as proof of the dog’s accomplishment, in which case the CGC initials are not used with the name.
What are the 10 items the dog is tested on? First it is a pass/fail test, no grade points. The items are as follows:
* Accepting a friendly stranger.
* Sitting politely for petting.
* Allowing basic grooming procedures.
* Walking on a loose lead.
* Walking through a crowd.
* Sitting and lying down on command and staying in place.
* Coming when called.
* Reacting appropriately to another dog.
* Reacting appropriately to distractions (provided by the evaluator)
* Calmly enduring supervised separation from the owner.
Dogs do not have to be registered with the AKC to earn a CGC, nor do they have to be purebred or, in fact, registered with any canine organization. The goal is to promote good citizenship for all dogs and responsible dog ownership for the handlers.
The Mutts with Manners canine graduates all have to pass a CGC test before they are put up for adoption.
This test also is used to evaluate potential therapy dogs before they graduate into advanced classes.
According to the news release, the CGC “lays the foundation for other AKC activities, such as obedience, agility, tracking and performance events.” It “also serves to enhance the bond between owner and dog, making dogs a pleasure with which to live.”
There are three categories an owner can select from, the purebred AKC registration number, or a Purebred Alternative Listing or an AKC Canine Partners number for mixed breeds. When the owner applies, a number is given the dog and any titles it earns will be applied to the identification number. This is another way to have fun with your dog. Best wishes for a super 2013!
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