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Many people put their dogs through obedience classes to learn the basics like sit, stay, down and come. Intermediate and advanced obedience training are also available through many organizations. These courses refine and hone a dog’s mastery of the obedience commands.
Beyond basic obedience cues, however, is the Canine Good Citizen program, or CGC. Developed and certified through the American Kennel Club, the CGC course teaches dog owners to be responsible and dogs to behave in all situations and conditions. Many pet owners use this training as a stepping stone to making their dog a therapy pet. Others enroll their dogs in order to be eligible for lower home insurance rates or to negate breed restrictions by insurance companies. Whatever the reason for choosing the CGC program, the result is a well-mannered dog.
To be certified as a Canine Good Citizen, a dog must successfully complete a 10-step test administered by an authorized trainer. The steps are: 1) greeting a friendly stranger; 2) sitting calmly while being petted; 3) good grooming and appearance; 4) controlled walking on a loose leash; 5) calmly walking through a crowd; 6) sit, down and stay on command; 7) come on command; 8) good behavior when interacting with another dog; 9) proper reaction to distractions; and 10) good behavior under supervised separation from the owner.