Is Your Dog A Good Citizen?


Does your dog sit politely for petting? Walk nicely on a leash through a crowd? Does he come when called? If so, he may be able to become a Canine Good Citizen!

The AKC offers the Canine Good Citizen award which is becoming increasingly sought after for a number of reason. It is open to all breeds and mixed breeds – or “All American” in the AKC parlance.

Many people just enjoy the challenge of proving that their dogs are polite in public and trustworthy. The patches, tags, T-shirts, caps, bandanas  and pins the AKC offers in recognition are cool as well.


Many therapy groups and 4 – H groups use this as a preliminary screening test. There are also some benefits when looking at home owner’s insurance. Hartford Financial Service Group has just very recently started to offer coverage for two breeds that previously were banned from being coverage by home owner’s policies- American Staffordshire Terrier and Rottweiler, if they have passed the Canine Good Citizen Test. Breed bans are very variable both between insurancecompanies and even may differ  from state to state within companies. Breed bans also change through the years. At one time German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers were on the hit list.  Now it is primarily “bully breeds.”

Many states have passed resolutions in support of the Canine Good Citizen Award. While these aren’t laws, they do reflect an inteerst in supporting the testing of dogs for good manners.

Take It

For details about the program and testing you can go to or read the Participant’s Handbook.

It really isn’t a difficult test but it is definitely a thorough test. There is probably an evaluator in your area who would be happy to help you prepare if necessary, and give the test.  Good luck! Let your dog wear that bandanna proudly!

Related Posts:

AKC Welcomes All-American Dogs!

Speed Dating For Dogs – or how to say hello politely!

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