Most training clubs and schools in Europe, USA, Australia and Canada carry out the recommended Kennel Club good citizen test. This test is designed to make owners more responsible.
Dogs that pass these tests are likely to be good neighbours, safe with children and make their owners happy without making someone else unhappy. If your dog has difficulty with any category it would be responsible to discuss the problem with either your vet or a good trainer. The following tests are carried out in my basic classes.
The Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test.
1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger
This demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak with the handler in a natural every day setting. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must not show no sign of resentment or shyness and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
2. Sitting Politely for Petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The evaluator pets the dog and then circles the dog and handler. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
3. Appearance and Grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern, and responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog, then combs or brushes the dog and lightly examines the ears and each front and back foot.
4. Out for a Walk
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. There must be a left turn, a right turn, and an about turn, with at least one stop between and another at the end. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.
5. Walking through a Crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people. The dog may show some interest in the strangers, without appearing over exuberant, shy or resentful.
6. Sit and Down on command/staying in Place
This test demonstrates that the dog has been trained, will respond to the handler’s command to sit and down and will remain in the place instructed by the handler. Handlers may choose either the sit or the down command. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command.
This test demonstrates that the dog can be easily calmed following play or praise and can leave the area of this test in a mannerly fashion. The handler may use verbal praise, petting, playing with a toy and/or a favorite trick in the allowed 10 seconds of play, and then must calm the dog for the next test.
8. Reaction to another Dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dog’s approach each other from a distance of about 10 yards, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 5 yards. The dogs should show no more than a casual interest in each other.
9. Reactions to Distractions
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common situations. The dog may express a natural interest and curiosity and may appear slightly startled, but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness or bark when faced with distractions.
10. Supervised Left Alone
Although they may show a little worry, mild agitation or nervousness, dogs should not bark, whine, howl or pace unnecessarily when left alone.