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Community Canine

From the AKC:  to earn the AKC Community Canine title, dogs must meet the following two requirements:

1. The CGC test and the AKC Community Canine test may be taken on the same day. However, when taken on the same day, both forms should be sent to AKC in one envelope so the CGC can be entered first.

2. Must have an AKC number of one of 3 types (AKC registration number, PAL number, or AKC Canine Partners number). All dogs, including mixed breeds, can get an AKC number. The reason for the AKC number requirement is that this is how we create titles at AKC; we attach the titles to the dog’s number. 

Age Requirement for Dogs

There is no age limit for dogs taking the AKC Community Canine test. However, before taking the test, dogs must have a Canine Good Citizen test on record at AKC.


There is a $25.00 processing fee that the dog owner will pay to the AKC for the AKC Community Canine title.

Collar, Leashes and Equipment 

All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars (including martingales) or body harnesses. Body harnesses should not restrict the movement of the dog. Special training equipment such as pinch collars and head collars are not permitted. The leash should be made of either leather or fabric. Retractable leashes may not be used in the test.


Handlers are not permitted to use food as a reward during the AKC Community Canine Test. While we recognize that food can be an effective reinforcer during training, it should not be used in the test. As with CGC, the purpose of the AKC Community Canine test is to determine if the dog relates to the owner and if it can be controlled without food.

Handler/Dog Interactions During Test

Handlers may talk to their dogs and provide praise throughout the test. The test items should be in as natural, realistic format as possible. Evaluators should encourage the test to be fun.

Evaluators may remind handlers to communicate with their dogs. Evaluators should not make the test easier by eliminating test items, nor should they require a higher level of performance than the test requires. Of course, evaluators may choose to teach more advanced skills in their classes.

To earn the CGCA title, the dog must pass all 10 items of the test to receive the CGCA title.

1. Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control while the owner:

  • sits at the registration table and fills out paperwork, or,

  • if the test is done in the community, dog waits while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with another person (e.g., at a park)

2. Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring) — does not pull.

  • left turn

  • right turn

  • stop

3. Walks on loose leash through a crowd:

  • at a show or in class, this item is tested in a real crowd, not in a ring

  • in the community, dog walks on sidewalk, through a crowd at a community fair, park, on a trail, through a busy hallway, etc.

4. Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.

  • This item may be tested along with #3 if there are dogs in the crowd, etc.

  • at a show or class, dog walks by dogs waiting in the crowd–dogs 2 ft. apart

  • in the community, dog walks by other dogs on a trail, sidewalk, in a hallway, etc.

5. Sit-stay in small group

  • two other people with dogs, total of 3 people, 3 dogs in group).

6. Dog allows person who is carrying something (backpack, computer bag, etc.) to approach and pet it.

  • “May I pet your dog?” (Item is placed on floor/ground before the person pets the dog)

7. “Leave it.”

  • Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”

  • This can be food placed by the evaluator on the floor or ground in a food dish with a wire cover as in Rally.

8. Down or sit stay — distance (owner’s choice).

  • Dog is on 20–ft line, owner walks away with back to dog, picks up an item (e.g., backpack, training bag, clipboard, folder etc.) placed on the floor/chair/ground by the evaluator and returns to the dog.

9. Recall with distractions present (coming when called).

  • Handler goes out 20–ft. **(off center) and calls dog.

10. Dog will sit or stand stay (owner’s choice) while owner enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway. Owner calls dog through door when ready. Owner may also choose to:

  1. send the dog through first and have the dog wait for the owner, or

  2. the owner may choose to have the dog go through the doorway at the owner’s side.

Whichever method is used, the dog must not pull the owner and must be under good control. Think of the handler having the leash in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
(Doorway or gate can be real or simulated with ring gates, two chairs, or a natural passageway (e.g., entrance to trail) in the community.)

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