CGC/Therapy Dog

CGC (Canine Good Citizen)

Canine Good Citizen is a program designed by the American Kennel Club to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. It makes a good partner for prepping for therapy dog work, which is what happens in this class.

All dogs may participate in the CGC program; they do not have to be registered with AKC. And all dogs of a suitable temperament may participate in therapy dog work (assuming their human partner is also of suitable temperament).

In the class we present and help you train all elements of the CGC test, including the following:

  • dog sits politely for petting
  • dog allows a person to check ears and front feet, as a groomer or veterinarian would do
  • walk on a loose leash
  • walking through a crowd
  • sit and down on command and remaining in place when owner leaves
  • coming when called
  • polite reaction to another dog while handlers approach, shake hands and converse
  • calm reaction to (two) distractions
  • maintaining calm when owner leaves dog with another person for 3 minutes
  • More information can be obtained on the AKC website.

Therapy Dog

Our instructor Sally Petty leads the Waggin’ Hearts Therapy Dogs group in Rappahannock County and does testing for certification by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly TDInc.). Many of the skills learned by your dog for the CGC program will be of great assistance here. Special attention is paid to friendly but very calm “meets and greets” and a solid behavior with distractions (things falling, sudden noises, appearance of strange objects such as wheelchairs, etc.). Requirements for actual therapy dog work continue after the class, in the form of supervised visits at nursing facilities and the like.

This is a seven-week class, full of fun and useful behaviors for your dog!

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