New Behavior Program Prepares Dogs for Canine Good Citizenship

by SummerHuggins • Posted in: Behavior, Pets Needing Homes

Started by the American Kennel Club in 1989, the Canine Good Citizen Program rewards dogs with good manners not only at home but also in the community. Starting in the summer of 2013, some dogs at Austin Pets Alive! are working toward certification.

Dog Behavior Manager Mike Kaviani, Behavior Team staff members and volunteers are working with dogs in our CGC Ready Program on a daily basis to enhance their lives and to prepare them for success in their forever homes and in our community.


“To pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test, a dog must demonstrate solid obedience training and general reliability in real-world scenarios, such as taking a walk in the park or greeting a friendly stranger,” said Kaviani. “In achieving the title of ‘CGC Ready,’ our adoptable dogs have proven that when partnering with a responsible person, he or she possesses all the makings of a successful, well-trained and loving pet who is ready to join the world! Since a key component of the AKC CGC Program is the bond between an owner and his or her dog, we offer incentives and free training to adopters to return to APA! to formally achieve a CGC Certificate after adoption.”

Although we have started out working with some of our long-stay dogs (like Louise, Jordan and Sis) on their way to Canine Good Citizenship, any dog waiting for adoption at APA! can join the program.

“Any APA! dog is welcome to join the CGC Ready Program, regardless of age or appearance,” Kaviani said. “We specifically look for dogs that possess friendly personalities and interest in obedience training. We know that all of our dogs at APA! will one day become someone’s cherished pet, but our CGC Ready dogs have gone the extra mile to prepare themselves to truly wow a new family and represent shelter dogs everywhere!”

CGC certification is a great foundation for other activities such as agility, tracking and even therapy dog work. Each step toward certification and beyond serves to strengthen the bond between a dog and his or her family and ensure their success at home and around the community.