CGC Testing

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. Culminating in a 10-step CGC test. Successful examinees receive an official title from the AKC; dogs with the CGC title have the suffix, “CGC” after their names. The CGC is also a significant step towards Therapy Dog certification, since that test is derived from the CGC.

Testing with me can be one of two ways: included in group obedience classes, or a la carte if you’ve done your training elsewhere.

Additionally, Simpawtico Dog Training offers the other levels of training and testing, from the preparatory S.T.A.R Puppy through the Advanced Community Canine.

Canine Good Citizen

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior, teaching good manners to dogs along with responsible dog ownership to their owners. The 10-step test is a non-competitive test for all dogs for both purebreds and mixed breeds. The CGC award is a prerequisite for many therapy dog groups. Some homeowner’s insurance companies are encouraging CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require that resident dogs pass the CGC test. Dogs who pass the test can earn a certificate and/or the official AKC CGC title; dogs with the CGC title have the suffix, “CGC” after their names.

Test Fee: $10

Test Items:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger
  2. Sitting politely for petting
  3. Appearance and grooming
  4. Walking with a loose lead
  5. Walking through a crowd
  6. Sit and down on command
  7. Coming when called
  8. Reaction to another dog
  9. Reaction to distraction
  10. Supervised separation (3 mins.)

badge graphic for the AKC CGC testing

Prerequisites: none; open to all.

If you need training to prepare for the CGC test, take the CGC Class with Simpawtico! The test is included!

Learn more about the CGC at the AKC’s website.

Community Canine

AKC Community Canine is the advanced level of AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program.

As with CGC, AKC Community Canine has a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Community Canine title. This is a title that appears on the dog’s title record at AKC.

While Canine Good Citizen tests are simulations of real world skills, (e.g., dog/handler walks through a “crowd” of evaluators in a ring), the goal of AKC Community Canine is to test the dog’s skills in a natural setting. For example, rather than the dog being tested in a ring, in AKC Community Canine, the “walks through a crowd” test item will involve the dog walking through a real crowd on a busy sidewalk, in a therapy dog setting, or at the training facility.

Test Fee: $15

Test Items:

  1. Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with another person (e.g., at a park)
  2. Walks on a loose leash; does not pull
  3. Walks on a loose leash through a crowd
  4. Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull
  5. Sit + stay in small group (3 other people with dogs)
  6. Dog allows person who is carrying something (backpack, computer bag, etc.) to approach and pet it.
  7. Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”
  8. Down or sit stay plus distance (20′)
  9. Recall with distractions present (20′)
  10. Stay while owner enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway

badge graphic for the AKC Community Canine test

Prerequisites: must have a Canine Good Citizen test on record with AKC.

If you need training to prepare for the CGCA test, take the CGCA Class with Simpawtico! The test is included!

Learn more about the CGCA at the AKC’s website.

S.T.A.R. Puppy

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through puppy training classes.

When you complete the Puppy I and Puppy II cycle of classes (8 weeks) your puppy is eligible to be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. Upon passing the test, you’ll get an application to send to the AKC for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. All dogs are welcome to participate in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program including purebreds and mixed breeds.

Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal (for display or memento purposes; not suitable as a collar tag). You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. In addition, so that you can continue learning, you’ll receive our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package that includes:

  • A beautiful, frameable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC
  • AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource
  • Discount to enroll in AKC Reunite, a 24-hour recovery service
  • Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter: Your AKC. This includes training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know. We want you and your puppy to continue learning beyond puppy classes.

Test Fee: Included in Puppy II Class

Test Items:


1. Maintains puppy’s health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)
2. Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge
3. Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan
4. Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator
5. Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy
6. Owner has obtained some form of ID for puppy-collar tag, etc.


7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 weeks of class
8. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class
9. Tolerates collar or body harness of owner’s choice
10. Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)
11. Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy


12. Allows (in any position) petting by a person other than the owner
13. Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam (ears, feet)
14. Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight line (15 steps)
15. Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other people 5-ft away
16. Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure
17. Down on command-Owner may use a food lure
18. Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called
19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away
20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns)

Badge graphic for the AKC STAR Puppy course

Prerequisites: must attend all twelve classes in the Puppy I and Puppy II cycle; must satisfy all 20 requirements of the S.T.A.R. Puppy test.

Sign up for both Puppy I & II together and save on class fees!

 Please note that unlike the CGC and the CGCA, the S.T.A.R. Puppy is not available as a standalone test. You must attend classes at Simpawtico Dog Training to receive your test and certificate.

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