10 Steps to CGC

If your dog is on the path to becoming a Canine Good Citizen, this class will provide additional practice before taking the test.

Does your dog desire to be a Canine Good Citizen? Need some practice before taking the test? Then this class is just what you need! Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is a six week class. In each weekly session, participants will cover three parts of the test. Each session lasts about one hour. The last week will be a practice test and also an opportunity to perfect all the skills.

We will be covering all the skills required in the test:

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

*Bring your dog's brush or comb for the Appearance and Grooming skill.

Items Needed

In keeping with the requirements of the test, your dog needs to have a well-fitted collar and leash. Correctly fitted body-harnesses are also allowed. Pinch collars, head halters and electronic collars are not permitted.


Good Manners or an equivalent introductory training class (such as puppy kindergarten, adolescent puppy, etc.) is needed before registering for Canine Good Citizen.


This class is $150.00. Fees for classes are subject to change and are non-refundable.

Is your dog reactive or aggressive to humans or other dogs?

What does it mean for your dog to be reactive? Dogs may be considered reactive if they bark, growl, lunge, or snap around people or other dogs. Reactive dogs have a hard time focusing on their owner during the class making it hard for them to learn and retain the information they are being taught.

If your dog displays any of the behaviors listed above, please set up a private consultation at ARL Main by e-mailing Petbehavior@arl-iowa.org.


Click on the button below and scroll to find the class date you would like to attend. You will be walked through the online registration process. Payment will be through the online registration system. No registration will be considered confirmed without payment.

About Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification

The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Test is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community. Dogs become respected members of their communities when they are trained to act mannerly in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. All dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds are embraced by and welcomed in the Canine Good Citizen program.

All tests must be performed on leash. For collars, dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars or regular body harness. Martingale style (sometimes called "limited slip") collars are permitted. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, no-pull harnesses and electronic collars are not permitted in the CGC test.

To help uncover the mystery of what the CGC test was all about, the ARL created an instructional video series that demonstrates what will be asked of you and your dog in the actual test and then how one person trained her dog to pass the test.

Click on the links below to watch each of the CGC lessons:

About the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program

The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program is a nationally recognized certification that recognizes dogs who pass the test as the “best of the best” in terms of behavior and temperament. There is a 10 point test that a dog must pass in order to receive the certification. Click here for the full description of all 10 points in the test.