Since its inception the Canine Good Citizen® program has become the model for similar programs around the world and serves as the framework for other exams, such as therapy dog programs, and is a good starting point for more advanced dog training. The AKC says, “The CGC® Program has become recognized as the standard of behavior for dogs in our communities. CGC® resolutions have been passed by 18 state legislatures and the United States Senate since the program was established in 1989. In addition, insurance companies are using the CGC® certification to insure breeds they would not otherwise insure and some condominium associations around the country now require that all dogs in the community attain the CGC® certification.”
The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program rewards responsible owners who take the time to train and socialize their new puppies and is a natural precursor to the AKC Canine Good Citizen® Test. “S.T.A.R.”
Dogs do not have to be registered with the AKC, or any other organization, to participate in the CGC® or S.T.A.R programs nor do they have to be purebred. Puppies up to one year old can begin training in the S.T.A.R. program as soon as they have the necessary vaccines. The goal with these programs is to promote good citizenship for all dogs. According to King, “Becoming an AKC ‘CGC®’ Evaluator is a key component to the development and commitment that is an essential part of the DogSmith’s mission of being the most progressive, force-free Dog Training and Pet Care Franchise in North America. DogSmith Franchise Owners are required to achieve increasing levels of continuing education and development in their profession.”
King says, “The DogSmith recognizes the importance of supporting pet dog owners and helping them achieve a high level of training with their dogs. The DogSmith’s core dog training curriculum includes the 10 essential behaviors required for a dog to be certified as a ‘Canine Good Citizen’ and each DogSmith is proficient at applying positive, force-free based training methods to ensure that the training is fun and effective for both owner and dog. DogSmiths are professional Dog Trainers and Dog Behavior Counselors and use the most effective and non-intrusive training methods available.” To learn more about AKC’s CGC and S.T.A.R. programs visit: www.akc.org and www.DogSmith.com.