Canine Citizen and Therapy Dog Testing

Therapy Dog Team

The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Program is open to all dogs, regardless of breed.
To read more of the program, please visit the AKC Website.
The Canine Good Citizen Test consists of 10 items:
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
Test 7: Coming when called
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
Test 10: Supervised separation
All test items are designed to evaluate handler control and calm, non-aggressive behavior in the dog.


The American Kennel Club’s Advanced Canine Good Citizen or Community Canine Program is open to all dogs, regardless of breed that have passed the Canine Good Citizen test.
To read more of the program, please visit the AKC Website.
The Advanced Canine Good Citizen Test consists of 10 items:
Test 1: Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control while the owner:
Test 2: Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring)–does not pull.
Test 3: Walks on loose leash through a crowd
Test 4: Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.
Test 5: Sit–stay in small group (3 other people with dogs).
Test 6: Dog allows person who is carrying something (backpack, computer bag, etc.) to approach and pet it.
Test 7: “Leave it.” Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it.”
Test 8: Down or sit stay–distance (owner’s choice).
Test 9: Recall with distractions present (coming when called).
Test 10: Dog will sit or stand stay (owner’s choice) while owner enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway.
All test items are designed to evaluate handler control of the dog.


The Love on a Leash Therapy Dog Examination is designed to evaluate dogs and handlers wishing to visit hospitals and libraries to comfort people.
To read more of the program, please visit the LOAL Website.
The Therapy Dog Test consists of 11 items:
Test 1: Is the dog able to do a sit, lie down, heel with people close by, come when called while on a leash, and do a two (2) minute down or sit/stay with owner holding the leash?
Test 2: Is the handler able to greet a friendly stranger who has a dog? Is the handler able to maintain control without the dog being aggressive or over stimulated?
Test 3: Does the dog allow petting including having its head, ears, feet and tail touched?
Test 4: Is the dog clean and well groomed?
Test 5: Is the dog under control with people around?
Test 6: Is the dog able to maintain composure when a stranger approaches in an erratic manner?
Test 7: Would you like this therapy team to visit you or a relative of yours?
Test 8: Is mouthing, biting, dodging or aggression apparent?
Test 9: Is the dog sound sensitive?
Test 10: Does the dog show signs of fear or shyness?
Test 11: Does the dog or handler appear to have any training difficulties or behavior problems that might interfere with its ability to work as a therapy team?

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