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Why do you need Canine Good Citizens certification?

by Ray Coleiro


If you want your dog to participate in dog activities like therapy groups then you need to obtain a Canine Good Citizens certification for your pet.

The “Canine Good Citizens” certification is based on 10 steps that demonstrate the owner’s control over the dog, and the dog’s behavior in given situations. They are:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger.
  2. Sitting politely while being petted.
  3. Spic and span appearance --good grooming.
  4. Walking on a loose leash.
  5. Walking through a crowd.
  6. Obedience to sit and stay commands.
  7. Interaction with handler.
  8. Amicability to other animals.
  9. Tolerance to/of distractions.
  10. Supervised isolation.

In order for you to ensure that the little dog passes the test. You must train the dog to perfection.

You need to:

  • Steel your emotions and not give in into to limpid pleading eyes or a wistful looks. If the pup is disobedient and ignores your command or the word “no,” you must instill discipline by: ignoring the pup; walking away; taking away privileges.

  • Whilst training use a “tone” that is firm – your stance, facial expression, and voice should say, “I will accept no nonsense.” Never get excited and shout or flay your hands – it will only serve to excite the puppy. Use a voice that is soft, certain, and firm.

  • Instill respect in him -- he must acknowledge you as “alpha” or leader. Once this is achieved then the pup will always obey you.

  • Use only positive methods – never physically harm the puppy. Stern methods are a thing of the past.

  • Socialize the dog with care and patience. Take him to the park, club, beach, ball game, on holidays and so on. The more people and animals he meets the better socialized he will be.

  • In case you come across any problems like—aggression, fear, or timidity take steps to correct the dog. If required, do meet a behaviorist he/she will guide you in the right way.

  • You must make time to bond with the dog -- pet, cuddle, talk to him, and show him you care.

  • Teach your puppy to give to space—he must learn to stay alone at times. Otherwise you will become the dog’s prisoner.

  • Communication is important you must understand each other’s needs.

  • Enrich his life and he will enrich yours.

It is quite simple --- follow the basic rules and you will be surprised how well your dog shapes.

The perfectly well behaved dog

Everyone loves a perfect dog: one who is loving, patient, well mannered, and educated.


  • Permits you his owner to touch him even when he is ill/injured and allows to you administer medication/dressing.
  • Is well mannered, busy, socialized, and spends most of his time at home with his family.
  • Listens and obeys commands and is attentive, he wants to stay close to you.
  • Will walk by your side and heel beautifully-- will not run, pull, drag or strangle.
  • Will drop it/leave it as soon as you say so.
  • Will sit as soon as you point or order him to.
  • Understands what he can and what he cannot do.
  • Acknowledge you as pack leader.

Whether you are a first time dog owner or a seasoned veteran, your learning never stops as far as it comes to training your dog. Each and every dog presents different training challenges, and the more equipped you are to handle these training issues the more likely you are to prevent any permanent and long term future behavioral problems.

If you are serious about your dog, and want the very best for her/him, then you owe it to your best friend to get a copy of this FREE Dog Training Mini-Course. You can still get it from here:


Ray Coleiro is the author of the popular book "Dog Training Mastery - An Owner's Manual!" His main interest lies in promoting effective Canine Communication using solid Dog Psychology principles. To learn more about his proven Dog Training methods and life's work, you can visit

Note: The author grants permission to you to re-print, pulish or broadcast this article so long as it is un-altered or not edited in any way, and that all links remain present and active.




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