Brothers and Sisters in Arms Dog Training, Inc. - Training Service Dogs for Active Duty Military and Veterans with PTSD, TBI, and MST

                                   Rick Bulcak,
                                    Deb Cawley,
                           Jamie Killian-Coody

What is It?

AKC Community Canine is the third and most advanced level of the Canine Good Citizen Program. In AKC Community Canine, dogs can earn the CGCA (Advanced CGC) title.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 at a dog show, on a busy sidewalk, at a training club or in a local park.  

What you need to begin 

To earn the AKC Community Canine (CGCA) title,your dog must have: 
 1) a Canine Good Citizen test on record at AKC. CGC is a prerequisite 
for the AKC Community Canine(CGCA) title. 
2) an AKC number, or PAL number, or AKC Canine Partners number. 
We attach titles to a dog’s number at AKC. All dogs, including mixed breeds, can earn titles. 

Dogs who pass the AKC Community Canine SM test are eligible to earn the AKC’s “CGCA” title. To earn the CGCA title, the dog must:
 1) be registered or listed with AKC (AKC number, PAL, or AKC Canine Partners number) and,
 2) already have a Canine Good Citizen® award/title on record.              

How It Works

You can attend a basic training class to teach your dog the CGCA behaviors, or if you have the skills and knowledge,you can teach your dog the CGCA skills yourself.  When your dog is ready, sign up for a CGCA test administered by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator. Tests are held in the community, at AKC dog shows, at training  classes, and at some pet supply stores. When your dog passes the CGCA test, the evaluator will give you the paperwork to send to AKC to request the CGCA title certificate.  

What the AKC Community Canine Requires:

1.  Dog stands, sits or lies down and waits under control
  •  while the owner sits at the registration table and fills out paperwork, or, while the owner sits and has a snack or visits with someone (e.g., at a park). 

2. Walks on a loose leash in a natural situation (not in a ring)
  • does not pull; left and right turn; stop; fast and slow pace.

3. Walks on a loose leash through a crowd. 
  • This item is tested in a real crowd, not in a ring.

4. Dog walks past distraction dogs present; does not pull.

5.  Sit-stay in small group (3 other people with dogs). 
  • Owners and dogs are in an informal group while owners have a conversation.

6.  Dog allows person who is carrying something (e.g., purse, computer case, backpack) to approach and pet it. 
  • “May I pet your dog?” (Item is put on floor/ground before person pets dog)

7. “Leave it.” 
  • Dog walks by food and follows owner instructions, “Leave it."

8. Down or sit stay (owner’s choice) at a distance.

9. Recall with distractions present (coming when called).
  •   Handler goes out 20-ft. (off center) and calls dog.  Dog comes past a distractor to return to handler.

10.  Dog enters/exits a doorway or narrow passageway (on leash, with owner) in a controlled manner.

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