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Powers: Canine Good Citizens - AKC test a great training opportunity
All About Pets

Morgan Avila walks Magnito, a Leonberger, as he ignores a food bag on a street during a demonstration of an urban canine good citizen test for city dogs Aug. 5, 2015, in New York. (Richard Drew/AP)

Morgan Avila walks Magnito, a Leonberger, as he ignores a food bag on a street during a demonstration of an urban canine good citizen test for city dogs Aug. 5, 2015, in New York. (Richard Drew/AP)

The Canine Good Citizen training and testing program is a very basic program that tests dogs and handlers in very simple behaviors that all dogs should possess. One can take a class or if you feel your dog is ready, simply find a place where the test is given.

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, every breed and mixed breeds can earn the title. Some insurance companies recommend the CGC training, and many apartments and condos are requiring this certification for resident dogs.

The CGC program “is designed to recognize dogs who have good manners at home and in the community.” The program “stresses responsible dog ownership for owners and basic training and good manners for dogs,” according to the CGC brochure produced by the American Kennel Club.

The test for certification as a Canine Good Citizen consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs according to AKC.

For more information about this program, check at your local pet store, check with a local trainer who is approved to teach and test the program or check on line at AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, cgc@akc.org.

Once again, I want to mention how much I appreciate hearing from readers with their questions and concerns. The latest one is very frightening: dogs riding loose in the back of pickups. This is so dangerous. This reader witnessed a dog almost getting thrown out of the truck bed when the driver hit a pothole.

It is so frightening to see these pickups on the highway with the dog standing on the wheel base. Apparently, in California, there has been a law in force for several years prohibiting dogs from riding unsecured in an open truck. Just makes a lot of sense, right? Any chance that Arizona might pass such a law that would make life so much safer for dogs?

Another danger — so many dogs are seen with their heads sticking out the car window. While this does not seem like a problem with consequences, it can be dangerous. A number of objects can come flying by and get into the dogs eyes, ears or mouth and cause serious damage.

Dogs generally love to go for rides in the car. Many people are really careful and secure their dogs in safety harnesses or - with very small dogs, have special raised beds so the dog can look out and yet be safe. I have heard of tragic situations where the car came to a screeching halt and the dog went flying through the front windshield. Less awful but equally dangerous, the dog can be thrown into the front seat and cause a bad situation to get much worse.

Let’s work to make car and truck rides for our dogs safer and more enjoyable, and therefore, safer and more enjoyable for us as well.

Christy Powers is a free lance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at cpowerspak@gmail.com.

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