The Canine Good Neighbour Program
(Canadian Kennel Club)
In January 2002 the Canadian Kennel Club officially recognized the Canine Good Neighour Program. The CKC Canine Good Neighbour program identifies and rewards responsible and caring owners and their canine partners.
The purpose of the Canine Good Neighbour Program test is to ensure that one of our most favoured companions, the dog, is accepted as a valued member of the community. Canine Good Neighbours can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
The program embraces both purebred and mixed-breed dogs and has been created to assist canine owners combat anti-dog sentiments which often target dogs as a whole. Additionally, the program enhances community awareness of responsible dog ownership and the benefits associated with dog ownership.
Canine Good Neighbour training is fun, rewarding, and useful. It can enable owners to achieve a better relationship with their dogs.
The test is not a competition calling for precision performance by the handler and dog. Rather, it assesses the handler and dog's relationship together with the handler's ability to control the dog.
Dogs are evaluated on their ability to perform basic exercises as well as their ability to demonstrate good manners in everyday situations.
The Canadian Kennel Club encourages all dog owners to participate in this program, thereby ensuring that our beloved canines are welcomed and respected members of our communities.
The Canine Good Neighbour test
Demonstrating confidence and control, the dog must complete these ten tests:
- Accepting a friendly stranger. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to allow a friendly stranger to approach and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday manner.
The evaluator will walk toward the handler and dog and greet the handler by shaking hands and briefly chatting. The dog should remain under control with only gentle verbal or leash assistance, if necessary. The dog should not go to nor jump on the evaluator. It must not exhibit any signs of shyness by hiding behind the handler or by attempting to avoid the evaluator, and must not exhibit any signs of resentment.
- Politely Accepts Petting. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to allow a friendly stranger to pet it while out with its handler. The evaluator will pet the dog on the head and shoulders. The dog may sit or stand quietly beside the handler and may change position, but must not exhibit any signs of resentment or shyness.
- Appearance and grooming. This practical test demonstrates that the dog will accept being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger to do so. The evaluator inspects the dog, brushes the dog briefly on the back and sides, and lightly examines its ears and front feet. The evaluator then quietly walks behind the handler and dog, returning to face the dog. The dog does not have to hold position, but should not have to be restrained; minor movement is allowed. The handler may assist the evaluator and talk quietly to the dog.
- Out for a walk (on a loose leash). This test demonstrates the ability of the dog to walk politely on a loose leash as well as the handler's ability to control the dog. The evaluator will have the handler and dog walk a course, which will include at least one right and left turn and a 180-degree turn. It is not necessary for the dog to be exactly aligned with the handler or sit when the handler stops. The handler may talk to the dog.
- Walking through a crowd. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to walk politely beside the handler in pedestrian traffic while remaining under control at all times. The dog and handler walk through and close to several (at least five) people. Throughout this test the handler may talk to the dog, giving praise and encouragement. The dog must maintain a position close to the handler without becoming unduly stressed or unruly. The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should not go to them.
- Sit and down command/staying in place. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to respond to the handler's commands. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to sit and down the dog. If required, the handler may touch the dog gently to assist it.
Once the dog has responded to both a sit and down command, the handler will decide in which position the dog is going to be left. The handler will then tell the dog to stay, and walk forward 6 meters (20 ft), before turning around to face the dog, then will return to the dog.
- Come when called. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to come when called by the handler. The evaluator will stand near the dog, and instruct the handler to position the dog in either a sit, down or stand position. The handler will then leave the dog and go to a distance of 3 meters (8 - 10 ft) before turning and calling the dog. The dog may change position, but must remain in place. The dog should come readily to the handler; the handler may encourage the dog.
- Praise/Interaction. This test demonstrates that the dog can be easily calmed following a play session or praise. After playing with the dog for approximately 10 seconds, the handler then calms the dog. More than one command may be used, but the dog must display controlled behaviour when told to settle by the handler. The evaluator is looking for evidence of a good relationship between the dog and handler.
- Reaction To Passing Dog. This test demonstrates the dog's polite behaviour while in the presence of other dogs and handlers. Two handlers, with their dogs, approach one another from approximately 6 meters (20 ft). They stop, shake hands, briefly chat, and then continue walking for approximately 2 meters (6 ft). The dog should exhibit no more than mild interest in the other dog, and should not cross over to it.
- Reaction To Distractions. This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common visual and auditory distractions such as the sudden opening or closing of a door, crutches, wheelchairs, baby strollers, joggers, etc. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity at the distraction, or may startle temporarily, but should not panic or show aggression or fear. One or two barks are permitted but the dog must not continue to bark at the distraction. The handler may encourage and talk to the dog throughout this test.
- Supervised Isolation. This test demonstrates the dog's ability to be left alone with a trusted person other than its handler, while maintaining a calm acceptance of the situation. The handler asks another person to hold the dog, and tells the dog to stay or wait. The handler will leave the area and go to a pre-designated location, out of sight of the dog. The handler will wait 3 minutes until called to return by the assistant evaluator. The dog is not required to stay in a particular position, but should not show excessive stress or nervousness by pulling on the lead or trying to get away. Excessive panting, barking, whining, or seeking attention from the evaluator is not acceptable.
- Walking Through A Door/Gate. This test demonstrates the dog's response to the handler's commands as well as the handler's ability to control the dog in a restricted area while moving ahead of the dog and through a door/gate. The handler may speak quietly to the dog as they approach the door/gate. The handler commands the dog to sit/wait and walks through the door/gate, while instructing the dog to follow calmly and join him. Alternatively, the dog and handler may proceed through the door/gate together, with the dog accompanying the handler on a loose leash. The dog must not go through the door/gate before the handler instructs him to do so.
Those who successfully complete the test receive a Certificate and CGN Emblem suitable for sewing on a jacket or shirt with the CGN logo.