By Published On: December, 2015Categories: Dog Training

By Brenna Fender

Nice LabrodourThe Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title has been around for many years, but the American Kennel Club has also created additional levels to this very practical title. AKC Community Canine (CGCA) is considered to be the “advanced level” of the CGC, and the AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) “requires that the dog demonstrate CGC skills and beyond in an urban setting,” according to the AKC website.

The CGCA is a “real-life” version of the CGC. In other words, while the CGC tests skills in an artificial, ring-type of environment, the CGCA tests the application of those skills in a real-world environment. Walking through a crowd of people, for example, on the CGC test means having several people mill about in the ring while you walk your dog. The CGCA tests “walking through a crowd” in an actual crowd, on a city sidewalk, at a dog show, or in some other natural environment.

Testing CGC skills outside the show ring presents challenges to the dog and handler in terms of distractions and varied conditions. A dog with a CGCA title has demonstrated that he can apply his Good Citizen skills in a practical way.

The Urban CGC is held in a city atmosphere. There should be cars, streets to cross, and lots of distractions. This title involves real world activities that take place both outside (like dealing with traffic) and inside (like riding in an elevator).

Both the CGCA and the CGCU titles require preparation beyond the CGC basics. Courteous Canine offers a seven-week-long AKC Advanced Canine Good Citizen Prep class that not only prepares dogs for these CGC titles, it also serves as a refresher for pet therapy dogs who may be coming up for certificate renewal. This class goes behind the Courteous Canine campus with some of the class sessions taking place in public locations close to the site.

When you finish this class, your dog will have life skills that will make him a better companion. And since testing and testing materials are included in the cost of the course, you have the chance to earn a new title as well!

The next Advanced Canine Good Citizen class begins on January 10th and runs from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. For more information and to register, click here

Brenna Fender is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Tampa with her husband, two children, a Papillon (Spark), a Beagle (Wrigley), a Border Collie (Tessa), and a variety of other creatures. Tessa has agility titles, UpDog Challenge achievements, and a Trick Dog Champion title. Brenna can be reached at and you can read her humor blog at