AKC Canine Good Citizen Program


Temperament Testing


The American Kennel Club started the Canine Good Citizen Program in 1989 as a means of rewarding dogs who were well-behaved companions at home and in the community.  The goals of the Canine Good Citizen program are to:

1.  Teach responsible dog ownership to owners and

2.  Provide basic training and good manners to dogs.

You can go to www.akc.org  for more information on the Canine Good Citizen Program.


Temperament Testing

Most dogs will require temperament testing in order to participate in a pet visitation program.  Below is a sample of the criteria required.  The following information is provided by the Animal League of Green Valley, Arizona.


Temperament Testing - Pet Visitation Program

The following are the criteria that your dog must pass in order to become part of the pet visitation program:


Pull Ears

Pull tail

Put fingers in mouth

Touch feet and gently squeeze paws

Pick up small dog

Handle the dog around the face and pat their head

Firmly pat the dog's back

Restraining Hug

Grab collar and steer the dog around

Pull loose skin on back (From neck to tail)

Reaction to fast movements

Reaction to multiple people petting dog

Reaction to strangers

Reaction to other dogs

Reaction to loud voices and noises


Please note that the above criteria does not necessarily represent an individual test item.  Some criteria will be combined.  The criteria will be scored as follows:


Dog and Handler passed

Dog and Handler are not ready (can be retested)

Dog and Handler did not pass


Your dog can not show any aggression (growl, snap, lunge, snarl, etc) towards a person or another animal during the evaluation

Your dog can not show extreme fear or anxiety.  They can not eliminate during the testing - please walk your dog outside before the test begins.

You can not use harsh handling or treats during the evaluation - how you handle your dog will be evaluated as well as how your dog performs.


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