For more than 25 years, dogs have been able to get their “Canine Good Citizen” certification through the American Kennel Club, a credential that distinguishes dogs that are well mannered at home and in the community. With more than 700,000 dogs now having this title, the organization recently rolled out a more specific certification: the Urban Canine Good Citizen.
The credential is for city dwellers looking to have their canine sidekick accompany them on outings and be recognized for their good behaviors. This latest award is under the Canine Good Citizen umbrella, which also includes AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and AKC Community Canine and comes on the heels of some states becoming more dog-friendly, allowing pups on restaurant patios. To date, 500 dogs have passed the test since its April launch.
This title isn’t a necessity, but it can help urban dogs stand out and may be favored in certain situations – like getting accepted to a co-op or apartment building.
But this test isn’t easy. Dogs need to complete all 10 tasks — and do so without food as an incentive. They also need to be leashed the entire time, have already completed the Canine Good Citizen test and cough up $20 to receive the certification.
Here are the 10 tasks that will get your dog the Urban Canine Good Citizen seal of approval.
1. Ability to exit and enter a dog-friendly building with no pulling.
2. Walk on a busy city sidewalk through a crowd and be able to have people approach the dog from 1 foot away and tolerate distractions including hats, men, women and coats.
3. Be able to appropriately react to city distractions such as noises (horns, sirens and construction sounds), moving objects (people running, bikes and skateboards) and surface (grass, concrete and plastic tarp).
4. Shows street manners. Can cross the street, stop at corner and stand or sit before permission to cross the street. This all needs to be done without any pulling.
5. Ignore food that is on the sidewalk, which could include trash, wrapped food and leftovers.
6. Bystanders can approach and pet the dog. If the person has a dog in a bag, she can do so without setting down the bag to pet the pup.
7. Maintain control in public, dog-friendly building. The dog should be able to walk under control in the vicinity, stay in the down position for at least 3 minutes and/or wait while owner eats..
8. Can take stairs, steps and elevators in a controlled manner.
9. Potty-trained for apartments and condos.
10. Can handle transportation needs of the owner, including riding in the subway and/or entering and exiting a car or cab in a controlled manner.
To see all the details, head over to the AKC.
Image via Flickr/Adrian Cabrero