Social Dog Challenge 2019

The new Fake Service Dog Law, HB2588, still has people talking!

The 2019 Phoenix Dog Magazine Social Dog Challenge will be posted soon!

Work with your dog and pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test in Fall of 2019, location and date TBA

Join the Challenge!

You may teach the CGC basics yourself, or want help. Trainers from around the valley have joined and can help you and your dog reach the basic training goals.  The AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluation will be offered at the Arizona Fall Fest, at Hance Park in Phoenix. AKC evaluators will score your dog’s performance in a series of 10 maneuvers.

If you accept this challenge, register below. We will accept onsite registration also as space permits. A list of trainers can be found on this page, or you can find a trainer on your own. Each of the trainers will collect their own training fees and is independent of PDM.

Space is limited to 60 evaluations, so sign up early.

When your dog passes the test, you will receive the CGC Test/Registration Form from the Evaluator. The form includes the option to register the CGC test with the AKC for a certificate or title. The CGC test form can also help to obtain pet-friendly housing.

If you need your dog to be a service dog, the Challenge is a great place to start. Service dog trainers from around the Valley also have joined the Challenge and can help you with the next steps to get your dog trained as a service dog. Be aware, they will require a physician’s prescription for a service dog before advanced training begins. Each of the trainers collects their own fees and is independent of PDM and the Social Dog Challenge.

We will invite you to the Social Dog Challenge Facebook group where we can share our progress and challenges as we prepare our dogs, and ourselves for the CGC evaluations! PDM Publisher, Cathy Davila, has a new two-year-old rescue who is on a path to be a therapy dog. He came with minimal, if any, training. We accept the challenge!

The Phoenix Dog Magazine does not support faking that your dog is a service dog. Any dog with good basic manners should be welcome at dog-friendly locations. A dog with bad manners, service dog or not, can be asked to leave any business.

What You Need to Bring:
  • Challenge Registration confirmation-email or printed
  • Brush or comb for dog during CGC test
Important rules for the test:

Participants will receive registration confirmation with window of time to arrive. Bring this registration with you, printed or on your phone.

All dogs must be current on vaccinations and booster, including young dogs.

Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something.

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

AKG CGC Test Items

Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. The AKC believes that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others. After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).

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Trainers-CGC Basic Training

Company                                 Phone                      City

MLF Dog Sports                         480-892-2251          Queen Creek

Dogs4Vets                                  480-802-9339         Gilbert

PHX Animal Behavior Center     480-808-7297         Phoenix

AZ Dog Sports                            602-237-6775       Phoenix

Romans Holistic Dog Training    203-654-0350       Phoenix

Trainers-Service Dog Training

Company                                 Phone                      City        

Dogs4Vets                                  (480) 802-9339       Gilbert

AZ Dog Sports                            (602) 237-6775       Phoenix

All4Paws                                     (480) 256-9443        Tempe

K9 Training                                 (480) 524-2457        Buckeye

Obedient Beast K9 Training    (480) 886-6596        Avondale