Canine Good Citizen test

Prepare your Dog for the Canine Good Citizen Bronze Test 

The Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA) is responsible for the administration of the Canine Good Citizen Bronze, Silver and Gold tests. These tests train your dog to be well-behaved and calm in any situation.

   Once your dog is ready, it can take the Canine Good Citizen test. A KUSA Approved Evaluator administers the test and if your dog passes, it receives a Canine Good Citizen certificate.

Healthy dogs of any breed or mix can earn their Canine Good Citizen certification.

Familiarize yourself with the Parts of the Bronze Test   in

Before you start training, it helps to know what your dog will be expected to do to pass the test. The test consists of 13 parts. The first four (4) tests must be passed before any other can be attempted. The dog should have a well fitting buckle or slip collar of leather, fabric or chain. Special collars are not permitted. The lead must be either leather or fabric.  A Rabies inoculation certificate must be produced.                                                                                                   

Your dog should be able to:

  • Remain calm while a stranger approaches and stops to talk to you
  • Remain calm while a stranger pets it. The dog must show no signs of resentment or shyness and must not leave its position to go to the stranger
  • Accept being handled in a manner similar to the way a groomer or veterinarian would handle it for grooming or an exam
  • Play excitedly with its handler for up to 10 seconds and easily be calmed
  • Walk on a loose leash without pulling or lunging
  • Play happily off lead or the handler can throw some object for it to fetch
  • Remain calm and walk on a loose leash passing people and a dog
  • Respond to the sit, down, and stay commands
  • Come when called
  • Remain calm as another dog and handler approach
  • Remain calm when distractions such as loud noises are presented
  • Remain calm while you hand its leash to someone else and walk away

You are allowed to pet and talk to your dog during the test, but the use of food rewards or toys is discouraged.

Socialize Your Puppy

If you have a new puppy you want to prepare for the Canine Good Citizen test, start with socialization. Get your puppy used to a variety of different people and being handled. You can also begin working on basic obedience commands, such as sit and down with your puppy.  School is a great way to get your puppy on track to becoming a good canine citizen.

Although there is no minimum age requirement for the Canine Good Citizen, keep in mind that your dog’s temperament may change as it becomes an adult. It is recommended that puppies that pass the Canine Good Citizen test be retested once they become adults.

Practice Basic Obedience

You can begin working on basic obedience and socialization at home. Positive reinforcement training is a great way to work on basic commands and loose leash walking.

Work on the “watch” command so you’ll be able to keep your dog’s attention on you in any situation. This will come in handy when you’re teaching your dog to remain calm when it interacts with strangers or other dogs.

Teach Your Dog to Stay Calm around Strangers

To teach your dog to stay calm when strangers or other dogs approach, start off with a fairly large distance between you and a stranger or another dog.

  • Give your dog the “watch” command, and offer praise and a treat when it’s able to keep its attention on you rather than the other person or dog.
  • Slowly work up to keeping your dog’s attention on you while the distance between you and the other person or dog gets smaller.
  • If at any point your dog becomes excited or reactive to the approaching person or dog, move back a little bit, and begin again from the last point where you were able to hold your dog’s attention.
  • Work at a pace your dog is comfortable with and he/she will soon be able to calmly handle the presence of other dogs and people.


A dog has to successfully complete all 13 of the skills on the Canine Good Citizen test in order to receive the certificate. If it has been found to be not ready to complete any one of the segments, the dog has to re-do only that test next time.

Should your dog have a brush with the Law you will be able to prove that your dog did the course and was declares a Canine Good Citizen.