Is Eko A Good Citizen?

There is no doubt that Eko is a great adventurer and companion, but is he a good citizen?  One of the long-term goals on our bucket list is to get Eko certified as a therapy dog, and as part of that training I want to get Eko his Canine Good Citizenship certification.

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“Hey Will, I trained this dinosaur, does that make me a good citizen?”

The Canine Good Citizen certification consists of a ten point test (none of which are taming dinosaurs).  Before I start any sort of intensive training with Eko, I figured it would be best to see where we stand on each of the test requirements.

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

We’ve been in Chicago for less than two months and Eko already thinks he’s the mayor.  This one will be a cinch!

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting

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Feel free to pet me, humans!

Eko likes to nuzzle when he’s being pet, but if I give him the “sit” command first, he is happy to kick back and enjoy the love.  Eko should have this one covered as well.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

This test largely involves seeing whether Eko is comfortable with someone aside from me brushing/grooming him.  Eko would let anyone massage him with the zoom groom brush, so I think he is 3/3 on these tests so far.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

Ah, now here is where things could get slightly tricky.  For the most part, Eko is happy to plod along next to me on our walks.  However, if we see a rabbit then all bets are off.  We’re going to need a bit of practice here.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

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You could say that Eko is used to being the center of attention

Dog shows, concerts and parades – Eko has seen it all.  I have actually found that the more activity there is, the less Eko is interested.  I think it must become white noise for him, but it still wouldn’t hurt to get some more practice.  While we practice not chasing rabbits, I’ll also make sure we find some crowds to walk through.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place

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“Don’t move? No problem.”


Test 7: Coming when called


Test 8: Reaction to another dog

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There’s always a catch!  The crux of this test is that Eko should show no more than a “passing interest” in another dog.  Currently, this is not the case.  Eko believes that every dog has the potential to be his best friend so Eko just has to say hello.  Test 8 is where we are going to need to do the most work.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

This test checks whether there is anything that will startle Eko or make him panic.  After 15,000+ miles on the road and countless adventures, I think this test is a yawner for Eko.

Test 10: Supervised separation

The final test is that Eko must stay with the evaluator for three minutes while I walk out of sight.  Eko makes fast friends, so I’m sure he’ll have the evaluator eating out of his paw by the time this test is over.


It looks like tests 4, 5 and (especially) 8 will be where we spend most of our time practicing.  How would your dog do on the CGC test?  If one of your pups has ever been CGC certified be sure to let us know some tips!

22 thoughts on “Is Eko A Good Citizen?”

  1. When we took Cliff home from the shelter, he was 6 months old and virtually uncontrollable! He’s a golden retriever/collie/spaniel mix. After some basic training and bonding, he knew what was expected of him and passed his CGC test with ease. With all the training you’ve already done, Eko will be certified in no time!

  2. Bailey would probably fail #8, as well. His reaction to other dogs is much the same as Eko’s — “hey buddy.hey pal.wannabefriends?lets run.mayIsniffyourbutt.oopsIalreadydid. sniffmine!”


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