The Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Award is the highest level of
Good Citizenship and builds upon the skills learned in
the Silver Award. The Gold Award is a natural progression of
practical dog training skills and introduces new concepts such
Isolation, Stop the Dog and Send the Dog to Bed exercises, which
are important in everyday life situations. The Gold Award aims
to provide handlers with a greater knowledge of understanding
their canine companion.
The Scheme is aimed at all dogs whether Kennel Club registered
or not, there is no age limit. For the Gold Test examiners will
only accept dogs that have already been awarded a Silver Award
Test Certificate. Handlers must show that they have means of cleaning
up after their dog and that it has proper identification.
The test is non-competitive but examiners should be satisfied
that dogs are worthy of passing. Examiners should observe the
spirit of the Scheme, which is to produce happy, contented dogs,
which are well behaved, and under the control of handlers who
fully understand the responsibilities to their dogs, to their
neighbours and to the community. A certificate will be awarded
when the required standard has been achieved.
Any uncontrolled, mouthing, barking, growling or other threatening
behaviour is not acceptable and further training will be required
before the dog can be passed. In order that it be meaningful the
testing must be carried out rigorously. Emphasis must be placed
upon the ability of the handler to handle, care for and generally
be responsible for their dog.
Dogs may be tested singly or in groups. Those ‘passing’
all parts of the test will receive a Good Citizen Dog Scheme Gold
Test Certificate. The examiner will enter the comment “Passed”
or “Not Ready” alongside each exercise. In order to
receive a certificate, dogs must receive the comment “Passed” for
each Exercise at one session.
organising society will be responsible for appointing an examiner
for the test, (see criteria below), however the examiner appointed
should not have been involved in the training of any of the students.
The organising Society must be confident the examiner is able
to fulfil the task proficiently.
final test is to be arranged by a Kennel Club approved organisation
and the examiner will meet the following criteria:
Warden (someone that has a good understanding of dog training
and the Scheme criteria)
Kennel Club Judge i.e. someone who judges at KC Licensed
on a regular basis - open or championship show level in Obedience,
Agility, Working Trials and Breed Shows. Field Trials (Panel
Judges) and Gundog Working Test judges who have handled
trained dogs to gain Field Trial or Gundog Working Test awards.’
of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers (Associate
or Full member, Graduate or Advanced grade. Also First Grade
instructors with three years training experience, obtained prior
to the 1/1/2003)
or Service Dog Handler (one that has a good understanding of
dog training and the Scheme criteria)
Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme Approved Examiner – Someone
who fulfils the KCGCDS criteria and who has passed a GCDS
The object is to test the ability of the dog to walk on lead under
control beside the handler and for the handler to determine the
speed of the walk. This exercise should be carried out at a suitable
outdoor location and an occasional tight lead will be acceptable.
The handler and dog should walk along a pavement, execute a turn,
then stop at the kerb where the dog should remain steady and controlled.
On command they should proceed, observing the Highway Code. When
reaching the other side they should turn and continue walking
making a few changes of pace from normal to slow or fast walking
pace. The handler and dog will return across the road to the starting
point of the exercise. Distractions should be incorporated such
as passing vehicles or bicycles, people, wheelchairs, prams, pushchairs,
etc. Note: The turns are only tests of ability to change direction.
RETURN TO HANDLER’S SIDE
The object is to be able to bring the dog back under close control
during a lead free walk. With the dog off lead and not less than
10 paces away, upon instruction, the dog will be called back
the walking handlers side and both should continue together for
approximately ten paces. Note: The dog moving loosely at the
side, but under control, is quite acceptable and there should
not be a halt to complete the exercise.
WALK FREE BESIDE HANDLER
The object is for the dog to be kept close to the handler’s
side as may be necessary on a walk in the park. This is not heelwork
but a test of control while walking with a dog off lead beside
its handler for approximately 40 paces. Therefore, it is only
necessary for the dog to be kept loosely beside the handler.
changes of direction will take place and there will be the distraction
of another handler passing with a dog on lead. Upon instruction
the dog will be placed on lead as a finish to the test. Note:
Changes of direction are right and left turns without formality.
STAY DOWN IN ONE PLACE
The object is that the dog will stay down on the spot while the
handler moves away for two minutes both in and out of sight. This
stay will be tested off lead and handlers should place their dogs
in the down position. During the test the handler will be asked
to move out of sight for approximately half a minute. While in
sight handlers will be approximately ten paces away from their
dog. Note: This exercise is a test to see if the dogs will stay
down in one place without changing position.
SEND THE DOG TO BED
The object is to demonstrate control such as might be required
in the home. The handler may provide the dog’s bed, blanket,
mat, or an article of clothing etc. The handler should place the
dog’s bed in a position determined by the examiner. The
handler will stand approximately ten paces from the bed. Upon
instruction, the handler will send the dog to bed where the dog
will remain until the examiner is satisfied the dog is settled.
Note: The dog is not being sent to bed in disgrace. Where possible
this exercise should be tested indoors. The bed used should be
suitable to the dog under test and no inducement e.g. toys or
food should be used during this exercise.
STOP THE DOG
The object is for the handler to stop the dog at a distance in
an emergency situation. With the dog off lead and at a distance
not less than approximately ten paces away the handler will be
instructed to stop the dog on the spot in any position. Note:
The dog is expected to respond straight away to the stop command
but if moving at speed, will be allowed a reasonable distance
to come to a stop.
The object is for the dog to be content when left in isolation.
During such times the dog should not become agitated, unduly stressed
or defensive. The handler should fasten the dog to an approximate
two metre line and then move out of sight for between two-five
minutes as directed. Alternatively the dog may be left in a room
on its own providing undetected observation can take place. Examiners
should choose appropriate venues when conducting this exercise.
Any number of dogs may be tested at the same time provided they
are isolated at different locations. It is acceptable for the
dog to move around during isolation, however should the dog whine,
howl, bark, or indulge in any disruptive activities it may not
pass this exercise. Note: Dogs should be tested for their relaxed
demeanour in isolation without any prior controls being imposed
by the handler. This is not a stay exercise but handlers may settle
their dogs before leaving. This is a practical test and no inducement
e.g. blankets, toys or food should be used during this exercise.
The object is for the dog to be fed in an orderly manner. The
handler will offer food to the dog either by hand or in a bowl.
The dog must wait for permission to eat. After a three-five second
pause, the handler will be asked to give the dog an eating command.
Note: The dog should not eat until given permission, however if
attempting to do so, it is acceptable for the handler to restrain
the dog by voice alone.
EXAMINATION OF THE DOG
The object is to demonstrate that the dog will allow inspection
of its body by a stranger as might be undertaken by a veterinary
surgeon. The dog on lead will be required to be placed for inspection
of mouth, teeth, throat, eyes, ears and feet when standing, sitting
or lying down as required. Other than mild avoidance, the dog
should allow inspection without concern. Note: It is the responsibility
of training officials to ensure that only suitable dogs take part
in this exercise.
RESPONSIBILITY AND CARE
The object is to test the knowledge of the handler on this subject.
When asked questions by the examiner from the Responsibility and
Care numbered list Sections two and three only. Topics covered
include;- Other Responsibilities, Children, Barking, Dogs and
Stationary Vehicles, Vehicle Travel, Health, Worming, The Country
Code, Miscellaneous, Frightening, Out of Control, Biting and Psychology
of learning. The questions should not be phrased in an ambiguous
manner and where necessary, examiners should rephrase the same
question in an attempt to bring out the correct answer from the
handler. At the start of each training course, in addition to
the description, handlers should be given a copy of the Responsibility
and Care sheet.
Note: Only one numbered item may constitute
a question. The handler should be able to give eight out of ten
correct answers from Section Two and Three only of the Responsibility
and Care Information Sheet.
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