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Meet the 1 Millionth Dog to Pass AKC’s ‘Canine Good Citizen’ Test

The program stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and good manners for dogs.

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Bernese Mountain Dog Fiona is the millionth dog to earn her Canine Good Citizen title. Fiona works at a funeral home in Brooklyn.

The American Kennel Club, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is celebrating 1 million dogs passing the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.

The millionth dog to pass the test was a Bernese mountain dog named Fiona who is owned by Nora Pavone from Brooklyn, NY. Fiona attended instructor Kate Naito’s CGC classes at Brooklyn’s Doggie Academy as the initial step toward her future role as a grief therapy dog in nursing homes.

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“We are very proud of Fiona and the other hundreds of thousands of dogs that have passed the CGC test,” said Mary Burch, director of the Canine Good Citizen Program. “Many of these dogs go on for additional training to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Started in 1989, AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and good manners for dogs. The 10-step test consists of basic commands and actions like accepting a friendly stranger, sitting, staying, coming when called, walking through a crowd, and behaving politely around other dogs, among others. All dogs who pass the test may receive a certificate from the AKC.

“A million CGC dogs is an amazing milestone. The program has done so much good, from helping dog owners teach their pet good manners to rehabilitating dogs that have had behavioral issues,” said Doug Ljungren, executive vice president of AKC Sports & Events. “CGC instructors can be justifiably proud of the great work they have done for dogs and their owners.”

The Canine Good Citizen Program has been adopted and utilized for many activities that require basic good citizen behavior. CGC training and titles are used as a prerequisite by therapy dog groups. Many service dog organizations start their dogs with CGC training, and shelter organizations are utilizing the “CGC Ready” program to demonstrate that their rescue dogs are good citizens.

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Several dog daycare facilities train dogs for the test and 4-H clubs around the country have been using CGC as a beginning dog training program. Other countries (including Korea, India, England, Australia, Japan, Hungary, Denmark, Sweden, Canada and Finland) have developed CGC programs based on the AKC’s Program.

Legislative Resolutions endorsing the CGC program as a way of teaching responsible dog ownership and canine good manners have been passed in 48 states, and police and animal control agencies use the CGC program for dealing with dog problems in communities. In addition, some homeowner’s insurance companies encourage CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments, condos and businesses require that resident dogs pass the CGC test.

More information about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program can be found at: https://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 14 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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These 10 Attendees Won a Free Night at the PETS+ Wellness Summit Hotel

Find out who won a free night at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel on us!

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Leading up to the PETS+ Wellness Summit happening Oct. 1 and 2 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, we gave away 10 free nights to 10 lucky attendees. Picked at random, they are:

  • Kelly Donnel, Pet Central Station, Lincoln, NE
  • Kimberly Aspenleiter, Moore Equine Feed & Supply, Southern Pines, NC
  • Patricia Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottsville, VA
  • Justin Dowling, Pet Supply Port, Saukville, WI
  • Brianna Swanberg, Mutts & Meows, Nashville, TN
  • Christine McCoy, The Natural Pet Enrichment Center, North Royalton, OH
  • Annabell Bivens, The Dog Store by Your Dog’s Best Friends, Alexandria, VA
  • Hernando Umana, Beautify the Beast, Lutz, FL
  • Trace Menchaca, Flying M Feed Co, Houston, TX
  • Chris Guinn, Dog Krazy, VA

Thinking of making last-minute travel plans to attend the PETS+ Wellness Summit? Friday, Sept. 20, is the last day to get the conference rate at the Lowes Chicago O’Hare Hotel. Get more info about the summit.

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Tinder-Like Dog App Acquired

The new owner of Tindog plans to change its focus.

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GARDENA, CA — Innovet Pet announced that it has acquired Tindog.co, an app that helps dog owners expand their social circle and find new friends.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The company plans to redirect the website’s goal by “placing a much greater focus on its healthy living features and how to have a healthy active lifestyle with dogs in all environments,” according to a press release.

Tindog “experienced a burst of popularity in 2015 as an app that connected dogs and their owners to others to build new friendships and even make love connections,” the release notes. “In a similar fashion to Tinder’s swipe right/left design, owners could create a short profile for their dog that included their age, sex, and a picture of them.”

Innovet Pet says that in changing Tindog’s focus, the website will no longer be used to help dogs find their new park friend. Instead, Tindog will be a website that focuses on providing online access to health services, such as living with a psychological disability.

“You can feel the excitement in the room,” says co-founder Dave Louvet. “This is a big step for our company because it opens a major facet in the way we operate.

“By redirecting Tindog’s focus to providing online access to living a healthy life physically and mentally with your pet, we are building a closer bond between our customers, their pets, and us. It furthers our goal of transparency, it furthers our goal in proving complete health to our customers, and it furthers our goal to show we care.”

Upon its relaunch, Tindog.co will offer tools and information to pet owners who want to embark on a healthier life for both themselves and their pets, from small motivational tips to complete health guides. Tindog will relaunch by the first week of October, according to Innovet Pet.

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Another State Targets Bogus Service Animal Claims

States that have already cracked down include Arizona and Alabama.

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Proposed legislation in Massachusetts targets people who falsely claim their pet is a service dog in order to get special treatment.

State Rep. Kimberly Ferguson says some people are using the ploy so they can bring their dog into restaurants and other places where they normally aren’t allowed, the Boston Herald reports.

Breaking the proposed law would be a civil infraction. Penalties would include a fine up to $500 and a community service sentence of up to 30 hours.

The bill was recently heard by the judicial committee, the Herald reports.

Other states that have cracked down on fake service animals include Arizona and Alabama.

Read more at the Boston Herald

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