Canine Good Citizen Test


The KUSA Canine Good Citizen Test is a programme that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community and it encourages and stresses the importance of responsible dog ownership by the owners. Any dog, pure bred, crossbred or of mixed breeding may take part provided it has had its required vaccinations.

The KUSA Canine Good Citizen Test is a three part programme comprising of a Bronze, Silver and Gold Level. These tests are not competitive and lays down the foundation for KUSA progression to disciplines such as Obedience, Agility, Dog Jumping etc. Successful participants will receive a KUSA Certificate and Rosette.


Several years ago the Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club decided that although competitive Obedience Classes were excellent and that a number of Clubs and individuals were holding socialisation classes nothing formal had been laid down as to exactly what was required to make a dog a ‘Good Citizen’.

The Americans and the British worked completely separately, and might not even have had contact with each other on the subject of the Good Citizen scheme.  After a year or so of pilot studies both Kennel Clubs produced their own schemes which, although the same in principle, were different in detail.  It was about this time that the Federal Council decided that a similar scheme was needed for South Africa and set about formulating one.

In addition to specific requirements for South Africa the Kennel Union Canine Good Citizen has elements of both the American and British Tests in its make up.  With this background now let us answer some of the questions we get asked.


HOW ARE THE TESTS MADE UP?  There are thirteen tests, which apart from the first two can be taken in any order and as often as you like.  Tests One and Two are simply to show that you have produced your dog, healthy, clean and groomed and it will let someone like a vet or groomer examine it and that you can put on a collar and lead.  The other eleven tests range from ‘Present for Examination on a Lead’ through ‘Reaction to Distractions’ to ‘Lie down and Stay on command’.

WHO CAN HOLD THE TESTS?  Any KUSA affiliated Club or other organisation acceptable to KUSA.

WHEN CAN THEY BE HELD?  At any time and as often as the organising body likes.  Just remember that the Good Citizen Tests are NOT a KUSA schedule.  No licence is required and they can be held any time on any day.

WHO CAN JUDGE THE TESTS?  Dogs that take the Tests are not judged, they are evaluated and the evaluators, at the moment, are any Breed Judge who is on the panel for one or more Groups and any Working Discipline Judge. There is nothing to stop evaluators putting dogs through the Tests every day if they want to.

HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL EVALUATE MY DOG?  This is not an easy question to answer, as you do not have to take all the Tests at one time to pass. You can take them one by one and if your dog passes say three and fails two, you can come back again and again until your dog does pass and on each occasion you may find the evaluator is a different person. From the organisers point of view there is no number of evaluators laid down so today they may only need one and tomorrow three or four.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I WANT TO TAKE THE TESTS?  Having chosen where you want to take the Tests you will be given a Test Sheet to fill in duplicate.  This is to give the Organiser details of your name and address, etc., and the name of your dog.  The Organiser  will keep one copy and you the other.  Each time you go to take a test the evaluator will mark the test sheet “Pass” or “Not Ready”.  Once you have passed all the Tests you will be issued with a KUSA numbered Canine Good Citizen Certificate and a rosette.  The Organiser will send your copy of the Test Sheet to KUSA for keeping on the permanent record.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME TO TAKE THE KUSA CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TESTS?  How much organizing bodies charge is entirely at their discretion, but there will be a basic charge  to cover KUSA’s costs for  each Canine Good Citizen set ordered (Test Booklet which is issued to each participant, the Test Sheets, Rosette and numbered certificate). 

WHICH DOGS CAN TAKE PART?  Any dog, purebred, crossbred or mongrel can take part and there is no particular age limit.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE?  Children must be over eight (8), provide proof that they are eligible, together with the written approval of their parents or legal guardian, otherwise anyone can take part.

ONCE MY DOG HAS BECOME A CANINE GOOD CITIZEN CAN I HAVE THIS ADDED TO HIS REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE?  Although the Tests are an Official Kennel Union document they are not part of the Constitution and Schedules, so there is no provision for the fact a dog has passed to be added anywhere on its Registration Certificate should it have one.

We will be holding Silver Level evaluations (for dogs who already have completed bronze level) on 1 October. The next bronze level evaluations are planned for next year. Contact  for more info.

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