CANINE GOOD CITIZEN TESTS
Any Affiliated Club or organisation authorised by The Kennel Union of Southern Africa may hold Kennel Union Canine Good Citizen Tests, which are not competitive. All successful participants will receive appropriate Certificates and Awards, subject to the payment of a franchise fee as laid down from time to time.
There is no limit to the frequency or number of times the Test(s) may be taken by any one dog.
ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS – GOLD LEVEL
Any dog, whether pure bred, crossbred or of mixed breeding may take part provided it has been vaccinated as required by state veterinary regulations and municipal by - laws. There is no age limit. Dogs that appear to be sick or diseased may be refused acceptance for participation and may be asked to leave the grounds or premises.
Only handlers and dogs that have been awarded a Canine Good Citizen Test (Silver) Certificate may participate in Canine Good Citizen (Gold) Tests. The Silver Certificate number must be recorded on the Test Sheet (Gold level).
CODE OF PRACTICE
1. This Code of Practice applies to all Kennel Union Affiliated Clubs and any other approved organisation which may wish to host Canine Good Citizen Tests. Copies of this Code must be given to all evaluators, instructors and participants participating in KUSA Canine Good Citizen Tests.
2. It is the responsibility of the Club or other organising body to ensure that the welfare of the dog is paramount. No activity shall be conducted which permits, encourages or develops aggression in a dog.
3. Clubs or other organising bodies should ensure that their evaluators and instructors are conversant with acknowledged methods of dog training and understand the rudiments of dog behaviour. Preference should be given to motivational methods of training which take into account the breed and nature of each individual dog.
4. Evaluators must be alert to the differing levels of experience of both the owners and the dogs and should be courteous at all times.
5. Any person who witnesses harsh handling of a dog at any Test organised by an Affiliated Club or other organising body must report the matter to the management thereof.
6. At the start of each training course the importance of good behaviour, the socialisation of dogs and the theory of training, should be discussed. Advice must be given on choosing suitable collars, leads etc. and the benefits of positive identification
(by microchip implantation & name discs etc.) and certain training articles.
7. The same handler and dog must complete each test as a team. Either the owner or another designated person may handle the dog. Once the test has commenced the owner may not interfere with his dog if another person has been designated to handle the dog.
8. All participants and evaluators shall be at the site where the test is to be held at least thirty (30) minutes before the scheduled time of commencement. The Evaluator shall have discretion to postpone the starting time of the test for a reasonable time if participants are delayed. Any participant who is not present at the end of such postponement shall be regarded as withdrawn from the test and shall not be allowed to participate.
9. The offering of food or baiting a dog is to be discouraged during testing
10. Owners/handlers must be reminded to carry some form of “poop scoop” and to remove fouling caused by their dog.
11. Clubs and other organising bodies should promote all aspects of responsible dog ownership, at every opportunity.
Any KUSA Judge in good standing that has been approved by a Provincial Council may evaluate KUSA Canine Good Citizen Tests. There is no restriction on how often an Evaluator may conduct Tests. The Evaluator may not test a dog that he/she owns or co-owns or a dog that is owned or handled by a close member of the evaluator’s family. The Evaluator has the discretion to determine whether testing should be interrupted or postponed for what ever good reason. Each Provincial Council will hold a list of approved evaluators. All Evaluators shall be required to complete and sign the KUSA Judging Contract J1.
Each time a test is taken the Evaluator must date and initial the Test Sheet and indicate whether “passed” or “not ready”. The test is not competitive but Evaluators should be satisfied that dogs are worthy of passing. Evaluators should observe the spirit of the Tests, which is to produce happy, contented dogs, which are well behaved, and under control of handlers who fully understand responsibilities to their dogs, to their neighbours and to the community.
PARTICIPANTS BEFORE STARTING ON THE PROGRAMME
Must, produce a current Dog Licence and Rabies Inoculation Certificate, if applicable to the area in which the Test is being held. They must also produce a current vaccination certificate as proof of immunisation against Parvo Virus, Distemper etc. Children must produce proof that they are over eight (8) years of age and have the written approval of their parents or legal guardians.
Each participant will be issued a Test Sheet, in duplicate, one copy to be retained by the Club or organising body and the other by the participant. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure both copies of the Test Sheet are signed and dated by the Evaluator. Prior to the commencement of the Test, the Evaluator will ensure that each participant has a Test Sheet and that it has been completed. As each Test is completed, the Evaluator will mark the Test Sheets “Passed” or “Not Ready. Participants whose sheets are marked “Passed” may pass onto the next Test. Those marked “Not Ready” will have to be tested again. Tests may not be repeated in the same session. All the tests must be passed at one session, to qualify for a Gold Certificate.
The Club or organising body is to send a copy of the signed and completed Test Sheet to the KUSA Office.
DISMISSAL FROM THE TESTS
The Club or organising body reserves the right to dismiss from the Test(s), permanently or temporarily, any dog or person who acts in an aggressive, dangerous or obstreperous manner. The Club or organising body also reserves the right to dismiss from the Test(s) on a temporary basis, any bitch which is on heat and any dog that appears to be sick or diseased.
Physical disciplining of a dog or serious uncontrollable behaviour of a dog prior to the Evaluator taking control of the assembled participants or after he has released them, may be penalised at the discretion of the Evaluator by withdrawing any Test Sheets held by the handler. Uncontrolled barking, growling or other threatening behaviour is not acceptable and further training will be required before the dog can pass.
BEFORE A GOLD CERTIFICATE IS ISSUED - all the following Tests must have been passed at one session, which may take place over a maximum of 2 days. Dogs may be tested singly or in groups.
The KUSA Canine Good Citizen Test (Gold) is the highest level of Good Citizenship and builds upon the skills learned in the Silver Test. The Gold Test is a natural progression of practical dog training skills and introduces new concepts such as” relaxed isolation”, “stop the dog” and “send the dog to bed”, exercises, which are important in everyday life situations. The Gold Test aims to equip handlers with a greater understanding of their canine companion. In order for the Test to be meaningful, it 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.
Test 1 ROAD WALK.
This is to demonstrate that the dog has the ability to walk on lead beside the handler and for the handler to determine the speed of the walk. The test 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, and then stop at the curb where the dog should remain steady and controlled. On command from the evaluator they should proceed to cross the road whilst observing the traffic code. On reaching the other side of the road, they should turn and continue walking, making a few changes of pace from normal to slow or fast pace. The handler and dog should then return back across the road to the starting point of the exercise. Distractions should be incorporated to include passing vehicles, bicycles, people, wheelchairs, prams, etc.
Note: The turns are only a test of ability to change direction.
Test 2 RETURN TO HANDLER’S SIDE.
This is to demonstrate that the handler is able to bring the dog back under close control during a walk off lead. With the dog off lead and not less than ten paces away, upon instruction from the Evaluator, the dog will be called back to the walking handler’s side and both should continue together the dog under control for approximately ten paces. Note: The dog moving loosely at the handler’s side, but under control, is quite acceptable and there should not be a halt to complete the test.
Test 3 WALK FREE BESIDE HANDLER.
This is to demonstrate that the dog is able to walk free next to the handler as if walking in a park. This is not a heelwork exercise but a test of control while the dog is off lead walking next to the handler for approximately forty paces. The dog should be in near proximity to the handler. Two changes of direction should take place and there should be a distraction of another handler passing with a dog on a lead. When instructed by the Evaluator the dog will be placed back on the lead to finish the test. Note: The changes of direction are right and left turns without formality.
Test 4 STAY IN ONE PLACE.
This is to demonstrate that the dog will remain at the down position on the spot while the handler moves away for two minutes, whilst being both in and out of sight. The stay should be tested off lead and the handler will be requested to move out of sight for about 30 seconds. Whilst in sight the handlers should be approximately ten paces away from their dogs. Note: The dogs should remain in the down position in one spot.
Test 5 SEND THE DOG TO BED.
This is to demonstrate that the handler has control over the dog that might be required in the home. The handler will provide the dog’s bed, blanket, mat or article of clothing etc. The handler should place the dog’s bed in a place determined by the Evaluator. The handler will stand approximately ten paces away from the bed. On the instruction of the Evaluator, the handler should send the dog to go to the item of bedding. The dog should remain there until the Evaluator is satisfied that the dog is settled. Note: The dog is not being sent to bed in disgrace. Where possible this test should be conducted indoors. The item of bedding used should be suitable for the dog being tested and no enticement using toys or food should be used.
Test 6 STOP THE DOG.
This is to demonstrate that the handler has the ability to stop the dog at a distance in an emergency situation. With the dog off lead and at a distance of not less than ten paces away the handler will be instructed by the Evaluator to stop the dog, on the spot ,in any position. Note: The dog is expected tp respond immediately but if moving at speed, will be allowed a reasonable distance to come to a stop.
Test 7 RELAXED ISOLATION.
This is to demonstrate that the dog is relaxed when left in isolation. During such times the dog should not become agitated, unduly restless or defensive. The handler should fasten the dog to a line of approximately two metres and then to move out of sight for between two to five minutes as directed by the Evaluator. Several dogs can be tested at the same time, provided there is sufficient space between the dogs. It is acceptable for the dogs to move around during isolation, however should the dog whine, howl, bark or indulge in any disruptive activities, the dog will fail this test. Note: Dogs should be tested for their relaxed behaviour in isolation without any prior controls having being imposed by the handler before leaving. This is not a stay exercise and handlers may settle their dogs before leaving. This is a practical test and no enticements of food, toys or blankets may be used during this test.
Test 8 FOOD MANNERS.
This is to demonstrate that the dog can 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 to five second pause the handler will be asked to give the dog the command to eat . Note: The dog should not eat until given permission, however if the dog attempts to do so, it is acceptable for the handler to restrain the dog by using voice commands only.
Test 9 EXAMINATION OF THE DOG.
This is to demonstrate that the dog will allow inspection 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, 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 the training officials/ evaluator to ensure that only suitable dogs take part in this test.
NOTE A TABLE MAY BE USED FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THOSE DOGS WHICH ARE CUSTOMARILY JUDGED ON A TABLE
Test 10 CARE AND RESPONSIBILTY.
This is to demonstrate that the handler has a good understanding of the responsibility required to care for their dog and the responsibility with regards to their neighbors and community. The handler will be asked questions by the Evaluator from Section 2 of the non-scheduled document titled “Care and Responsibility”. The questions should not be phrased in an ambiguous manner and where necessary, examiners should rephrase the question in an attempt to bring out the correct answer from the handler. Note: The handler should be able to give six out of ten correct answers from the Care and Responsibility Document Section 2.
CERTIFICATES AND AWARDS
Once all the Tests have been completed and marked “Passed” and signed off, the Club or organising body will issue the dog with a rosette and a numbered KUSA Canine Good Citizen Certificate and return their copy of the completed Test sheet to KUSA for record keeping.
A participating Club or organising body have complete discretion as to decide whether to charge fees for participation and to decide on the amount to charge.
CANINE GOOD CITIZEN” TEST KITS”
Available for purchase from the KUSA office at the prescribed fee.
Each pack is made up of a set consisting of the Code of Practice & Information booklet, two (2) Test Sheets, the KUSA Code of Ethics, CGC Care & Responsibility Document, a Rosette and an award Certificate that is numbered.
THE KENNEL UNION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (KUSA)
ADDRESS 11th Floor Touchstone House, 7 Bree Street
Cape Town 8001
P.O. Box 2659,
Cape Town, 8000
TELEPHONE (021) 423 9027
Web Site : www.kusa.co.za