Has your dog earned his Canine Good Citizen degree? Kelly hasn’t yet, and one of the reasons is because she still isn’t reliably friendly around other dogs. That’s something we’re going to have to work on.

Canine Good Citizen is sponsored by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and rewards dogs (purebred and mixed breed) who display good manners at home and in the community. That’s why I want to participate, because I think this is a worthy accomplishment.

In addition to basic commands such as sit, stay and come, here are some of the things your dog will have to know to be a Canine Good Citizen:

1. Behave politely around people. Allow a friendly stranger to approach. When your dog is being petted, he shouldn’t spin around like a top, but he shouldn’t shy away either.

2. Behave politely around other dogs. Your dog should never show signs of aggression. It’s acceptable to show interest in the other dog as long as she remains in control.

3. Cooperate for veterinary examinations and grooming. It’s not easy to be poked and prodded, but no nipping!

4. Walk on a leash without tugging or pulling ahead like a Greyhound at the races. He will not have to heel perfectly, just walk with you evenly.

5. Remain calm when she is left with someone else and you are out of sight. We know she loves you. But she should be able to separate from you for a short time.

Has your dog participated in the Canine Good Citizen program? If not, what are the tasks that you and your dog find most challenging? One thing for sure, Kelly and I have some work to do!