The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme - Puppy!

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) is a scheme that sets a 'standard' expectation for dogs of all ages. There are different levels, allowing owners and their dogs to go above and beyond the expected standard too. It's a great idea for owners, having something specific to aim for, especially being certificated, is motivating and rewarding! All dogs and owners of any ability can take part. GCDS is non-competitive and done in a relaxed manner, taking the pressure off. There are four levels of courses: puppy foundation, bronze, silver and gold awards.

Puppy Foundation Assessment

Max age of 12 months old. There are 12 exercises, both requiring the owner to demonstrate good knowledge and for the puppy to demonstrate their life skills they have learned.

The exercises are:

  1. Responsibility and care: The owner must demonstrate knowledge of a) Cleanliness and identification b) Recognition of basic health problems c) Health protection for the puppy d) Teething, chewing and daily routine e) House training and separation anxiety f) Socialisation with people and other dogs

  2. Cleanliness and Identification: Owners must carry poo bags and have the correct legal ID tags on their puppy.

  3. Attentive response to Name: Puppies must show adequate response to their name.

  4. Play with the Puppy: Owners must demonstrate suitable, safe play with the puppy.Puppies should not show inappropriate behaviours such as resource guarding.

  5. Socialisation: This involves both with unknown dogs and persons, as well as with noise distraction. Appropriate behaviour should be shown by the puppy.

  6. Handling and Health Check: Puppies must be able to cope with the owner running their hands all over the body and doing inspections e.g. inside the ears.

  7. Puppy Recall: Puppies must be able to recall to the owner.

  8. Basic Puppy Positions: The owner should demonstrate that the puppy is able to response to the stand, sit and down commands.

  9. Walking in a Controlled Manner: The puppy needs to walk on lead for roughly 20 paces with a turn in an acceptable manner.

  10. Stay (10 seconds): The puppy can be in any position but must remain on cue for 10 seconds with the owner minimum of 1 pace away.

  11. Take Article (e.g. toy) Away from Puppy: The puppy must show that they are willing to give an item up (not food).

  12. Food Manners: The puppy must demonstrate it can take a food item without snatching.

More information:

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