Good citizen dog scheme

The Irish Kennel Club operates a test procedure to help educate dog owners and people thinking about buying a dog, and also to ensure that dogs are a respected part of the community.

The scheme operates through clubs and training classes, who must gain approval from the Irish Kennel Club to hold a Good Citizen Test. This test assesses and officially recognise animals that are happy, loyal and well-behaved.

The test, constructed to mirror everyday events, ensures that your dog can carry out common tasks. These include:

  • Walking on a lead in a controlled manner in the presence of distractions (including a jogger or another handler and dog walking past).
  • Behaving calmly while you talk to another dog handler.
  • Lying down and staying on command.
  • Allowing you to groom the dog, and examine its coat, teeth, ears and feet.
  • Returning on command and co-operating with an owner attaching the lead.

This is a simple pass or fail system, with no grades or places awarded. The test is carried out by an independent qualified examiner, and all dogs (both pedigree and non-pedigree) are eligible to take it.

Different clubs will charge different fees for the appropriate training. The Irish Kennel Club’s test fee is €10. On successful completion of the test you will received a badge and a certificate from the Irish Kennel Club.