Rugby Dog Training Club

Kennel Club 

Good Citizen Dog Scheme

Monday Evenings

The club is running the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme throughout 2017.  Courses are on Monday evenings 7.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. at the barn.

Anyone who is interested in joining a course can register their interest on the Good Citizen's notice board in the barn.  For further information please contact Jan Stonehouse on 01788 521104 or Jane Sims on 01788 536102.

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is a dog training programme that promotes socially acceptable dogs and creates responsible dog owners.  The scheme is non-competitive and is open to dogs of all ages and breeds whether Kennel Club registered or not.

Emphasis is placed on the handler’s ability to handle, control and generally care for their dog in a domestic environment.

Kennel Club Good Citizen training classes at a Dog Training Club such as ours are a great way to socialise your dog and meet other dog owners.  It helps owner's to become more aware of their legal and social responsibilities when taking their dogs out into the wider environment.

Our Training Courses

Our courses are 8 weeks with the last week being a test by a qualified KC Good Citizen Examiner. They are limited to small groups so that the best possible training can be given to each dog.

It is not just training under supervision that is important, owner's should practice at home between lessons, in order to maximize and develop the skills taught to them in the lesson which will give them a better chance of passing the Kennel Club Assessment.

Even more importantly it is advisable to maintain and develop the skills learnt long after the course finishes in order that the dog and its owner have an enjoyable and productive life together.

 Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme

The Kennel Club launched its Good Citizen Dog Scheme in 1992, which has gone on to become the largest dog-training scheme in the UK.  The scheme is aimed at promoting responsible dog ownership, which, in turn, enhances our relationship with our pets, and also to make the community aware of the benefits associated with dog ownership.

The scheme consists of straightforward and non-competitive training classes which upon successful completion of each of the tests, participants will be awarded a Kennel Club Certificate to mark their achievement and a rosette on completion. Dog owners of any fitness level or disability can take part too. There are four levels of courses from Puppy Foundation, to Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.  Rugby Dog Training Club offers training in Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.


The Scheme is aimed at all dogs whether Kennel Club registered or not.  For the Bronze Test, dogs are not required to have completed the Puppy Foundation Assessment programme and there is no dog age limit. Handlers must show that they have means of cleaning up after their dog and that it has proper identification. It is a legal requirement to inscribe the name and the address of the owner on the collar or on a plate or disc attached to it. With effect from the 6th April 2016 dogs are required to have a microchip which is registered on a Defra approved database, in the UK.  Further information can be found on the Kennel Club Website.

Silver Award aims to build upon the skills learned in the Bronze Award whilst increasing the level of difficulty.  For the Silver Test only dogs that have already been awarded a Bronze Award Certificate may participate, there is no dog age limit for the Silver Test.

For the Gold Award Dogs must be a minimum of 12 months old to be eligible to take part in a Gold Award Test and have completed the Silver Test.

What does the Training involve?

Bronze Level Training

Some of the elements in the bronze good citizens dog scheme are:

  • Walking your dog to heel on lead

  • Walking your dog around distractions

  • Recalling your dog

  • A one-minute stay

  • Walking through a doorway under control

  • Examining and grooming your dog

  • Walking equipment – ability to put on the dog should be collar and lead – no haltis or harnesses for the test

  • Questions on being a responsible dog owner.

Silver Level Training

Following on from the Bronze Course an owner can progress further by going onto the second level of training, the Silver Award.

Some of the elements involved in the Silver Good Citizen Dog scheme are:

  • Walking to heel outside

  • Recall your dog from 10 strides away

  • Calling your dog away from distractions

  • Play with your dog

  • Stay for two minutes

  • Getting your dog in and out of the car safely

  • A stranger examining your dog (as the vet or dog groomer would)

  • Food manners whilst you are eating

  • Questions on being a responsible owner

Gold Level Training

This is the third level of training, which follows on from the Silver Course.

The Gold Award requires a lot more practice away from the sessions as there is a big jump up in the standard required from silver to gold.

Some of the elements involved in the Gold Good Citizens Dog Scheme: 

  • Road Walking

  • Walking to heel outside with changes in pace and direction

  • Walking at heel off lead

  • A recall

  • Sending the dog to a mat or bed

  • Stopping your dog for an emergency situation

  • Leaving food and only taking it when asked

  • Examination of your dog by a stranger (as the vet or dog groomer would)

  • A two-minute stay with the handler out of sight for 30 seconds.

  • The dog tested for relaxation in an isolated environment.  

  • Questions on being a responsible dog owner

The KC Good Citizen Award Test

At the end of each series of courses the Owner and their dog will undergo a test by a qualified KC assessor, (not by one of the trainers as KC rules don't allow a trainer to examine or test a dog they train) who will assess both the owner and their dog to the standard laid down by the Kennel Club and if both the dog and handler meet the KC required standard they will be awarded the appropriate award they have trained for.

A pass is not a formality. The KC list a stringent set of guidelines that all examiners must adhere to when conducting the Good Citizen tests and some owners and their dogs may 'not be ready' and fail to meet the correct standard, if this happens then are encouraged to undertake further training and retake that test at a later date.


We hope that this brief insight into the KC Good Citizen Awards will encourage you to find out more about the scheme (click on the links below to go to the KC GC site) and to come to RDTC to train both you and your dog to gain these awards.