What Is a Companion Dog Certification?

Companion dogs shouldn't be confused with service dogs. Companion dogs are simply what their name suggests: great pets. Companion dog certification is a general acknowledgment that your dog understands and obeys basic commands.

  1. Companion Dogs

    • A companion dog is defined as a dog that doesn't officially work (it is not a service dog). Companion dogs are family pets who are there for enjoyment. They usually know basic commands.

    Service Dogs

    • Companion dogs are sometimes confused with service dogs, which are animals with special certification to help humans with specific disabilities such as blindness, deafness or immobility. Though certifications exist for service dogs as well as companion dogs, the qualifications of each are not the same. Certified companion dogs do now qualify as certified service dogs.

    Companion Dog Training

    • Companion dog training consists of basic commands such as "sit," "stay," "come," "heel" and "lie down." This training can be done one-on-one with the dog's owner or in a class format. Dogs of all ages have the ability to learn commands, though it is easier to train puppies.

    Companion Dog Certification

    • Companion dog certifications vary depending on the organization issuing them. The American Kennel Club (AKC), the most well-known dog canine organization in the U.S., issues companion dog certificates called "Canine Good Citizen" awards. These certificates are given out upon completion of an obedience class. The dog and its owner must take a test at the end of the class to demonstrate they know how to give and obey basic commands. AKC Canine Good Citizen dogs are logged in the Canine Good Citizen archive, which can be researched by potential dog buyers, for example.

    Good Companion Dog Breeds

    • According to the Companion Dog website, several breeds make good companion dogs. They include Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Collies and Shepherds. In general, these dogs are intelligent and easily trainable, making them great family pets. Incidentally, these breeds also make good service dogs as well.

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  • Photo Credit standard poodle with ball image by MichMac from Fotolia.com

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