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A Better Way for Boards to Vet Dogs

New York City

Kennel Club Certification
Dec. 5, 2017

There’s no end to the war stories about co-op and condo boards in no-pet buildings battling residents who feign some sort of condition, then make bogus requests for an emotional “support pet.” There’s a different challenge at pet-friendly buildings, where boards try to make sure that a new resident’s dog will fit in with the resident humans and their pets. At one Upper East Side co-op, a volunteer “interviews” the pooches of prospective apartment buyers. They call her “the dog whisperer.” 

The American Kennel Club (AKC) might have an even better idea. It offers a special test and Canine Good Citizen certification so that dog owners can prove that their pooches are well trained and prepared for life in a big-city co-op or condominium, am NewYork reports. To win a certificate, dogs must exhibit numerous social skills, including the ability to walk without pulling on their leash, the capacity to obey a command to sit and stay, and the ability to be handled by a veterinarian. There is small fee for the certification test. 

“We are finding that more condo associations and co-op [boards] want to know dogs will be safe,” says Mary Burch, director of the Canine Good Citizen program at the AKC, who adds that there are 75 approved instructors and evaluators in the city who conduct 2,500 tests a year. “A lot of people even bring resumes for their dogs during interviews.” 

Douglas Wagner, a licensed associate real estate broker with Bond New York, says potential renters or buyers who have the Canine Good Citizen certification make a good first impression. “We always meet dogs when we’re filling apartments in a building as part of the process,” Wagner says. “[A certificate] shows you are trying to be a good member of the community and you want your dogs to get along with everybody. It makes a big difference in how you are perceived.”

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