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This paper details the design, implementation, simulation, and testing of the Smart Radio Channel Change Protocol (CCP), a primary user avoidance technique for dynamic spectrum sharing cognitive radios in wireless communication networks. The CCP enables a digital cognitive radio to detect the presence of legacy analog or digital radios, and to facilitate channel-change procedures to use an alternate, vacant block of spectrum. This allows primary and secondary users to co-exist in the same band with minimal interference and reductions in quality of service (QoS). The CCP also provides an advantage to other systems' frequency management schemes in terms of simplicity of design and execution. We evaluate the CCP's performance through OMNeT++ simulations and experiments in a five node laboratory network testbed. We present our results in terms of the CCP's ability to detect and avoid the primary user and record its improvement to user QoS.