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The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Class

What is the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Class?


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an exciting program designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an excellent first in-person training class for puppies. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy provides a good lead-in to earning the Canine Good Citizen title.


The Benefits of Training


Training classes teach you how to best communicate with your puppy. Organized training classes also provide an opportunity for your dog to socialize with other dogs. In classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction, you’ll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including housetraining, chewing, and the most effective way to teach practical skills such as coming when called. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy training is a natural lead in to the AKC® Canine Good Citizen® Program.


How It Works

Attend an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class for at least 6 weeks. Your instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test at the end of the course. Upon passing the test, you’ll get an application to send to AKC® for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. All dogs are welcome to participate in the program including purebreds and mixed breeds.

Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal (for display or memento purposes; not suitable as a collar tag). You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. In addition, so that you can continue learning, you’ll receive our AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package that includes:

  • A beautiful, frameable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC

  • Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter: Your AKC. This includes training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know. We want you and your puppy to continue learning beyond puppy classes.


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy: 20 Steps for Success

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program focuses on all the things every puppy and owner need to have a great start together.

STAR stands for Socialization, Training, Activity and a Responsible owner and in six weeks of STAR puppy classes, puppies and dogs learn the following behaviors and skills:


OWNER BEHAVIORS:

1. Maintains puppy’s health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)

2. Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge

3. Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan

4. Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator

5. Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy

6. Owner has obtained some form of ID for puppy-collar tag, etc.


PUPPY BEHAVIORS:

7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 weeks of class

8. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class

9. Tolerates collar or body harness of owner’s choice

10. Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)

11. Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy


PRE-CANINE GOOD CITIZEN® TEST BEHAVIORS:

12. Allows (in any position) petting by a person other than the owner

13. Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam (ears, feet)

14. Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight line (15 steps)

15. Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other people 5-ft away

16. Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure

17. Down on command-Owner may use a food lure

18. Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called

19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away

20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns)


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy prepares pups to move on to Canine Good Citizen training. For example, in STAR, puppies must walk on a leash in a straight line. In CGC, the task becomes more advanced with dogs walking in a pattern that includes right and left turns and stops.

The skills in AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy classes are practical and functional. Teaching puppies to tolerate grooming, handling, and basic exams of the ears, feet, and mouth will result in well-mannered puppies that veterinarians are happy to see.

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