What Is It?

At the American Kennel Club®, we’re not just champion dogs. We’re the dogs’ champion — all dogs. We believe that all dogs deserve training and a responsible owner and our goal is to reward responsible dog ownership.

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an exciting program designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through a basic training class.

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 award, you’ll be able to get information on all of your puppy-raising questions including house training, 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.

Test Items and Pledge

20 Steps To Success:
The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test

  • S ocialization

  • T raining

  • A ctivity

  • R esponsibility

How It Works

When you complete the S.T.A.R. puppy program with your puppy, your puppy is eligible for the S.T.A.R award from AKC.

You’ll attend any puppy or basic training class 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 AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy 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, framable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC

  • AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource

  • Discount to enroll in AKC Companion Animal Recovery Corporation, a 24-hour recovery service

  • 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.

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:

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

  2. Free of aggression toward other puppies in class

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

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

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

Pre-Canine Good Citizen Test Behaviors:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre-Registration is Required to save your spot!

This will be a 6 week session, held once weekly, located at Einstein Dog Training in Fenton, MI or Royal Oak, MI. This class will be limited to 10 students.

To pre-register, please submit the following:

  1. Completed registration form

  2. A copy of your dog’s shot record showing his current DHLPP and Rabies records.  At whatever age your puppy is, it must be current on vaccines, and have a health clearance from a veterinarian.

  3. Full payment to reserve your place. The fee for the 6 week AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy class is $120

You will need the follow items at class:

  1. A six-foot leather or nylon leash, please no retractable leashes.

  2. A flat collar or harness.

  3. Treats, preferably something soft that can be broken easily.

  4. Clicker.

  5. Smile.

We recommend:

  1. That you wear comfortable clothing & tennis shoes.

  2. Please Do Not feed your dog before class.

We look forward to working with you and your dog!