AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is the AKC program designed to get puppies and their owners off to a great start. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy requires that owners attend a basic training course with their puppies. All dogs need the necessary components of the program including Socialization, Training, Activity, and a Responsible owner.

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy® Program is a noncompetitive activity that is open to all dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds. Dogs who pass all items on the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is not a title. It is an award and therefore, it will not show up on an AKC registered dog’s title record.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is really about puppy owners. Knowing that a large percentage of dogs who are relinquished to shelters are dogs that have never received formal training, we want to do our part to encourage owners to take their puppies to a puppy class. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy provides an attractive incentive package for owners who take the time to attend a puppy class. Incentives for owners include: a beautiful, frameable certificate, listing on the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy database, an AKC Puppy Handbook that describes the basics in raising a puppy, a discount to enroll in Companion Animal Recovery Corporation, and the ongoing monthly newsletter. This newsletter includes training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know. Our goal is to help puppy owners continue to learn about their dogs long beyond puppyhood.

Dogs up to the age of 1 year may take the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test. In most cases, dogs will be younger than 1 year. Dogs are welcome to take the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test when they are old enough to have completed all necessary vaccinations. Owners must attend six classes.

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program encourages owners to have fun with their dogs while training.

Puppies with disabilities such as the loss of a leg, deafness or blindness are welcome in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program. Puppies must perform all items to pass the test, however, handlers may use hand signals, gestures or other cues to which the dog can respond. For the test items administered at the end of the course, handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the test and use praise, hugs, smiles, hugs and pats. Food IS permitted in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program in both training and testing, if the evaluator/instructor approves of the use of food in classes. During the test, food can be used as a reward and as a lure to encourage dogs to sit, down, etc. Clickers are also permitted. No signs of aggression – mouthing is a typical behavior and should not be confused with aggression. Harsh corrections are not permitted.


  • Increase your bond with your puppy
  • Learn new and important skills
  • Socialization with people and dogs
  • Decreased chance of behavioral issues


  1. People Skills: owners are taught to maintain health, clean up after puppy, not allowing pup to infringe on the rights of others
  2. Puppy Skills: avoid aggression toward other dogs and people, be comfortable wearing collar or harness, comfortable receiving close human contact, no resource guarding
  3. CGC behaviors: comfortable being petted by others, receiving grooming, walking on a leash, walking past people, simple commands, no agitation with common distractions, comfortable being left with another person while owner is 10ft away


  • Attend 6 of 8 classes
  • Show proof of up to date vaccinations
  • Exercise plan
  • Proof of ID/microchip
  • Puppy appears healthy
  • Bags for clean-up


  • Tolerates collar/harness
  • Tolerates hug or hold
  • Sits on command
  • Tolerates grooming
  • Down on command
  • Allows petting
  • Walks on lead
  • Walks by people
  • Tolerates toy/treat taken away
  • Stay on leash with stranger
  • No aggression – dogs