AKC S.T.A.R Puppy

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a great start and is open to all dogs, purebred or mixed, that are old enough to have completed necessary vaccinations. It is an award (not a title) and therefore it will not show up on an AKC registered dog's title record. However, all dogs who earn the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC.

Goals of the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program include:

  • Provide socialization to puppies
  • Provide basic training to puppies
  • Teach owners about the appropriate amount of exercise (or activity) for their puppy
  • Teach owners how to be responsible dog owners

Owner Behaviors

Maintains puppy's health (vaccines, exams, appears healthy)

Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge

Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan

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

Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up after puppy

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


Puppy Behaviors

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

Free of aggression toward other puppies in class

Tolerates collar or body harness of owner's choice

Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)

Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy


Pre-Canine Good Citizen Test Behaviors

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

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

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

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

Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure

Down on command-Owner may use a food lure

Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called

Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away

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

How to Enroll

The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test is administered at the end of K9 Venues, LLC six week "STAR Puppy" course. Some of the test items will be observed and scored during the course and others will be administered at the end of the course. For the test items administered at the end of the course, handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the test and use praise and food lures.

Upon passing the test, you'll get an application to send to AKC for enrollment in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program.  Their enrollment requirements include:

  • Completion of a six week "Basic Puppy Course" taught by a CGC Evaluator (K9 Venues, LLC "STAR Puppy" Course meets this requirement!).
  • All six "STAR Puppy" classes must be attended. If a class is missed due to emergency or health issue we will work with you to make up the work
  • Puppies must be 1 year or younger. For rescue/shelter dogs whose age is unknown, an estimated age of 1 year or less will be accepted for testing purposes.
  • Puppies must have completed all necessary vaccinations.

Once enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program

  • Your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal and a frameable certificate.
  • You and your puppy will be listed in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records.
  • You will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package which includes:
    • AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource
    • Discount to enroll in AKC Reunite, a 24-hour recovery service
    • Ongoing Monthly Email Newsletter: Your AKC which includes training tips and information every dog owner should know.