AKC eNewsletter

Winter 2009
New AKC Program Can Make Every Puppy a Star

A concern of every responsible breeder is that the puppies sold to owners will be going to good homes where they are cared for, provided with basic training, and loved. Many first-time puppy owners want to be responsible, but they just don't know where to start.

Puppies of all breeds and sizes can earn a handsome Olympics-style medallion by completing the S.T.A.R. Puppy program.

Good News!
AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy® is an exciting new program designed to get puppy owners and their puppies off to a good start. AKC S.T.A.R. (Socialization, Training, Activity, Responsibility) Puppy is an incentive program for loving owners who have taken the time to put their puppies through a basic training class.

Why Enroll?
Training classes teach puppy owners how to best communicate with their puppies. Organized training classes provide opportunities for socialize and experience with other dogs.

Classes aimed at earning the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy distinction provide owners with information on puppy-raising questions including housetraining, chewing, and the most effective way to teach such practical skills as coming when called.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy was designed as the natural lead-in to the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program.

How It Works
When the owner and puppy (up to 1 year old) complete a basic-training class taught by an AKC-approved CGC evaluator, the puppy is eligible to be enrolled in AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy.

Owners attend any puppy- or basic-training class for at least six weeks. The instructor will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test at the end of the course. Upon passing the test, the owner receives an application to send to the AKC for enrollment. All dogs, purebred and mixed-breed, are welcome to participate in the program.

Owners whose puppies are enrolled in the program receive
• the beautiful gold Olympic-style AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy medallion;
• a listing in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records;
• An attractive, frameable certificate;
• the AKC New Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource on training and puppy-raising; and
• the “Your AKC” monthly e-mail newsletter, featuring training tips and up-to-date information every dog owner needs to know.

Taking the Pledge
A key component of the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program is a responsible owner. The Canine Good Citizen Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge is part of AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy too. Responsibility should start the moment an owner decides to add a new dog or puppy to the family.

AKC CGC Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge
I will be responsible for my dog’s health needs.
• routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines
• adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times
• daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming.

I will be responsible for my dog’s safety.
• I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate, not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public.
• I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification when appropriate (which may include collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID).
• I will provide adequate supervision when my dog and children are together.

I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others.
• I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood.
• I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard, in a hotel room, etc.
• I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in all public areas such as on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc.
• I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in wilderness areas, on hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.

I will be responsible for my dog’s quality of life.
• I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs.
• I will give my dog attention and playtime.
• I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.

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

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 six 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, such as a collar tag, for puppy

Puppy Behaviors
7. Free of aggression toward people during at least six 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–CGC 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 five feet 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 five feet away when name is called
19. Reaction to distractions: Distractions are presented 15 feet away
20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns)

Breeder Resources
To receive brochures for your puppy packets that will help new puppy owners get started in AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, e-mail starpuppy@akc.org. For more information, visit www.akc.org/starpuppy.

Ronald N. Rella, Director, Breeder Services
Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org
Customer Service | Phone: 919-233-9767 | Email: info@akc.org

© The American Kennel Club 2009