Chairman's Report

February 2009

-- New AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program --

The AKC Canine Good Citizen® program debuted in 1989, with 1,392 dogs taking the CGC test. Today, nearly 40,000 purebred and mixed breed dogs per year participate in all 50 states. To date, we have enrolled more than 9,000 official CGC evaluators in communities across the country to train and test America’s dogs.

Recognized as the gold standard of behavior for dogs, 36 states and the United States Senate have passed resolutions or proclamations endorsing the AKC Canine Good Citizen concept, and many more local communities have incorporated the CGC test into their animal control ordinances, rewarding responsible dog owners.  Animal control agencies and animal shelters nationwide now have CGC programs and administer the test.

To continue with 20 years of CGC success and in response to evaluator’s needs, we have created the new AKC S.T.A.R. Puppysm Program, another step in a long line of responsible dog ownership initiatives. A precursor to the AKC Canine Good Citizen program, the S.T.A.R. (Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsibility) Puppy Program will provide basic training and socialization opportunities for new puppies (those under one year old) and answer any new-owner questions. Ultimately, our hope is that these S.T.A.R. puppies will continue down the path to more AKC events, graduate on to more formal obedience training and create future obedience and agility stars!  

S.T.A.R. puppies will test on behaviors such as sit, down and recall on command; walking on a leash; and remaining calm around other people and dogs. But puppies won’t be the only ones learning in these sessions – evaluators will also offer “people lessons,” providing information on important topics such as housetraining. Owners will also be “tested” on whether or not they bring bags to class to pick up after their pup, provide proper identification, create an adequate daily exercise and play plan and more.

Upon graduation, from a course at least six-weeks long, your puppy will receive the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Medal and Puppy Package that includes:

  • A beautiful, frameable certificate designating your puppy is in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy records at AKC
  • AKC Puppy Handbook, a valuable resource
  • Discount enrollment 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 began enrolling puppies in the S.T.A.R. Puppy Program late last year and will officially kick-off the program at the “Puppy Extravaganza” at the International Kennel Club of Chicago shows on February 21-22, 2009. Here we will celebrate the success of many Chicago puppies that have successfully completed the program. CGC and S.T.A.R. Puppy Director Dr. Mary Burch will be on hand to award the 125th medal to the 125th program graduate (a Labrador Retriever, the breed that is ranked # 1 in registration statistics in Chicago), in honor of the AKC’s 125th birthday.

We are looking forward to the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program enjoying the same growth and success as its “parent” program. If you’re interested making your young dog a STAR puppy or have any questions about the program, please visit www.akc.org/starpuppy or contact starpuppy@akc.org.

Here’s to more well-behaved puppies and responsible, happy owners in the future.

Sincerely,


Ron Menaker
Chairman