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The American Kennel Club® announced today that it is rolling out a new training program geared towards puppies and their owners. The AKC S.T.A.R.® Puppy Program will reward responsible owners who take the time to train and socialize their new puppies. The program is a natural pre-curser to the AKC Canine Good Citizen® Test.  “S.T.A.R.” stands for Socialization, Training, Activity and a Responsible owner, all of the things a puppy needs to have a good life.

Start life on the “right paw.” “The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program will provide dog owners with the tools to raise and train their dog responsibly and prepare the puppy to become an AKC Canine Good Citizen,” said Dr. Mary Burch, AKC CGC Director.

To get started, owners enroll in any puppy or basic training class that is at least six weeks long and instructed by an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator. Classes will include valuable training tips for puppy owners – such as how to housetrain – and lessons on practical skills for puppies -such as coming when called.  The program is open to all dogs. Puppies can begin training as soon as they have the necessary vaccines and they can enroll in AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy at any point up until their first birthday.

“We want to do our part to make sure all puppies have a good life,” added Dr. Burch. “Early training and socialization along with teaching the owner the necessary skills is the key to having a well-behaved, well-adjusted dog and ensuring that dogs don’t end up in shelters because of behavior problems.”

At the end of the training course, the CGC Evaluator will administer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test. Upon passing, owners and their puppies will be enrolled in the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program and will receive an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy package which includes:

  • A frameable certificate
  • AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy medal
  • AKC Puppy Handbook
  • Discount enrollment in AKC Companion Animal Recovery
  • Subscription to monthly e-mail newsletter that includes training tips

Find a CGC evaluator in your area

For more information on AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy, see