AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program!

A key component of the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is a responsible owner. Our Canine Good Citizen Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge is for the AKC S.T.A.R.
Puppy Program too. Responsibility should start the moment you decide to add a new dog or puppy to your family.

AKC CGC Responsible Dog Owner's Pledge

I will be responsible for my dog's health needs. These include:

I will be responsible for my dog's safety.

I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others.

I will be responsible for my dog's quality of life.


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

S ocialization
T raining
A ctivity
R esponsibility


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 6 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 for puppy-collar tag, etc.


7. Free of aggression toward people during at least 6 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


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 5-ft 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 5-ft when name is called
19. Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented 15-ft away
20. Stay on leash with another person (owner walks 10 steps and returns)


The six-week STAR Puppy training class teaches puppy raisers how to best communicate with their puppies.
The class also provided opportunities for puppies to socialize with other puppies and humans.
The classes also train the owners, or puppy raisers, as well. “The human has to be responsible for the dog's care.”


As you know, the STAR Puppy program includes a requirement that you submit an exercise plan to your instructor.
The philosophy behind this requirement is to highlight the importance of regular activity in your dog's life as well as to remind you that one-on-one dog/owner time is a critical necessity for your dog's overall well being.
The good news is that training your dog counts as exercise—MENTAL exercise. Dogs need their minds stimulated just as much as they need an outlet for the physical energy in their bodies.

•  First, you teach them the rules (training)

•  Then, you enforce the rules (sportsmanship/good behavior)

•  Finally, you have fun! (Exercise and socialization)


•  To exercise the dog ' s mind

•  To exercise the dog ' s body

•  To provide the dog with opportunities to interact and socialize with you