Level 1 SERVICE DOG IN TRAINING-- STAR Puppy and Puppy Obedience Class

4 month old Rosie plays in the snow with her new training vest on.
Have a notebook where you record your training sessions with your pup.  Record how many hours (or minutes) you train with your pup.  How does your puppy respond to training and his environment?  How well does he take to new things?

Rosie's first week with us
For anyone raising his/her own puppy to become a service dog, it is important to get the puppy off to a good start.  The first four months are crucial to the puppy's training and socialization.  This learning window needs to be good stuff.  Visits with other good pups, positive praise, love... this is the socialization window.  Many believe that pups should not be socialized with other dogs until they have had all of their shots.  The problem is, pups get their last puppy shots at 4- 5 months.  It is up to you as the owner and trainer what you want to do with your puppy.  With Rowena, I began bringing her out with me everywhere since day one.  We took her out to a park/open field to socialize with a group of other dogs our first day out.  Many would frown on this, but for us, it worked and I don't know if I'd do it different with my next pup.
Rosies first day out.
The American Kennel Club has a program for puppies (up to 1 year old) who have completed a puppy obedience class with a certified AKC CGC evaluator.  This is a good first step in your puppy's official service dog training program.  Your paperwork trail begins here!


6 month old Rosie in an Obedience Class. 
The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is an exciting new program designed to get dog owners and their puppies off to a good start. The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program is an incentive program for loving dog owners who have taken the time to take their puppies through a basic training class.

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.

Rowena runs over to play with her best buddy,
Pippen the Rough Coated Collie
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
Rosie tugging on her leash.  "Come Play Mommy!"
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.
Crate training

Next Step in Training... The Canine Good Citizen test!

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