The AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program will help your puppy, purebred or mixed breed, become a well-behaved and healthy member of your family and the community. Socialization, Training, Activity and Responsible Ownership are what every puppy needs in order to have a good life and this book will help you every step of the way! Puppies who graduate from S.T.A.R. classes have the foundation to be successful in the AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program and succeed in more advanced activities such as obedience, agility, rally and therapy dog work. AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy is about much more than teaching the basics such as sit, down and come. It includes practical information about introducing your puppy to the world, housetraining (including using a crate), health care, advice from nationally recognized breed experts, what to expect at every developmental stage and the right time to start home and group training. You’ll learn how to apply the science of “applied behavior analysis” to make your training efforts more successful. This user-friendly book explains how to reinforce behaviors you like and how to avoid common mistakes including inadvertently encouraging undesirable behaviors, how to teach complex behaviors by using step-by-step techniques and how to reduce fear and anxiety in your puppy. If you and your puppy learn the twenty essential S.T.A.R. skills, you can receive a certificate and the gold S.T.A.R. medal from AKC and be well on your way to other exciting activities and a lifetime of fun! For those of you trainers who are AKC Approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluators, S.T.A.R. represents an exciting business opportunity to draw in more clients who wish to participate in this program. Most competent trainers teaching puppy classes will find that they are already doing many of the things that a participant would need to know to pass the test, so attracting these new clients should not mean you have to dramatically change the way you teach your classes.