Most of us have heard of American Kennel Club, or AKC certification for dogs, but do we really know what it means?  Are you considering getting your own dog tested?  I always thought that it was all about authenticating an animal’s breed, but now I know that there is more to AKC than just that.  Below are standards that some of the certifications are based on.  Most of us are pretty bias about how great our dogs are.  This is one way to assure yourself that your dog really does measure up.  Having a specific standard to compare them to can also let us know where more training might be needed.  There is even a specific certification to let you know if your dog is a good fit for a therapy dog.  Having this certification also gives you access to special packages and can include essential resources and services available to you throughout every stage of your dog’s life.  Also, if you want your dog to compete, this certification might be required.  If you are interested in getting your dog certified, you can begin the process by enrolling them online at


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Program

This program will test your puppy (under a year old).

1. Free of aggression toward people/other puppies

2. Tolerates collar, harness etc

3.  Puppy allows owner to take away toy/treat

4.  Allows petting from strangers

5.  Basic grooming (handling feet)

6.  Walks on a leash solo or with a group

​7.  Basic obedience:  sit, stay, down, come.

, AKC Testing and Certification






AKC Community Canine

1, Dog stands, sits or lie down and waits for owner

2.  Walks on a loose leash

3.  Walks through a crowd

4. Walks past distractions without pulling

5.  Sits with a group of people around and other dogs

6.  No reaction for people carrying objects

7.  Ignores food while walking by

8.  Long Distance sit or down

9.  Recall with distractions

​10.  Going through a door way without pulling

, AKC Testing and Certification






AKC Canine Good Citizen

**This will lead you and your dog toward becoming a Therapy Dog***

1.  Accepting of a friendly stranger

2.  Sit politely for petting

3.  Appearance & Grooming

4.  Walk on leash without pulling

5.  Walk through a crowd

6.  Sit, Stay & Down in place

7.  Come when called

8.  No reaction with greeting other animals

9.  No reaction with handicapped equipment

​10.  Supervised separation

, AKC Testing and Certification






AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen

1. Exit/enter doorways with no pulling in dog friendly buildings

2. Walk through a crowd on a busy urban sidewalk

3.  Appropriate reaction to city distractions

4. Crossing the street, Ignore food on sidewalk

5. A person walks up to you and pets your dog

6. Being friendly in a public building & have manors

7. Going Up/Down elevators & stairs and transportation.