“He held my hand!” giggled six-year-old Jalen after he received a “pawshake” from a dog just his height.
Jalen and his family met dogs from 70 different breeds, spoke with canine experts, and watched demonstrations of dog sports and working dog skills at AKC Meet the Breeds®, held April 23-24 in Tampa, Florida.
Patty Van Sicklen, Regional Manager, American Kennel Club Government Relations (AKC GR), shared information with attendees on how to be a responsible dog owner and fielded questions about issues that affect dogs and dog-related businesses.
“We had everyone from dog grooming students to law enforcement officers to individuals who had never owned a dog stop by. The AKC GR table was next to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and some people got to hear for the first time about the many ways AKC works on behalf of all dogs,” Van Sicklen said.
“It was fantastic to see beautiful, well-mannered dogs interacting with the public. What a great opportunity to learn about different breeds and how a particular breed might—or might not—be a good match for the family,” Van Sicklen said.
Brandi Hunter Munden, AKC Vice President Public Relations & Communications, commented that AKC Meet the Breeds does not offer dogs for purchase or adoption. “We are doing a whole lot of education. We want to make sure you get the right dog, so your dog will have a long, happy, healthy life,” Munden said.
“I want them all!” said Jalen, as he headed home with coloring pages and a brand-new Shetland Sheepdog stuffed toy.
Three additional AKC Meet the Breeds events are scheduled in 2022: June 25-26 in Dallas, TX; September 10-11 in San Diego, CA; and October 15-16 in Columbus, OH.