The American Kennel Club has made great strides to conduct a national tour providing opportunity for the public to view and interact with purebred dogs across the nation. Typically, AKC’s Meet The Breeds is conducted with a large show venue such as Royal Canin or Westminster. AKC’s national tour as a stand-alone event is proving to be quite successful.
It all starts with AKC working with DPCA, and DPCA assigning a member of the Public Education Committee (PEC) to streamline communications and design a backdrop for our booth, using guidelines provided by the AKC, ensuring we have coverage of nobility, beauty, performance, and companionship. The PEC coordinator communicates with the local chapter clubs, and the clubs in turn create a strong team of volunteers to bring forth united communication about our breed and its versatility. Meet The Breeds arrived in Tampa, Florida at the convention center. Below are AKC’s marketing points:
- Discover new breeds and talk to experts to determine what breeds work for your lifestyle
- Learn about responsible pet ownership
- See fun and entertaining demonstrations of dog sports and working dogs exhibiting their skills
- Engage in unique activities such as testing your own agility skills in an interactive fun zone; and participating in games and photo opportunities with the whole family
I was asked to attend my second Meet the Breeds with the Doberman Pinscher Club of Florida, and I was completely enriched by this hands-on experience, hanging out in downtown Tampa with my 15-month-old Dobergirl. We had a handful of representatives from DPCF – with six Dobermans on Saturday, and four on Sunday – and spoke to countless families and individuals about our breed. Seeing the faces light up on people of all ages when they see and touch our majestic breed is a wonderful thing. Most people that engaged with us said, “These are the best dogs; no one quite knows how wonderful and lovable they are.”
We fielded questions such as: Are they mean? Are they easy to have in a home? Do they get along with other dogs? Do they get along with cats? Do they swim? How much exercise do they require? Then the discussions of health and longevity arrived, and we took a deeper dive into the breed. One heartfelt exchange stands above the rest while speaking to a gentleman who confessed to me he had four beautiful daughters with eight grandchildren and the only photos he carries in his wallet were two photos of his gorgeous Dobermans that he owned in the 70’s in Chicago. He nearly came to tears while petting my girl, who was all too happy to take treats from this kind man. People as young as four to grown adults took photos with the dogs in our booth.
Another favorite moment was a family of four who popped on by for the second time to see our booth. This time the kids were more familiar with our dogs and were all too happy to pet my Kitt down her neck all through her back, mimicking my wanna be professional handler moves. The father asked if Dobermans were good with kids, and as I glanced over at the end of my lead there was Kitt with kids hanging on her. I replied, “Sir, I don’t have kids. Do you think Kitt passed the test?” He laughed!
When Meet the Breeds arrives in your community, please get out there, grab your treats and bring your senior dogs, puppies, or adults to engage with families and people of all ages about our Dobermans. and these events are well attended and help spread the good word and good vibes about our shared majestic breed. There is a bonus! If you were not aware, AKC provides a stipend to cover volunteer expenses and lunch. Work with your clubs and MTB liaisons, get out there and share your wonderful dogs’ accomplishments. It’s a great event, completely rewarding experience and well worth your time.