A Newsletter for AKC Clubs and Their Dedicated Volunteers - February 2014
President's Message
Dennis Sprung and Commander
In conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, AKC hosted the first AKC Breeder to Breeder Symposium on Friday, December 13th.

The free Symposium brought together a group of breeders, exhibitors and judges for two sessions of sharing ideas and furthering our shared goal of breeding happy and healthy canine companions. Attendees were able to learn from five highly-respected breeders in our sport.
Taking Command
Government Relations News
Already, 2014 is shaping up to be a busy year.  On January 25-26th, the AKC welcomed state Federation Leaders and Legislative Liaisons from around the country to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2014 AKC Legislative Conference. Enthusiastic attendees used this opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences in the legislative trenches—as well as to learn new tips, trends and strategies from AKC staff, animal advocates, legislators and other experts.
READ the February issue of Taking Command

Get your AKC Legislative Alerts on Twitter at @AKCLegAlerts.

Event Bulletin
Conflicting Show Dates
At the February 2014 meeting the Board of Directors approved the following policy which modifies the conflict distance policy requiring 200 miles between shows:
Dog shows may not be held closer than 200 miles in distance on the same day, except a club may be approved to hold a show within 200 miles of another club which has established its show on the same date, only if in each instance it obtains the written permission of the club with the established date and submits the written permission along with its show application. The American Kennel Club will only enforce any agreements between the clubs if they are in writing and signed by officers of the respective clubs. It is the club’s responsibility to ensure the length of their commitment to the show location is consistent with the written permission they receive from the established club.
AKC News
Bigger Breeds Are Here To Stay! Large Dogs Dominate Most Popular List
Labrador Retriever lovers have spoken! The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announced today that the intelligent, family friendly breed has taken the #1 spot on the most popular list for the 23rd consecutive year, the longest reign at the top in AKC history.
“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – have been on the rise during the past five years,” said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”
AKC Publications Wins Big at the Dog Writers Association of America Awards Banquet
The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) recently honored AKC Family Dog with its "Best All-Breed Magazine" award and also presented AKC Publications with six additional awards at its annual awards banquet on February 9, 2014.

“The awards garnered by AKC Family Dog and the AKC Gazette continue a tradition of excellence by our contributors and editors that spans more than 100 years,” said Editorial Director, Erika Mansourian. “We thank both the DWAA for this recognition as well as the pet owners and dog fanciers that have embraced the publications.”
Club Publicity
PR and Social Media Tips :
Facebook Groups for Clubs
Try a new way to communicate within your club! Instead of or in addition to an email list, you can also set up a Facebook group:
Create a private space
Have things you only want to share with a small group of people? Just create a group, add friends, and start sharing. Once you have your group, you can post updates, poll the group, chat with everyone at once, and more.

Check out the AKC Facebook groups currently available: AKC’s Breeder Education Network, Foundation Stock Service, AKC Juniors and AKC Canine Partners.

Learn more at facebook.com/about/groups.
Tools and Tactics for Promoting Clubs:
Exhibitor Media Templates
For club members participating in the Companion Events Extravaganza, now is a great time to work with the local news media.
The AKC has created simple press release templates for each event (Agility, Obedience and AKC Rally®) that you can fill out and send to your local newspapers and television/radio stations. The press release will let them know what the events are all about and what makes it an honor to participate. If the media outlets are interested in featuring you they will call you to set up an interview and collect more information about you and your dog. Soon your club members could be in the local newspaper or even on TV!

You can access the templates here under Companion Events Extravaganza Pitching Materials.

Simply fill in the blanks with information about the participant and their dog and feel free to add in any other unique information (dog’s humorous habits or tricks, how dog was acquired, training techniques, other titles or accomplishments, etc). At the top of the release, you may fill in the “header” with your club’s name or logo or use pre-existing club stationary. Templates can be customized if you and your dog won an award at the event as well.

After you complete the press release, look up your local media contacts on their web sites or use some of the sites listed below. Next, email, fax or mail the press release to them. In a few days, call the contacts to make sure they received the release and tell them you are available for an interview if they are interested. AKC provides step-by-step instructions on contacting the news media as part of our “PR Tips and Tools” kit.
Kudos to Clubs
The Board of the Texas Kennel Club presents a vest to Sr. Corporal Klinglesmith and K9 Diesel and Sr. Corporal Dominguez and K9 Mirko.
...for promoting AKC events, activities and opportunities across the country. Recognizing and utilizing your members' particular expertise and capabilities to put your own "spin" on AKC's message points helps them go even further.

Kudos to Texas Kennel Club (TKC) for donating protective vests to the Dallas Police Department K-9 Unit. When club members heard that the Dallas Police Department K-9 Unit was holding a dog wash to raise money to buy two new K-9 protective vests, TKC jumped into action and purchased the vests for the dogs that were in need of the equipment. The Dallas Police Department plans to add additional dogs to the K-9 Unit in 2014 and the Texas Kennel Club has already committed to purchasing the vests for the newest additions.

Thanks to all of the clubs that routinely generate positive media coverage. If your club has an idea or success story to share, please send it to: Stephanie Smith, Club Communications Manager, American Kennel Club, 4th Floor, 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 or send us your brag in an e-mail to communications@akc.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

The AKC Communications Team