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September Means Dog-Gone Good Times at Hundreds of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days Events Nationwide

(Wednesday, September 09, 2009)

-- It’s Time to Make Your Pooch a Prime Priority --

New York, NY – Americans have embraced dog ownership for centuries, and many people today view their dogs as cherished members of the family. Owning a dog is not a right, however, but a privilege that must be respected and nurtured. It’s crucial to recognize that there is a lot of work that goes into dog ownership – a happy, healthy and well-trained canine is not created overnight!

That’s why AKC hosts AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days each September – to keep the focus on Fido! This month, dog owners and dog lovers everywhere will join hundreds of AKC-affiliated dog clubs across the country for the AKC’s seventh annual celebration. Nearly 500 events are being held in local communities this year, with the goal of educating and entertaining all current and future dog owners. All AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day events are listed at http://www.akc.org/clubs/rdod/events/.

"During the month of September we shine a spotlight on the commitment it takes to have a canine companion," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "The ultimate goal of AKC RDO Days is to educate first-time dog owners about the responsibilities of dog ownership and help current owners enhance their relationships with their pets. And these days, with restrictive laws cropping up in cities and towns across the country, reminding people about responsible dog ownership is more important than ever."

Each AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day event is unique but many include obedience/agility/rally demonstrations, low-cost microchipping clinics, breed rescue information, therapy dog/service dog/police dog demonstrations, safety around dogs for kids presentations, giveaways and other entertaining and educational activities. Attendees can speak one-on-one with experienced dog breeders and trainers that are active in AKC shows, clubs, and rescue groups. Those looking to show their neighbors that their dog is an upstanding member of the community can take the AKC Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Test – a 10-step test certification that rewards well-mannered, obedient dogs.

On Saturday, September 26, AKC will hold its flagship event in Raleigh, N.C. In addition to all the festivities mentioned above, nearly 40 AKC-recognized breeds will be on hand for "AKC Meet the Breeds®," including rare breeds such as the Berger Picard, Irish Red & White Setter, Russell Terrier and Finnish Lapphund. New this year will be a photo opportunity with Dalmatians, a firehouse mascot, and a fire engine supplied by Western Wake Fire Rescue. Families are encouraged to check out the engine, take photos with the dogs, meet the firefighters, and participate in fun kids’ activities. The first 1,000 attendees to stop by will receive pet fire safety tips and window clings donated by ADT.

Invisible Fence Brand® returns this year as the national sponsor of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days. They are highlighting their commitment to responsible dog ownership by working with event-hosting organizations across the country to provide resources and information for pet owners. Invisible Fence Brand will also be raffling off giveaways and hosting doggie water stations at our flagship event.

And lastly, if you can’t make it to an event, you can still demonstrate your commitment to providing the best for your dog by signing the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Pet Promise. This oath is a reminder to both novice and veteran dog owners that raising a healthy dog is about more than just playtime and pampering. Training, grooming, nutrition, exercise and veterinary care are equally important in nurturing your best friend!