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The American Kennel Club Honors a Different Breed of Veteran

(Thursday, November 03, 2011)

In honor of Veterans Day and in celebration of the New York City return of AKC Meet the Breeds® at the Javits Center on November 19th and 20th, the American Kennel Club® (AKC) celebrates the breeds most commonly used to defend and protect the United States alongside our dedicated service men and women.

An estimated 600 dogs currently serve the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and Iraq and while German Shepherd Dogs are often used, other notable breeds include the Airedale Terrier used in several wars as a dependable dispatch bearer, and the Belgian Malinois, the breed speculated to have assisted Seal Team 6 in taking down Osama Bin Laden.

"The AKC salutes the contributions dogs have made in protecting our nation this Veterans Day," said AKC Meet the Breeds spokesperson Gina DiNardo. "From detecting bombs to search and rescue these breeds show courage and dedication as they work alongside their human counterparts."

While there are numerous breeds used by the U.S. Military, some of the most popular include:

Airedale Terrier – The undisputed "King of Terriers," the Airedale Terrier is the largest and hardiest of the terriers. They have a sweet disposition, but training is a must for these quick learners who can get bored easily. Airedale Terriers have been used in several wars as messengers because of their ability to fearlessly deliver information even after becoming injured.

For more information visit the Airedale Terrier Club of America at: www.Airedale.org

Belgian Malinois – The Belgian Malinois is a confident breed that loves its family and is naturally protective of its owners without being overly aggressive. This breed is intelligent and happiest with regular activity and a job to do, excelling as a police and military working dog. In fact, when properly outfitted with flotation vests, this breed and others serving in the military can make short jumps from helicopters into the water.

For more information visit the American Belgian Malinois Club at: www.malinoisclub.com

Doberman Pinscher – Known to be energetic, affectionate, obedient and loyal, the Doberman Pinscher has proved itself as friend and guardian. The breed is in high demand as a police and military dog due to its intelligence and ability to absorb and retain training. During the 1940’s 25 Marine War Dogs mostly Doberman Pinschers gave their lives liberating Guam.

For more information visit the Doberman Pinscher Club of America at: www.dpca.org

German Shepherd Dog – Consistently one of the United States’ most popular breeds according to AKC® Registration Statistics, the German Shepherd Dog is energetic, fun-loving and a loyal family pet. They require regular exercise and their intelligence, high trainability and loyalty have made them a popular choice for police and military work. German Shepherds like other military breeds are used for their strong sense of smell which is estimated to be 40 times greater than that of a human.

For more information visit the German Shepherd Dog Club of America at: www.gsdca.org

Siberian Husky – Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, the Siberian Husky is known for its amazing endurance and willingness to work. Its agreeable and outgoing temperament makes it a great all-around dog. The breed served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.

For more information visit the Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc. at: www.shca.org

From the Afghan Hound to the Turkish Van, AKC Meet the Breeds is the world’s largest showcase of dogs and cats and offers pet lovers a unique opportunity to play with some of the country’s rarest dog and cat breeds while educating themselves about responsible pet ownership and choosing the right pet for their lifestyle. Presented by PetPartners, Inc., this family-friendly event will showcase 160 AKC registered dog breeds and 50 TICA registered cat breeds – in booths individually decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet – include fun animal demonstrations and more than 100 vendors selling unique dog and cat items.

Visit www.MeetTheBreeds.com for more information on these dog and cat breeds or meet them in person at AKC Meet the Breeds November 19th and 20th at the Javits Center in New York City or meet these dog breeds at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship December 17th and 18th in Orlando, Florida.

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