Best Friends

Children love dogs. Many children ask their parents for a dog and promise to take care of it forever and ever. Children can become good, responsible dog owners, but they must be taught the correct way to take care of their dog.

With this in mind, the American Kennel Club created the Best Friends program in 1991. Since then this educational program about responsible dog ownership has reached hundreds of thousands of school children nationwide through more than 60,000 elementary schools.

Best Friends contains a 12-minute video, lesson plan ideas and copymasters. The video features children teaching other children the fundamentals of responsible dog ownership including proper grooming techniques, the importance of basic obedience training and regular veterinary visits.

The American Kennel Club designed Best Friends to work with an elementary school curriculum, and teachers can integrate the copymasters into reading, writing and math lessons.

The American Kennel Club also offers a list of AKC-affiliated club volunteers who are available to make presentations about canine safety, and other dog-related topics, to groups of children. These volunteers, called Canine Ambassadors, usually make presentations with their dogs.

For more information about the Best Friends program or to obtain a list of Canine Ambassadors in your state, please contact the AKC Public Education department at publiced@akc.org.

If you would like to order your school or youth group a copy of Best Friends, please e-mail orderdesk@akc.org. Remember to include your name, school or affiliation (for example, the Boys and Girls Club), mailing address and daytime phone.

The American Kennel Club will only ship to the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. Please call AKC Customer Service 919-233-9767 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) if you need to arrange shipment to a foreign country, including Mexico and Canada. The AKC will charge a $10 shipping fee to all foreign countries.