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Giving new breeders a great start and helping experienced breeders learn new skills are just two benefits of attending the new AKC Breeder Symposiums.

AKC started the educational opportunities to create a supportive culture for all breeders, whether they have produced one litter or 100 litters.

The idea started last year when the AKC Breeder Development and Kennel Inspections teams held a brainstorming session on actions that could benefit the future of purebred dogs.

“I had been kicking around this idea that I had seen modeled at grooming trade shows, and it occurred to me every other industry offers unique trade show style classes to educate and inspire,” said Erin Myers, AKC Project Analyst. “They’re multiple days, well attended, and offer incredible networking opportunities.”

This new educational concept was born when the inaugural event was held in January 2023 in conjunction with the International Kennel Club of Chicago (IKC). The first AKC Breeder Symposium Consisted of two classrooms running simultaneously over three days. “In developing the speaker lineup, AKC Breeder Development Executive Vanessa Skou and I imagined every question we have had as breeders and looked for experts in those fields. We wanted to provide a well-rounded curriculum that covered more than just health topics,” Myers said.

The impressive line up of speakers included : Dr. Marty Greer, Eddie Dziuk, Dr. Gabbi Baers, Dr. Heidi Kellihan, Kathy Rust, Dale Martenson, Laura Reeves and Dr. Claire Wiley.

“We were pleased to discover most attendees came for the AKC Breeder Symposium and not just the dog show. We even had some folks fly in from as far away as Arizona and Delaware, and several had never previously whelped a litter,” Myers said. “The overall energy of the symposium was electric, being in a room full of like-minded people, and having the opportunity to speak with master breeders and veterinarians was inspirational.”

A second AKC Breeder Symposium was held in July in conjunction with the Houston World Series of Dog Shows in Houston, Texas. This event also consisted of two classrooms running simultaneously over three days. It consisted of another line up of extraordinary speakers including: Dr. Kirk Esmond, Dr. Fran Smith, Eddie Dziuk, Kathy Rust, Dr. Claire Wiley, Dale Martenson, Allison Alexander, Dr. Kelley Thieman, Matt Stelter, and Rachel Goldammer.

The team is excited to present another AKC Breeder Symposium on October 13th and 14th to be held in conjunction with the AKC Meet the Breeds at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The schedule will include: Dr. Marty Greer, Laura Reeves, Kathy Rust, Dr. Claire Wiley, Matt Stelter, Dr. Gail McRae, Sheila Kessler, Dr. Eric Miller, Sheree Moses Combs, Dr. Heidi Kellihan, Jennifer Clark and Marcus Bach.

The October Symposium Schedule:

Join us in Columbus!! October 13th and 14th.

Breeders of all experience levels are welcome!

Click on this link for more information and to sign up: