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If you’ve ever thought about getting a dog of your own, you know there’s plenty of research you need to do to choose the right breed for your lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a breed you know well or want to meet breeds you’ve never even heard of, an AKC Meet the Breeds event can help you find the perfect match.

What Is AKC Meet the Breeds?

AKC Meet the Breeds® is an event series started in 2009 by the American Kennel Club. The goal of the event is to provide an in-person, hands-on way to learn about all kinds of dog breeds. New York City saw its 11th annual AKC Meet the Breeds event in 2023, bringing together dog lovers, breeders, owners, handlers, and everyone in between. Other cities over the years have included Columbus, Dallas, Tampa, and San Diego. AKC Meet the Breeds will be in New York on January 27th and 28th, 2024 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Tickets to AKC Meet the Breeds New York are on sale now.

This family-friendly, educational canine spectacle gives dog lovers the unique opportunity to meet and play with hundreds of adorable dogs and puppies while learning about responsible pet ownership. From popular dog breeds like the French Bulldog and the Labrador Retriever to breeds you didn’t know existed, like the Azawakh or the Belgian Laekenois, you can meet different breeds at each event. 

David Woo/American Kennel Club

What Happens at an AKC Meet the Breeds Event?

Each event boasts a variety of hundreds of dog breeds, including AKC-recognized breedsFoundation Stock Service (FSS) breeds, and Miscellaneous Class breeds. Aside from seeing all these dog breeds in one place, you can also learn about their history, temperament, and more. Breed booths are staffed by volunteers from the breed’s parent club or regional breed clubs, and often include breeders of these dogs. They’re experts in the breed and can answer questions you may have about living with the breed day to day.

Meet All the Breeds

It’s in the name: going to an AKC Meet the Breeds event means you’ll be surrounded by tons of incredible dog breeds. Breed booths are set up in alphabetical order at venues for you to walk through, making it easy to find your favorite breeds and find new ones. Each event boasts over 100 dog breeds, so you’ll be occupied throughout the day getting to know them all. 

Talk to Breed Experts 

The people running the breed booths love dogs, too! From breeders to handlers to breed club members and officers, you’ll be able to ask all of your questions. These exhibitors are breed experts and know all about the specific breed’s grooming needs, social habits, family-friendliness, activity levels, and anything else you can think of. 

Danish-Swedish Farmdog booth. Meet the Breeds at the 2018 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin.
©American Kennel Club and HOTdog

If you’re thinking about getting a dog of your own, AKC Meet the Breeds is a great place to start. Learn how breeds would fit into your lifestyle by talking to people who spend their lives alongside them. Some breeds adapt easily to apartment living, while others need more room to run and work. Some breeds are more vocal than others, or may shed more often than you’re prepared for. Making an informed decision is essential to have the best relationship possible with your future dog. 

Learn About Responsible Dog Ownership 

Aside from exhibitor breed booths, other booths are set up throughout the venues. Learn more about things like pet insurance, The AKC Museum of the Dog, dog sports, canine health, and responsible dog ownership by talking to experts as you walk around. There’s a lot that goes into responsible dog ownership. These booths are there to help you cover your bases and be the most informed dog owner you can be. 

Watch Exciting Dog Demonstrations 

Throughout the day, different groups will put on engaging demonstrations in the AKC Meet the Breeds ring. Some dogs will be showing off their agility skills with their handlers. Working dog teams, like K-9 officers, will show you what their jobs consist of. If you want to try a dog sport or understand working dogs better, you can see it live in action. These fun and informative demonstrations vary for each AKC Meet the Breeds event. 

David Woo/American Kennel Club

Games, Photo Opportunities, and More

Participate in fun games and photo opportunities with the whole family. If you’ve got children, the AKC Meet the Breeds Kid’s Zone is designed for them. They’ll have a blast testing their skills at a Kid Agility Course, making dog-themed arts & crafts, playing dog-themed games, and lots more. So, if meeting all the dogs doesn’t tire your kids out, running through an Agility Course just might do the trick.

There’s also our VIP option, where you can enjoy a dedicated area with coat check, gift bag, lunch, merch shop discount, and maybe even a wine tasting (venue-dependent) for the adults.

How Do I Attend an AKC Meet the Breeds Event?

Each year, AKC Meet the Breeds events take place in different cities across the country. While no event is exactly the same, all events feature hundreds of dogs for you to learn more about. 

Tickets are on sale leading up to the date of the event, so be on the lookout if AKC Meet the Breeds events are coming to your area. You can purchase tickets for yourself, your family, and your friends for AKC Meet the Breeds New York now at the AKC Meet the Breeds page. Tickets also make a great gift for any dog lover in your life! 

Still have questions about your event? Check out the frequently asked questions about AKC Meet the Breeds

Related article: Expert Tips for Successful Dog Training
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Selecting a Puppy

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