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The Cat Agility winner at Meet the Breeds in 2017.

From the Airedale Terrier to the WhippetAKC Meet the Breeds® is an encyclopedic celebration of dogs. The 11th annual event, held on January 25 and 26, 2020, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, will feature more than 100 different booths, representing some of the AKC’s 195 recognized breeds. Each booth will be dedicated to a different dog breed, from the well-known, like the perennial most-popular breed, the Labrador Retriever, to the less-celebrated like the Barbet, one of 2020’s newly recognized breeds.

For the seventh time since 2011, The International Cat Association (TICA) will also showcase many of its 76 recognized cat breeds to a public yearning for some hands-on interaction. At this year’s event, some of the breeds attending include the LaPerm, the Egyptian Mau, the Tonkinese, and many more.

“It’s our largest event of the year,” says Cheryl Hogan, lifelong cat owner, TICA judge and event manager, and Scottish Fold enthusiast.

“I would bring home mostly stray cats until I grew up and met pedigreed cats. Now I own both,” she says. “Meet the Breeds gives us a chance to educate the general public about our hobby and the unique personality and traits of different breeds. And it’s great to do it in an environment with dogs nearby.”

Children learn more about cats at a Meet the Breeds booth in 2018.

Not For Every Cat

The bustling environment surrounding AKC Meet the Breeds is not for every cat. Make no mistake about it, the challenge here in this up-close-and-personal scenario is a test of the cat’s mettle. Hogan tells breeders interested in displaying their cats that temperament is paramount.

“The public will want to touch your cat,” she caution. “Bring only those that will be amicable and not get scared easily in large crowded rooms. In other words, bring your bomb-proof cats that are calm, cool, and collected and not afraid of anything.”

As another precaution, Hogan advises breeders to present cats that will be comfortable with a harness and leash while maneuvering between strangers seeking to pet and handle them — not to mention being near lots of dogs of all sizes.

Introducing International Dog Breeds

“AKC Meet the Breeds brings the experts to the people,” says Brandi Hunter, AKC VP of PR and Communications. “You may have your mind on one breed when you come in the door, but it will open your eyes to others that might better suit your lifestyle. It gives you a chance to ask all the questions you want and make good contacts. It has steadily grown into one of our most popular events and a chance for AKC to connect with the pet-owning public.”

Two Whippets rest at the Whippet Booth during Meet the Breeds in 2018.

For many attendees, it will be get-acquainted time with some breeds that are likely foreign to them – such as the Cirneco dell’Etna, Lagotto Romagnolo, Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, Mudi, Peruvian Inca Orchid, and the Spanish Water Dog.

Not only will the Javits Center be full of dogs, cats, and fun activities, but there will also be vendors offering gear, gifts, and more. It’s the perfect time to find new accessories, gifts for humans and pets, and more. You’ll find a selection of products here that you won’t find anywhere else.

Hoping to meet a specific dog breed (or cat breed), or do you just want to meet all 150+ breeds? Find your favorites on our growing list of breeds so you won’t miss a single wag, whisker, or woof! They’ll all be there to meet you at the January 25-26, 2020 AKC Meet the Breeds event, so get your tickets today.
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