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Popular program to include clubs who run fitness programs

The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest dog registry and leading advocate for dogs and their owners, announces an expansion of its FIT DOG program by recognizing clubs and organizations that provide canine fitness classes and organized canine walks as AKC FIT DOG clubs.

Last September the AKC launched the FIT DOG program to encourage owners to walk with their dogs. The program adopted the American Heart Association’s recommendation of 30 to 40 minutes of walking per session for a total of 150 minutes per week.  Owners that achieve this level of activity for three months may apply for a free car magnet featuring the AKC FIT DOG logo.  In the first five months of the program, owners have applied for over 1,900 magnets.

“With the AKC FIT DOG program launch, many organizations wrote to inform us about their canine fitness classes and organized canine walks.  They were delighted to hear of the AKC program and adopted this standard as a reasonable goal,” said Mary Burch, PhD, Director of the AKC Family Dog Program.  “The designation as an AKC FIT DOG club is meant to acknowledge these organizations and encourage additional ones to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle for both dogs and their people.”

To become an AKC FIT DOG club, AKC clubs, independent dog training schools and other dog- related organizations must hold at least four group fitness walks per year or hold regularly- scheduled canine fitness classes.  Organizations meeting this level of activity may apply for a free AKC FIT DOG club banner which includes the name of their organization.

“Organized canine walks are a way for AKC clubs to provide a fun and healthy activity for their local dog community,” said Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President for Sports & Events. “In the process, clubs gain the opportunity to engage with new dog owners who may wish to join their club.  The AKC FIT DOG club program provides an option if your club is seeking new members.”

To participate in the AKC FIT DOG program and earn your free car magnet, or to apply for your organization’s free AKC FIT DOG club banner, please go to: