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New York — In honor of Columbus Day on Monday, October 11th, and to celebrate the upcoming Meet the Breeds ™ event at the Javits Center on October 16th and 17th where pet lovers can meet over 200 breeds of dog and cat, the American Kennel Club® (AKC) celebrates the loveable breeds of Italian descent. Notable Italian breeds include the Cane Corso, which was welcomed into the AKC registry this June and the Italian Greyhound, a breed that appears in ancient decorative arts of Mediterranean countries dating back 2000 years.

“The rich and vibrant culture of Italy extends beyond the celebration of this day and is seen in the love and joy each Italian breed brings to its owner,” said AKC spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “Many of these Italian breeds are quite rare in the United States, but will be at Meet the Breeds for the public to meet up close and in person.”

Cane Corso/ Bruce Harkins for AKC

Cane Corso—The Cane Corso is muscular and distinguished by his noble, majestic and powerful presence.  The breed is one of two native Italian “mastiff type” dogs that descended from the Roman canis Pugnaces.  Cane Corso are intelligent, easily trained, and affectionate to his owner.
For more information visit the Cane Corso Association of  America at:

Mary Bloom © AKC

Italian Greyhound— While barely over a foot tall, the Italian Greyhound has the grace and sweetness of their taller Greyhound relatives. During the Renaissance, Italian noblemen adopted the breed as their own and it became known as the Italian Greyhound.  They like attention and affection, and are a peaceful, gentle friend to adults and children. Italian Greyhounds are an active breed that loves to run and play and requires daily walks.
For more information visit the Italian Greyhound Club of  America at:

Mary Bloom © AKC

Neapolitan Mastiff— Large and powerful, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their massiveness and loose skin in addition to their abundant wrinkles.  The breed should receive some form of daily exercise to remain happy and healthy. Socialized, Mastini are steady and loyal to their family but owners should be prepared for a little drool.
For more information visit the United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club at:

Mary Bloom © AKC

Spinone Italiano— An active, energetic breed, the Spinone loves to romp in the field, as the breed is an excellent retriever and an experienced hunter by nature.  The Spinone Italiano is happy as long as he is with his family.  Naturally cautious, owners should socialize this breed and begin training early.
For more information visit the Spinone Club of America at:

From the Afghan Hound to the Turkish Angora, the Meet the Breeds event will showcase 160 AKC registered dog breeds and 41 CFA registered cat breeds in booths individually decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet.  The family-friendly event is an opportunity for potential pet owners to interact with responsible breeders and play with dogs and cats while educating themselves about responsible pet ownership and choosing the right pet for their lifestyle.

Tickets allow admittance for one day and can be purchased online at

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