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The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is proud to announce its participation in the 68th Annual Columbus Day Parade, the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American culture on Monday, October 8th from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd street.

“Nearly one million spectators will enjoy more than 20 marchers and 12 four legged friends including the Cane Corso, Cirneco dell’Etna, Neopolitan Mastiff, and Spinone Italiano,” said AKC Meet the Breeds Spokesperson Gina DiNardo.. “This exciting New York City tradition gives the AKC the opportunity to give parade spectators a sneak peak at some of the rare Italian breeds they can learn more about and play with at AKC Meet the Breeds.”

2012 canine marchers in the 68th Annual Columbus Day Parade include:

The Cane Corso is a large, muscular and athletic dog that needs a lot of exercise. In its native Italy, Cane Corsos were property watchdogs and hunters of wild boar. The breed has also been featured in many Italian paintings throughout the country’s history. They are very intelligent and perceptive, making them easy to train. The Cane Corso is a light shedder and only needs an occasional brushing.
The Cirneco dell’Etna is a part of the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class, and has been well known in Sicily for nearly 3,000 years. The breed takes its name from Mount Etna in Sicily — the largest active volcano in Europe. They are hunting dogs that work by scent, sight, and noise. Cirnecos have the strong, independent temperament of a hunter, but are very friendly and affectionate with their owners.
Large and powerful dogs, Neapolitan Mastiffs are known for their massive stature, loose skin, and wrinkly face. Despite their massive appearance, they are peaceful and steady. Neapolitan Mastiffs can be traced back to the dogs of war used by the Roman army. The breed was also used as a guard dog on estates and farms in northern Italy. They have short, easy to care for coats, but owners should be prepared for a lot of drool.
The Spinone Italiano is an active, energetic, and sociable breed. They are excellent retrievers and experienced hunters by nature. The Spinone is Italy’s all-purpose hunting dog. The breed almost became extinct in Italy after World War II, but a few dedicated breeders formed a rescue movement. They are naturally cautious around strangers, so owners should socialize them early.


Pet lovers will have the opportunity to meet these rare breeds in person at the AKC Meet the Breeds event at the Javits Center on October 20th and 21st. The event showcases 160 AKC registered dog breeds and 50 cat breeds registered by The International Cat Association (TICA). This family friendly event also features a variety of games, giveaways, programs and demonstrations including dog and cat agility competitions, K9 search & rescue dog demos, a feline fashion show and more.



Advance discount tickets can be purchased online at


Check out the AKC Meet the Breeds blog at to get a special sneak peak of the dogs and cats who will be at this year’s event.  You can also join AKC on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Kennel Club (AKC®) is proud to announce its participation in the 68th Annual…