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The American Kennel Club, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is pleased to announce that Royal Canin®, a global pet nutrition brand known worldwide for feeding champion dogs for 50 years, will be the new sponsor of the AKC Registered Handlers Program (RHP). The RHP strives to maintain high standards and integrity among professional handlers within the sport of purebred dogs.

“We appreciate Royal Canin’s dedication to dogs and, with their assistance, we look forward to adding resources to the AKC Registered Handlers Program which establishes criteria and standards for responsible, knowledgeable professional handlers,” said Timothy Thomas, Vice President, Dog Show Judges. “Royal Canin's invaluable support allows us to conduct critical events that promote the longevity of the sport and help grow dog shows, like our Junior Showmanship and adult handling clinics run by RHP members.”

For 50 years, Royal Canin has been focused on making the most precise and effective nutrition for dogs based on breed, size, age and lifestyle. The brand is a long-time sponsor of the AKC and its programs, including the Breeder of Merit Program, Breeder Education Network, the Breeder Newsletter, as well as being the title sponsor of the largest dog show in North America, the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin. 

“Purebred dogs are at the heart of our company. Like the AKC, we share a commitment to quality dogs and the sport of purebreds,” said Jason Taylor, National PRO Sales Director for Royal Canin. “Professional Handlers play a vital role in the sport of purebred dogs and have long been recognized as experts on breeds, training, as well as presenting them in the show ring.  We are pleased to add our endorsement and support for the AKC Registered Handlers Program.”

The AKC Registered Handlers Program establishes criteria and standards for responsible, knowledgeable professional handlers. All handlers enrolled in the Program have made the commitment to follow the guidelines and Code of Ethics as set forth by the AKC. Learn more about the program here.