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Taking the Time to Pick the Right Breed Makes You The Real Hero

With the release of the action adventure movie Underdog, the American Kennel Club® reminds moviegoers about the importance of making careful, educated decisions when considering adding a dog to their home.

Distributed by (c) Disney Enterprises, Inc., Underdog is a live re-make of the classic animated television series of the same name and revives the famous phrase— “There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!” The story features “Shoeshine,” a Beagle superhero who gains heroic powers after a mysterious accident occurs in the laboratory of maniacal scientist Dr. Simon Barsinister. “Shoeshine” uses his new superhero powers to protect the beleaguered citizens of Capital City as well as his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sweetheart “Polly Purebred.” The underworld boss “Riff Raff” is portrayed by three Rottweilers who, in a rags to riches story, went straight from city shelters to major movie roles.

The AKC® joins the National Beagle Club, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club and the American Rottweiler Club in sending the message that potential puppy owners should carefully research a breed when buying a dog and should buy only from a reputable source.

“People who see Underdog may think about owning one of the three dog breeds featured in the film,” said Lisa Peterson, AKC spokesperson. “Each of these wonderful breeds has its own distinct traits and personalities. With 157 AKC recognized breeds to choose from, people need to do their research and select the dog that best fits their family.”

A few facts to think about if you are considering a Beagle:

  • Beagles that have been raised and socialized in the home are truly “people dogs”; they need companionship and are rarely happy without their human family around them.

  • Their versatility and temperament make them a top choice for families, as evidenced by their 5th place ranking in AKC's annual list of the most popular breeds.

  • Beagles take their food very seriously, and so children must be taught to treat their pets with respect and never to tease a Beagle while eating.

  • Most Beagles are “good eaters,” so it's important to monitor their weight.

  • When outdoors, a Beagle must always be kept in a secure environment. Because of their scent hound heritage, Beagles should not be permitted outdoors off-lead unless confined to a safely fenced area.

  • Like people, dogs have unique personalities. Some Beagles are very energetic while others are rather mellow. Always do your research to find a dog that fits both your expectations and lifestyle.

  • For more information go to the National Beagle Club website at:

Facts to consider about a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

  • Cavaliers are house dogs who want to be with their human family members and will follow them from room to room. Puppies need socialization and training to become well-adjusted, well-trained members of the family.

  • This breed loves children who are gentle and well-behaved. Children who are loud, boisterous or rough will frighten a Cavalier.

  • Cavaliers are a long-haired breed and need regular grooming to avoid a tangled or matted coat.

  • A fenced in yard is a must for a Cavalier. The fence and gate must be secure enough at the bottom so the dog cannot slip or dig out from underneath, as well as tall enough (at least 4 feet).

  • The breed has the highest percent increase over the past decade in terms of popularity — having moved up the AKC's list from 75th in 1996 to 27th in 2006 — a 511% increase. Therefore you must be extra diligent in locating a reputable breeder as unscrupulous breeders and importers abound. Always start your search for a Cavalier with the AKC's designated parent club, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club at

Facts to consider about the Rottweiler:

  • The Rottweiler is a robust, powerful and loyal breed. He is an outstanding companion yet because of his size and strength, a commitment to training is a necessity.

  • A large yard with a six-foot high fence is ideal and a yard is essential if a puppy or young dog is being acquired. If you don't have the space, consider a smaller or less active breed.

  • If your area has a local Rottweiler club (and there are several in all regions of the U.S.), attend meetings or contact them for assistance in locating breeders nearby, or contact the American Rottweiler Club at

To learn more about these breeds, the American Kennel Club and responsible dog ownership, visit