The AKC Patch Program Orientation is vital to the success of the program at your event. It ensures that the groups have a good experience and that the rest of your show does not experience any interruptions.
It is important to begin promptly. When children have too much time on their hands, misbehavior can occur. You may also want to consider having something available for the children to do while they wait in case they arrive earlier.
AKC has printable coloring pages available here.
Steps for Orientation
- Welcome children and introduce yourself.
- Explain to the children about what your club does and why your event is important.
- Review dog show etiquette. Feel free to print these for the kids. You can print a few and ask children to share.
- Review how to approach a dog. It is helpful if you have a friendly dog available to you so that you can demonstrate this. After you have demonstrated, you may choose to invite a volunteer to practice. Do not forget that some children are afraid of dogs. You should not force an unwilling child to pet/approach a dog.
- Ensure that all children have a program packet. You may want to have a few extras just in case.
- Encourage students to begin the program. You may consider having a map available for each group that highlights areas of interest.