FAQs for Public Education Coordinator

The Public Education department compiled a list of often asked questions regarding public education and department policies and procedures. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

1) Why should an AKC-affiliated club appoint a Public Education Coordinator?

Public Education Coordinators educate their communities about our sport, purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership. While responsible dog ownership and a love of purebred dogs are second nature to you as members of the fancy, many people in our communities don't know things such as basic care or how to buy a dog from a responsible breeder. Education is the answer that will help us build safe, dog-friendly communities while sharing the joys of the sport of purebred dogs.

2) How does a club appoint a PEC?

The AKC does not mandate how clubs appoint a PEC. Check with your club regarding its policies. It may be as simple as requesting the position, or your club may require a stricter nomination procedure. Once your club appoints a PEC, a club officer must notify the Public Education department in writing of the new appointee. The notification must be on club letterhead and signed by a club officer and can be faxed or mailed to the AKC Public Education department.

3) What is public education?

You engage in public education anytime you talk with someone about the sport or welfare of purebred dogs or take a minute to teach a child how to pet a dog correctly. Public education has many faces. Some clubs dedicate time and resources to one large event, such as an all-breed fair with vendors, exhibitions and demonstrations of AKC-sanctioned sports. Other clubs may visit dozens of elementary schools and make presentations about dog-bite prevention to hundreds of school children. And some clubs may host a Web site with detailed information about the training, care and behavior of purebred dogs.

Public education is how you, as members of the fancy, educate others about our sport and its importance to us. By promoting responsible dog ownership in your community, you help guarantee the future of the sport.

4) What are the minimum requirements for the office of Public Education Coordinator?

Licensed all-breed clubs must conduct two educational programs held at club meetings and various external public education activities, such as hosting public education tables at dog shows and events, conducting classroom presentations or sponsoring all-breed fairs.

5) How do I notify the AKC when my address changes or when a new PEC is elected?

Please send notification on club letterhead of newly elected Public Education Coordinators to The American Kennel Club, Public Education department, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27617-3390 or fax to 919-816-4275.

A club officer must sign this letter. If you are a current and active PEC, you are welcome to e-mail the Public Education department regarding address and phone number changes: publiced@akc.org

6) How do I order materials for my club's shows and events?

If your club decides to sponsor a public education table at its next AKC-sanctioned conformation show, fun match, performance event or agility or obedience trial, the AKC is here to help by providing complimentary educational materials. We can also provide materials for your next non AKC-sanctioned event, such as an all-breed fair.

PECs should contact the AKC's Special Services department at 800-252-5545 to place orders for AKC-sanctioned shows, matches and other events where you host a public education table. This toll-free number is exclusively for PECs who wish to order AKC materials for distribution to the public through events. After dialing the toll-free number, you must enter the PEC PIN, 15019. PECs can also e-mail their order requests to publiced@akc.org. Please include a daytime phone number.

Please visit the "Ordering Materials" section for more information.

7) How do I order children's education materials, such as the coloring book or videos?

Contact the AKC Customer Service department at 919-233-9767, or e-mail orderdesk@akc.org to order materials from the Children's Education Catalog. Please remember to include the six-digit codes found on each brochure or the complete brochure title, your mailing address and your phone number in your e-mail.

8) What is the Canine Ambassador program?

The Public Education department founded the Canine Ambassador program in 1993 to assist educators with teaching children about responsible dog ownership. The program has grown over the years and now AKC Canine Ambassadors are in all 50 states and reach thousands of school children per year. Some ambassadors have expanded their programs and present small conformation shows or agility events at their community schools.

9) How can I learn more about the Canine Ambassador program?

Just ask! The Public Education department is always looking to add dedicated club members to our Canine Ambassador team. Remember, a club may sign up as many Canine Ambassadors as it chooses.

10) What are the differences between a Public Education Coordinator and a Canine Ambassador?

A PEC is an appointed officer within an AKC-affiliated club. A Canine Ambassadoris a club member who makes presentations, usually to children, about responsible dog ownership and canine safety. Often the PEC and Canine Ambassador work together. For example, a PEC may present the Safety Program to school children while the Canine Ambassador demonstrates the instructions with her dog. A club may only appoint one PEC but may appoint as many Canine Ambassadors as it chooses.

The Public Education department sends mailings to its Canine Ambassadors to assist them with their outreach efforts. These mailings include reproducibles with children's games and puzzles. The department sends its PECs a bimonthly newsletter filled with public education ideas and updates.