The American Kennel Club website can be a great resource for dog lovers. If you’re like me, you mainly think of the club in terms of dog shows and breed requirements, but the site offers so much more than information about shows and pedigree registration.
Here’s a sample of the American Kennel Club website homepage. The image and information there changes over time, but the buttons along the top remain the same. If you click on the “Breeds” tab, it can help you match up your preferences in size, coat type, behavior, and more with the appropriate AKC recognized breeds. Clicking on the “Breed Selector” button and answering the 6 questions about your lifestyle will give you a list of suggested breeds. But the questions don’t involve important factors such as the size of the dog or coat type, except as regards shedding.
The “You vs. Breed” button didn’t work for me, and it requires that you connect to the AKC through Facebook.
“Compare Breeds” is a very useful function. You can see images of three breeds at a time plus a list of traits such as size, coat type, exercise need, and barking level. If the breed sounds right for you, you can then find a list of breeders, a pdf on how to pick a puppy, or download for the breed standard pdf.
Under the “Owners” tab you’ll find a link to enroll a mixed breed dog as an AKC Canine Partner so that it can compete in Agility, Obedience, and other categories in dog shows. This area of the site also features links to stories about the feats and adventures of some mixed breed dogs.
Also under “Owners” is information about the valuable Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, which makes behavior classes available that allow a dog to be certified “CGC,” a designation that’s useful in participating in certain activities. Local AKC chapters may offer CGC classes and/or testing to award the designation to your dog. A dog doesn’t have to belong to a recognized breed to become a CGC.
Click on “Events” and you’ll find much more than the usual show events–I’d never heard of “Earthdog” or “Lure Coursing” for example.
The “Learn” tab has many links from “Preventative Health” to “Why Does My Dog?” The AKC Gazette feature articles about dogs in a variety of topics.
So even if you are averse to official dog breeds and dog “beauty contests,” if you’re in the mood to noodle around the internet and find useful canine information, good dog stories, and adorable dog photos, take a look at the American Kennel Club site.