/PRNewswire/ -- As the end of the year approaches, the American Kennel Club(R) (AKC) urges pet owners to remember the family pet while pondering potential New Year's resolutions.
"Eighty-one percent of dog owners buy gifts for their dogs," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "But what you should really be giving them is consistent exercise, training and stimulation. Try to start the year off right by resolving to do more with your dog in 2010."
So if your Beagle isn't being walked briskly, your Terrier getting trained, your Rottweiler racking up ribbons in the ring and your Great Dane's not a canine good citizen, consider these suggestions from the dog experts at the American Kennel Club:
-- Young and old dogs can learn new tricks. Start your puppy off on the
right foot with an AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy training class. Adult dogs (over
1 year old) can take the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Both programs
teach basic manners and socialization needed to help both dog and
owner to be a responsible member of society. All dogs are eligible and
they earn a special certification upon completion.
-- Train your dog for competitive events. Every weekend all over the
country there are dog events where you can earn ribbons, titles and
trophies. Plus there's the reward of meeting new people with a
similar love for dogs and ensuring that your dog is well-behaved, even
tempered, physically fit and a joy to live with. Mixed breed owners
can get started by enrolling in the AKC Canine Partners Program and
purebred dogs can enroll in the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing.
-- Get Fit with Fido. The National Academy of Sciences reports that one
out of every four dogs and cats in the western world is now
overweight. Daily walks are a great way for both dogs and owners to
avoid gaining extra holiday pounds. According to a recent study, dog
owners get more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym
-- Dogs love helping others. Dogs are invaluable in providing service to
humans -- visiting the sick, helping the disabled, locating missing
persons, and much more. If a dog has the correct temperament, there
are many ways dog owners can put their special skills to use in
service to their community. Contact the volunteer director at your
local hospital to find out how you and your dog can qualify to
volunteer or visit a home-bound neighbor.
-- Help kids learn to read. There is no better listener than a dog. Many
libraries have programs for children to practice their reading skills
and gain confidence by reading with dogs. Contact your local library
to learn about available reading programs or volunteer to start one
with your dog.
-- Travel with your dog. Planning vacations and getaways that include
your dog will save you boarding fees and will keep Fido from getting
lonely while you are having fun in the sun. More hotels are becoming
dog friendly, such as Motel 6, who recently removed its restriction on
the number of dogs allowed and offers discounts to AKC registered dog
The American Kennel Club (AKC), proudly celebrates its 125th Anniversary in 2009. Since 1884 the not-for-profit organization has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, and today its rules govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.
AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
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