This past weekend was a barking good time as canine lovers rolled into the Javits Center to meet and learn about interesting breeds of dogs, many with their own pets and families in tow.

The meet-and-greet and dog show were organized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). More than 120 breeds of dogs were present. Brandi Munden, vice president of communications for AKC, said that ordinarily the show is annual but was suspended for the last three years because of COVID restrictions. 

“We are very excited to be back,” said Munden. “Every year it’s an educational opportunity. Not for people to adopt or shop for dogs, but it does allow you to become the best dog owner you can be. You find the breed that works for your lifestyle. Talk to experts. See what size the dogs will be. Learning what a dog breed requires to be happy.”

AKC and owners set up information booths at each station, and allowed the dogs to be petted and hugged at the convention center, which most of the dogs seemed to thoroughly enjoy. There were huge roving Bergamasco Sheepdogs with dreadlocked wooly spirals of hair that swept the floor, and tiny English Toy Spaniels that could be held in one arm. Easily spotted was a Dalmatian making friends. And you could see some fashionistas, like a Rottweiler sporting Valentine’s Day headgear and a bullish Bull Terrier with a funny little spotted tie, ready to pose for the camera.

“I’ve always loved dogs. About 30 years ago I got my first Chow and I was fascinated about the personality of the breed. They’re a little aloof but friendly,” said Nate Smith about his Chow Chow dog named Xanto. His dog is especially fluffy and sheds twice a year, but he considers the grooming process “therapeutic.” 

Even a few law enforcement as well as search and rescue dogs were there, showing off their badges. “You never know what’s going to happen with a bloodhound. Some days they’re counter cruising on your kitchen table and other days they’re finding a lost person,” said American Bloodhound Club President Adrianna Pavlinovic, who owns two bloodhounds. 

Pavlinovic said that the average bloodhound’s nose is about 300 million times stronger than a human’s. Her dogs often help look for lost children and hunters. They also assist in suicide situations where a person can’t be located.
Pavlinovic’s droopy babies are named Global Pandemic and Unprecedented Times, or ‘Pan’ and ‘Times’ for short, since she got them during the pandemic in 2020.

Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about politics for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting:

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