AKC: Don’t Forget Dogs this Labor Day

New York, NY " Humans aren’t the only ones who work and deserve a break on Labor Day. From detecting bombs to saving people from wreckages, dogs do a number of jobs that put their noses to work.

To celebrate dogs this Labor Day and the New York City return of AKC Meet the Breeds® " the world’s largest gathering of dogs and cats " the American Kennel Club (AKC®) names the top 5 detection jobs canines do and highlights some of the breeds that specialize in these tasks.

“”Dogs go above and beyond each and every day, not only as beloved family pets, but as loyal members of the workforce,”” said AKC Meet the Breeds Spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “”From alerting people to life threatening situations to helping others get a good night’s sleep, the AKC is proud to honor dogs who help others excel at their jobs.””

AKC’s top five detection jobs for dogs include:

  • Bed bug sniffing. Bed bugs became a major problem for businesses and homeowners over the past few years, so a new employee entered the workforce " the dog. With their excellent noses, exterminators and business owners enlisted the dog’s incredible abilities to find where bed bugs were hiding so humans could get rid of them. Dogs are also vital for follow-up, to determine if an extermination method worked. Today, professional groups have established standards in bed bug-detector dog training, testing, and certification. Breeds that are commonly used in bed bug detection are Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, and Belgian Malinois, among others.
  • Search and Rescue. From missing persons cases to natural disasters, dogs have been an integral part in finding people who are in dire situations. Search and rescue (SAR) dogs can either use a scent in the air or the scent of a specific object to find who they’re looking for. They can be used in many different situations, including disasters " such as the earthquake in Haiti where dogs found people beneath the rubble " cadaver searches, drowning situations, and avalanches. Search and rescue training is a rigorous process starting from puppyhood. Once training is completed, dogs are tested and certified by SAR organizations. Breeds that most commonly work with SAR are German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Bloodhounds, among others.
  • Explosives detection. Dogs have been serving our country at home and abroad for many years saving lives by warning their handlers of explosive devices. These canine heroes work with the police, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and military to locate dangerous materials. The dogs go through an intense training course to learn how to locate and identify a wide variety of explosives and to alert their handlers of its presence. Breeds that excel in this kind of work include the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Vizsla.
  • Cancer detection. Believe it or not, scientists were able to train Labrador Retrievers to sniff out cancer in patients’ breath by smelling samples and sitting down in front of the one that was cancerous. Cancer cells give off different odors than regular cells and they change the way a person’s breath smells" a dog’s keen nose can tell the difference. In one case in particular, the Lab correctly diagnosed the disease 98 percent of the time, whereas a test that is commonly used found the cancer only 10 percent of the time.
  • Allergy Alert dogs. Peanut allergies can be life threatening. Stepping up to the job to alleviate parents’ fears when their kids leave the house are a variety of dogs that have the uncanny sense to sniff out even the slightest trace of peanuts. These dogs are trained to detect the allergen and its residue at schools, during social events, and everyday activities and alert their owner. Their training is similar to that of a police dog learning to track scents or drugs. Breeds that most commonly work as allergy alert dogs are the Poodle, the Golden Retriever, and the Portuguese Water Dog.

From the Afghan Hound to the Turkish Van, AKC Meet the Breeds is the world’s largest showcase of dogs and cats and offers pet lovers a unique opportunity to play with some of the country’s rarest dog and cat breeds while educating themselves about responsible pet ownership and choosing the right breed for their lifestyle. Presented by PetPartners, Inc., this family-friendly event will showcase 160 AKC registered dog breeds and 50 TICA registered cat breeds " in booths individually decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet " include fun animal demonstrations and more than 100 vendors selling unique holiday dog and cat items.

Visit www.meetthebreeds.com for more information on these detection dog breeds, or meet them in person at AKC Meet the Breeds November 19th and 20th at the Javits Center in New York City. Tickets allow admittance for one day and can be purchased online at www.meetthebreeds.com. You can also see these dogs at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship December 17th and 18th at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

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About AKC Meet the Breeds " From Afghan Hounds to the Turkish Van, AKC Meet the Breeds® showcases 160 American Kennel Club® (AKC) registered dog breeds and this year will feature 50 cat breeds registered by The International Cat Association (TICA) in booths individually decorated to depict each breed’s country of origin, historical purpose/function, and attributes as a family pet. This family-friendly event is an opportunity for potential pet owners to interact with responsible breeders and play with dogs and cats while educating themselves about responsible pet ownership and choosing the right pet for their lifestyle. AKC Meet the Breeds is proudly presented by PetPartners, Inc., a leading pet healthcare provider, and will feature more than 160,000 square feet of dog and cat festivities including ongoing demonstration rings " featuring law enforcement K-9’s, dog agility, grooming" and more than 100 vendor booths that offer every imaginable product for pets and their owners. Event sponsors include The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., P&G Pet Care, Iams, Pet Brands, Inc., Motel 6, Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+), Hill’s Science Diet Small & Toy Breed dog food, LG Electronics USA, Paramount Chemical Specialties, Inc. and Canine Companies, Inc. For more information visit www.meetthebreeds.com.

The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. 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 nearly 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. More than 20,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. 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.


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