Over the weekend of December 12-13, nearly 4,000 dogs from around the world will gather at the Long Beach Convention Center to compete for $225,000 in prizes in the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.
The event is being held in conjunction with the AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC National Obedience Invitational, making for a combined entry of almost 5,000 dogs competing in three AKC sports: Conformation, Agility and Obedience.
To commemorate the AKC’s 125th anniversary, the event has an open format this year instead of being invitation only. This means that any AKC-registered, purebred, unaltered dog 6 months of age or older can compete for the 2009 top dog honors.
The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will also be hosting the Eukanuba World Challenge, an event that showcases the top dogs from 41 countries. According to the AKC, rare breeds such as the Cesky Fousek, Thai Ridgeback and Bracco Italiano will compete against more traditional favorites such as the Doberman Pinscher, Poodle and Golden Retriever for the title of “World Challenge Champion” and $15,000 in prize money.
“With our partners, we’re thrilled to host one of the most well-respected dog shows in the world and to be able to commemorate the AKC’s anniversary with the open format at this year’s AKC/Eukanuba National Championship,” Jason Taylor, Procter & Gamble Pet Care external relations manager, said in a statement.
The AKC promises the event will be very family friendly. Meet the Breeds will have puppies and adults from over 150 AKC-registered breeds on display. People can share pats and kisses with the purebred pooches, and talk to the breeders. In addition, the Dog Sensory Exhibit will give attendees the opportunity to see, smell, hear and taste exactly as a dog does.
Because of this year’s open format, more dogs than ever will be competing for Best in Show honors, including pooches who have never shown before and the country’s top show dogs from each of the 161 AKC-recognized breeds. The winner’s owner will receive more than $50,000, and the breeder will be awarded $15,000.
The AKC Agility Invitational will feature some of the world’s most agile dogs. Agility is the fastest-growing dog sport in the U.S., and the fastest-growing event at the AKC. All AKC-registered breeds can compete, from tiny Yorkshire Terriers to giant Irish Wolfhounds. (Since 2007, i Love Dogs has been a proud sponsor of the AKC/USA Agility World Team.)
Some of the world’s smartest dogs will be competing in the AKC National Obedience Invitational. Obedience demonstrates the usefulness of a dog as a companion to humankind. Dogs will be demonstrating their skills in everything from heeling to scent discrimination.
The AKC Demonstration Ring will feature herding with live ducks, agility, obedience, seeing-eye dogs and other fun and educational demonstrations.
More than 100 dog products will be available for purchase in the world’s largest Dog Mall, including bronze portrait sculptures, handmade dog clothing and doggie treadmills. i Love Dogs will be selling premium vitamins and supplements for your dog.
PHOTOS: Courtesy of the American Kennel Club