Be Your Dog’s Best Friend and a Good Neighbor

By Patty Van Sicklen, AKC Government Relations Legislative Analyst


Dog limit laws. Breed bans. “No Dogs Allowed” signs at parks, lakes, and trails. Have you ever considered what prompts such restrictions?

Often, laws and regulations that impact all dog owners are enacted in response to problems created by a handful of irresponsible owners and nuisance dogs. This is one of the reasons that AKC expects all dog owners to be good neighbors and to know, understand and obey laws or rules that pertain to them.

Elected officials are public servants. To get re-elected, it’s important for legislators to be responsive to constituents. One of the best ways for legislators to demonstrate this is to advocate for new laws based on constituent requests. But if legislators only hear negative comments about dogs, the introduction of restrictive new laws shouldn’t be a surprise.

Consider the following scenarios:

Just one dog barking at 2:00 a.m. may disturb an entire neighborhood and trigger a barrage of complaints to city hall.

A vicious dog bites a young child. Even where laws are already in place, a tragic incident prompts calls for overreaching bans that harm responsible owners.

Law enforcement seizes dogs kept by a person in illegal, substandard conditions. Law enforcement action demonstrates that laws are already in place, but coverage of the incident creates a natural desire for action.   

AKC’s flyer on  Be your dog’s best friend and a good neighbor offers a variety of tips you can share to educate dog owners in your community about how to be a good dog owner and a good neighbor. These tips not only make for good dogs and good neighbors, they can also prevent a situation that could easily escalate into restrictive new laws in your community.

For help with specific dog laws and related issues in your community, please contact the AKC Government Relations department at 919-816-3720 or

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Posted in Government Relations

The Fun of AKC Rally

We caught up with competitors at the recent AKC Rally® National Championship to hear their thoughts about the sport of AKC Rally®.

Learn why dogs love the sport, find out how to get started and watch some competitors in action!

Find out how you and your dog can get started participating in Rally here.

Have you tried Rally with your dog?

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Posted in Dog Sports, Video

Meet the AKC Rescue Network’s Top Dogs

Many people are surprised to learn it’s possible to find a purebred that both fits your lifestyle AND is in serious need of a loving, forever home. The AKC Rescue Network is the largest network of dog rescue groups in the country, representing 166 breeds. The majority of these breed-specific rescues are run by volunteers from our National Breed Clubs who work tirelessly to take in, rehabilitate, foster and re-home dogs that are down on their luck.

Check out the slideshow to learn about a few of the AKC Rescue Network’s available dogs currently looking for new homes.


Meet Abby, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was found living outside in California by The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue Trust.  Abby didn’t have use of her back legs as a result of a birth defect.  The Rescue Trust paid for surgery and therapy for Abby, and she can now stand and use her back legs!  She uses a doggie wheelchair to help her get around easier.  To inquire about Abby, contact Renee Bruns at

Rescue Abby and her cart at the National








Meet Casey, an energetic 8-year-old Airedale Terrier with a zest for life.  Her owner surrendered her to the Southwest Airedale Terrier Rescue because he was facing multiple knee surgeries and felt he couldn’t give Casey the activity she needed.  She will make a fantastic companion for an active family.  To inquire about Casey, contact Sidney Hardie at












Meet Bella, a 4-year-old Tibetan Mastiff who was surrendered to a shelter by her family when she was almost a year old.  The Tibetan Mastiff Rescue, Inc. took her in.  Tibetan Mastiffs are natural guardians of people and property, and Bella takes her job seriously!  She warms up to people slowly, but once she’s comfortable, she is silly, sweet, and highly responsive.  She loves going for walks and playing with other dogs and toys.  Bella would be the perfect pet for someone who understands guardian breeds and has the patience to allow her to warm up.  To inquire about Bella, contact Rebecca Chambliss at










Meet Trooper, a 5-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who came to SBTCA Rescue a few months ago.  Trooper is a unique little guy, as he has facial scars and no tongue.  Even without a tongue, he is very self-sufficient and can eat and drink on his own.  He imitates kisses too!  He’s a loveable boy that will do anything you ask of him, enjoys playing fetch, laying in the sun, and cuddling.  He’s wonderful with other dogs and people.  He needs surgery on his knees, which is being addressed by SBTCA Rescue.  To inquire about Trooper, contact Kristina Estlund at












Meet Bryce, an 8-year-old Boston Terrier who was surrendered to Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue because of a family hardship.  Bryce is fearful of large male dogs and engaging dogs.  He gets along best with small, non-confrontational females.  Bryce is an active, healthy, affectionate dog and loves going on long leash walks and playing fetch.  To inquire about Bryce, contact Kathy Quartana at

Bryce Happy Friday











Meet Jingles, a 7-year-old Boston Terrier who was brought to Coastal Carolina Boston Terrier Rescue by a Good Samaritan who found him stuck in a muddy trench on the side of the road.  Jingles was very underweight and had skin issues.  The rescue team also found out that Jingles is deaf.  He is a gentle, sweet boy and has learned hand signals since being in foster care.  He would make the perfect pet for a family that is willing to work with him on hand commands.  To inquire about Jingles, contact Kathy Quartana at












Meet Tonka, a 4-year-old Bullmastiff who came to the American Bullmastiff Association Rescue Service (ABARS) after she and her former family’s other large dog got into a fight.  Her former owner shot her through the neck and she was surrendered to ABARS.  Her serious wound was repaired and the rescue volunteers found that Tonka is a very sweet girl who loves people and cats!  She is great for a family that does not already have another dog.  To inquire about Tonka, contact Virginia Rowland of ABARS at










Meet TJ, a 14-month-old German Shepherd Dog who was hit by a car and left for dead by his owners when the Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue was contacted to help.  As a result, TJ’s severely damaged front leg was amputated.  He’s been recuperating and the rescue group raised money to buy him a wheelchair.  TJ is a loving, sweet boy who plays well with other dogs and enjoys a good tummy rub.  To inquire about TJ, contact Rob Holloway at









Meet Austin, a 13-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback who was surrendered to Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue by his family because they couldn’t afford to provide him with medical treatment after he was hit by a car.  Austin underwent extensive surgery to repair a severely fractured leg.  He is getting stronger every day!  Austin is a snuggly, playful boy who is friendly to other dogs and cats.  To inquire about Austin, please contact  or












Meet Max, a 4-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback who was surrendered to Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue by his owners who no longer wanted him.  He had a massive yeast infection in his ears and covering half his body – his previous owners hadn’t taken him to the vet since he was a puppy and left him outside in the wet dirt and grass, causing the infection to spread more.  Just a few weeks of being at the rescue in a clean, dry environment with antibiotics have made a huge difference for Max!  He truly loves all people and enjoys riding in the car.  He would be a great pet for a family where someone was home for at least part of the day, as he’s so happy when people are around.  To inquire about Max, please contact or



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ACHOO! Help Your Dog Beat Allergies

BC_Cheryl Fisher_LIKE

As allergy seasons heats up for humans,many dog owners might not realize that their four-legged friend can suffer from allergies as well.

Common allergens that affect dogs are things they inhale (molds, dust mites, pollens) or the type of food they’re eating, and skin irritants, among others.  To help you provide relief for your pets, here are some signs of allergy and how you can treat it:

Common signs of allergy in dogs:

  •          Itching
  •          Red, inflamed skin
  •          Dry skin
  •          Loss of fur
  •          Irritated eyes
  •          Licking of paws


  • Take a trip to your veterinarian to find the best treatment plan for your dog.  He or she may prescribe cortisones, antihistamines, or medicated shampoos.
  • Try food testing.  Many times, the allergic reaction is coming from something in your dog’s food.  Put your dog on an “elimination diet” – feed him just one protein type at a time so you can see which one causes a reaction.
  • Your veterinarian may also recommend Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, especially in the form of fish oils.
  • If your dog is suffering from skin allergies, you can use aloe vera on the skin irritation to provide relief.

Has something you’ve tried really helped your dog’s allergies? Let us know in the comments!


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Posted in Canine Conditions

Club Spotlight: Port Chester Obedience Training Club

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The Port Chester Obedience Training Club (PCOTC)  took part in the Bark for Life of Westchester (NY) event yesterday, putting on agility demonstrations for the public as well as offering AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! (MDCDT) event.

More than 60 dogs and their owners tried beginning agility equipment with help from PCOTC trainers. Later, owners and their canine companions enjoyed contests, games and other demonstrations, all park of the the American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM, a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer.

Enjoy these photos from the event!

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Posted in Club Spotlight, Dog Sports

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday, dog lovers! Excited that the weekend is here? These dogs clearly are!

Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend!


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The Canine-Human Bond on Display at the National Obedience Championship

We were lucky enough to meet Gordon Bane and his dog Ginger at the recent AKC National Obedience Championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Three years after a stroke, Gordy is still competing at the highest levels of obedience.

Dogs are invited to this top competition based on the number of Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) points earned throughout the year or placements at AKC Obedience Regional Qualifying Events.

But most inspiring is the wonderful, devoted relationship evident between Gordy and his 10-year-old Bull Terrier Ginger.

Grab a kleenex and meet them both!

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Posted in Dog Sports

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