You all may recall seeing on my Instagram that I was in Orlando a few weekends ago. I was there to attend the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin. For those who may not know, AKC stands for American Kennel Club. It’s no secret that I am dog-obsessed, so this was a really exciting event for me to attend. I don’t think I knew quite what to expect, but I was in heaven. There were dogs EVERYwhere. I have never been so stimulated and wanted to constantly stop and say “OMG! Look how cute” to my friends there with me.
ABOUT THE AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin consists of a lot of different events, many of which are happening simultaneously during the weekend until the finals towards the end of the weekend. One event, and my personal favorite, was ‘Meet the Breeds.’ There were over one hundred different breeds of dogs represented and they all had their own themed booths set up where you could stop by to meet dogs of that breed and learn more about them. There were so many adorable ones!! One of my favorites were the huskies, as they had such a fun and festive booth. That is where I took this photo below.
Other events included agility, obedience, tricks, and dock diving. The dogs at dock diving were so cute and fun to watch!
The coveted title of the weekend is Best in Show and the winner gets $50,000! That’s a lot of dog treats! Haha To win Best in Show, a dog must first win Best in Breed. There can be more than 100 dogs entered in a particular breed. To narrow it down to best in breed, dogs are judged in different rounds and then finally narrowed down to just one. The 150+ American Kennel Club breeds that compete in the show are then broken into seven categories: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding. One dog from each of those categories is then chosen to compete for the Best in Show award.
While attending the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, I had the opportunity to learn so much about dogs. As a dog lover and proud dog mom, I loved this chance! I learned everything from new breeds, training, adoption following participation in dog shows, and the care that goes into these animals. I was also able to learn how to show a dog and what the judges are looking for during the shows.
The thing I loved learning about most was how scent training work with dogs occurs. Megan Leavey was one of the hosts of this, which if you haven’t heard of her, please learn more because her story is incredible. A movie was just made about her life and her service in the army which ended up with her being a dog handler. She has a truly heartwarming story and it was an honor to meet her! From her and a trainer who works with dogs in scent training, we were able to learn about how dogs are trained to smell drugs or bombs, which was fascinating. I learned a lot about reinforcement training throughout my undergraduate and graduate training in Psychology, which is the foundation for how these dogs are trained. Dogs sense of smell is so incredible. They really put it into perspective for us when they said that if we can see 1/3 of a mile in front of us, a dog can see 3,000 feet ahead, which is so crazy to think about!
I also learned more about Royal Canin and everything they represent, which made me so proud to be there with them! First of all, they have amazing people working for them. Their eyes lit up as they talked about their own pets and as they asked us about ours, which I loved to see, as it really showed just how much they absolutely love animals. Royal Canin is probably best known for the dog food they make. They also make DNA tests that you can process through your veterinarian to learn more about your dog.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING YOUR DOG’S BREED
It’s no secret that I am the proud owner of a rescue mutt and that more than anything made it important to us to know what she is so we could better understand her. We did an easy swab DNA test when we first got her and are now using Royal Canin’s GHA (Genetic Health Analysis) test to get even more exact results! It’s so important to really know your dog’s breed. First of all, I think this helps you understand your dog and their specific needs better. For example, Maddie has some lab and cattle dog in her, which tells us that she needs a good amount of exercise. If your dog has some of a breed in it that is more likely to have joint or breathing issues, this is obviously really important to plan for and learn more about.
THE POWER OF NUTRITION
Different breeds of dogs have different nutritional needs. Just like the same diet doesn’t work for the lifestyle, mind, and body of every person, the same goes for dogs. My work in the field of Psychology has taught me so much about how nutrition affects our daily life and my own personal experiences with altering my diet (such as with the Whole 30 or cutting out the majority of dairy products) has shown me real results. The power of nutrition is just as important to apply to your pet as it is to your own life.
It was so interesting to chat with one of the head veterinarians from Royal Canin about their research to create food designed for specific breeds. Royal Canin currently makes more than 200 formulas to address the unique needs of dogs. For example, there are both a puppy formula and a grown formula for golden retrievers because their needs are different in those stages of life. They are continuing to expand to make even more. The kibbles are designed to make it easiest for the dog to eat them based on their unique physical features. Kibbles even have different shapes and sizes all with the specifics of that breed in mind. From there, each breed specific food is tailored to that dog’s needs. For example, a collie or a golden retriever has a long coat, so their food would optimize the growth and appearance of it. I definitely know I notice a difference in my skin and hair when I’m eating certain foods, so of course this is true of so many animals! They even have different foods for dogs who spend more time inside, like ours and many others who live in urban areas. The Psychology nerd inside of me loved learning about all the research that went into coming up with breed and need specific foods!
Be sure to tune in on January 1st to watch the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin on Animal Planet. The show airs at 7:00 Eastern time with an encore airing at 11:00 Eastern. I can think of no better thing to do after a long night out than to snuggle up with your family and watch cute dogs on TV! Maddie’s little ears perk up every time another dog comes on TV and becomes so focused on it, so I know that she will be so into watching a dog show! My puppy fever was through the roof after my weekend in Orlando and I’m reaaalllyyy hoping my husband’s is too after watching the National Championship so we can get Maddie a sibling!
You all know that we adopted Maddie and I am huge proponent of adoption, so I wanted to share AKC’s dog rescue information with you all! There are tons of purebred dogs available and you can absolutely rescue a dog that fits your family’s needs. Find out more here. Also, keep up with Royal Canin on Instagram here.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Royal Canin. Sponsored posts like these help make A Lo Profile possible. As always, all opinions are my own.