New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is proud to announce three new AKC FIT DOG titles that dog owners may earn with their dogs. The AKC FIT DOG titles are open to all dogs.
Now more than ever, fitness is essential for both dogs and people. An estimated 70% of people aged 20 and over are overweight, and nearly 55% of dogs are overweight or obese.
To earn each of the three titles (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), owners will earn points in six categories that include:
- Completing an AKC FIT DOG 6-weeks course,
- entering a race that can be walked/run with their dog,
- documented walks that are done independently or in a group,
- completing “unique” activities such as swimming or Parkour,
- earning an AKC title related to fitness such as agility or dock diving,
- earning an AKC Parent Club title such as Pack Dog or Sledding.
“Fitness is important for all dogs and their owners,” said Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President of Sports and Events. “The purpose of the AKC FIT DOG title is to encourage dog owners to improve both their health and that of their canine companions.”
Dogs must be at least six months old to earn the Bronze level title. Some activities may be done independently (such as walking) and others will be done in the presence of other people, such as community fun runs and AKC Fit Dog courses.
“We care about dogs and want them to be healthy and fit,” said Dr. Mary Burch, AKC Family Dog Director, “and working on AKC FIT DOG titles provides structure and organization to an ongoing fitness plan for dogs and their owners.”
The Guidelines for Participants and the approved methods of documenting activities can be found here.
Questions can be emailed to FITDOG@akc.org.
Individuals interested may start applying for the titles now.