The American Kennel Club (AKC®) announces the launch of Breed Grooming Certificate Courses in collaboration with Barkleigh Productions, kicking off this November at the New England Grooming Show with the Poodle. The approximately six hour AKC Grooming Certificate Courses will focus on the history, physiology and temperament of different breeds, including a demo of breed standard grooming.

The AKC Breed Grooming Certificate Courses aim to help pet professionals better understand each of the breeds. With improved education, potential problems can be identified and optimal health and socialization can be promoted. All course participants will receive a frameable course completion certificate from the AKC.

“Each breed has its own unique qualities,” said AKC president Dennis Sprung. “The more the professional that is handling and working with the dog knows, the better it is for the health and wellbeing of the dog.”

“Any professional that takes the AKC Grooming Certificate Course shows their customers and community that they took the time and effort to educate themselves above what is expected,” said Barkleigh president Todd Shelly.

The inaugural Poodle Breed Grooming Certificate Course will be conducted by 30-year veteran Sue Zecco, a Master Groomer and Poodle expert. Sue is a Certified Master Groomer with both the National Dog Groomers Association (NDGAA) and the International Professional Groomers (IPG), and was named International Groomer of the Year in 1998. She has been involved in standard Poodles since the early 1980s, and has produced multiple American and Canadian champions as well as Obedience and Agility title holders.

Future AKC Breed Grooming Certificate Courses are scheduled for 2015, including February’s Groom Expo West in Pasadena, CA, and April’s Northwest Grooming Show in Tacoma, WA.

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 more than 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 22,000 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 Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.