South Charlotte

Dog lovers, this is your chance to Meet the Breeds

The Piedmont Kennel Club will host its annual Meet the Breeds day from noon-4 p.m. Dec. 3.

The event is free and open to the public.

If you are considering adding a purebred canine to your family, this is a great opportunity to meet the dogs and their owners and/or breeders, and find out the pros and cons of each breed.

"If you ask me a question about my breed, I will give you a straight answer," said Piedmont Kennel Club's Maggie Blutreich. "We're not there to sell anything. We're there to help you find the dog that will be the best for you."

The Piedmont Kennel Club puts on the event each year to help people select a dog that best fits their lives. Blutreich says predictability is one of the main assets of a purebred dog. If you do your research, you will know approximately what to expect in size, temperament and even possible health problems of the chosen breed.

"If people only took the time to get the dog that best suited them, then many dogs would not end up in the shelter. So many people have unrealistic expectations.

"That German shepherd probably won't grow up to be Rin Tin Tin. That puppy is adorable, but in six months you will have an adult dog. Some folks will select a dog that requires extensive grooming, but they don't have the time, the talent or the money for it," said Blutreich.

Saturday's event will feature 45 breeds, each in their own specially decorated booth. There will be training demonstrations, a Pooch Parade about 1:30 p.m., and more. Several obedience clubs will be on site, as well as a few rescue groups.

Blutreich says there also will be lots of free literature to take home ranging from keeping your dog on a diet to traveling with your dog to various dog sports, including tracking and hunting.

Though you can't buy a dog at the event, you can get a listing of reputable breeders where you may find the perfect dog. But Blutreich hopes you'll wait until the tree comes down to bring your new companion home.

"Please think twice about bringing home a dog at Christmas, when things are so crazy and the kids are wired. It's better to just bring home the dog bed, the toys and the dog bowl, and give the family a picture of the dog. Wait to bring it home until the holidays are over and everything settles down," said Blutreich.

"You really need to pay 100 percent attention to the newcomer, whether it's a puppy or an adult, to help it settle in.

"Remember, a dog is not just for Christmas. A dog is for life."