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National Purebred Dog Day – May 1

National Purebred Dog Day is celebrated May 1st in honor of purebred dogs and their heritage and diversity. We celebrate the pureness and the predictability of purebred dogs. We celebrate their legacy and the reasons why they were bred in the first place.

black australian sheep dog in a green field I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students

This day is an opportunity to talk about responsible pet ownership and to hear stories told by purebred dog owners. We love all dogs and we value their love, but we also need to value and cherish the purpose and predictability of purebred dogs. 

The History of National Purebred Dog Day

Today, in the World, there are 400 known dog breeds. Many of these dog breeds are facing extinction. Around 28 Irish and British dog breeds have declining numbers in their own countries of origin.

Historically, dogs were bred for companionship but also for work. Some dogs went hunting, others herded livestock, some of them were service and guide dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs.
Throughout time, purebred dogs have been a big help in science. Dogs have been part of research studies for many animals and human diseases.

two hunting dogs


Purebred dog breeders, respectable ones, are the people that are caring the torch and the legacy for preserving the purity of the breed and for every next litter of pups to be healthy and happy. Respectable dog breeders also care where their dogs go. They research their new owners and if they don’t fit, they can’t have the puppy.

On March 10, 2015, Colorado became the first state in the country to recognize May 1 as National Purebred Dog Day® by a joint resolution of the House and the Senate, and with the endorsement of the American Kennel Club. Since then, the States of Connecticut and Georgia have also recognized the day. In 2017,  United States Congressmen and veterinarians, Ted Yoho (R-FL), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced a Congressional Resolution (H. CON. RES. 46) in support of designating a “National Purebred Dog Day,” an effort driven by the American Kennel Club.

national purebred dog day

How You Can Participate in National Purebred Dog Day

  • Take your pupper for a walk.
  • Give them a bath or treat them to a grooming session.
  • Read up about your dog breed and interesting facts about them.
  • Buy them dog treats, make them a home-cooked meal, or buy them a gift.
  • Have a doggy date night with them.
dapple dachshund with one blue eye
Mischa the Dapple Dachshund. Photo Courtesy of Janette Swart – South Africa

Interesting Facts About Purebred Dog Species

  • The Labrador Retriever was on AKC’s Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds for 25 consecutive years.
  • The first dog breed to be nominated for an Academy Award was Rin Tin Tin; a German Shepard.
  • The name Border Collie means black.
  • The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is the only dog breed in the world that was named after a fictional book character.
  • Many people think the Basenji dog breed is barkless, but in fact, they yodel!
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Australian Shepard is from America and not Australia.
  • The Labrador Retriever is originally from Newfoundland. (Confusing, right? LOL)
  • The owner of a Beagle that takes part in hunting activities with their dog is called a Beagler.
  • Dalmations are born completely white and they get their spots later in life.
  • One German Shepard dog led its blind owner through the whole 2100-mile Appalachian trail.
  • The Lundehune dog breed can close its ears and have six toes.
  • Former US President Lyndon Johnson had two Beagles named Him and Her.
  • In Roman Times, the Mastiff dog breed wore armor and went to battle with their owners.
mastiff dog sleeping on the ground

Other Animal Observances in May

Read more about National Purebred Dog Day for your reading pleasure. Our blog contains many other interesting animal observances in the month of May, such as World Turtle Day. Go on, take a read!

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