The AKC has survived for 134
years and has accomplished some really good things for purebred dogs. Namely,
maintained a purebred studbook, a registry, the AKC Health foundation, and the
AKC Museum as well as the AKC Library. Not to mention some 22,000+ sports and
events each year.
But there are problems too.
Just as the Coke-Cola company
had when some back-office minion decided to change the formula of a product that
was recognized as the number one global brand in 2010. “New Coke” was the
unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in April 1985 to
replace the original formula of its flagship soft drink. Sales went way down and
the Coke executives knew right away they had to reverse it immediately!
Likewise, the AKC has stepped
in this “reformulation” trap with the following; “The AKC's Board of Directors
has voted unanimously to proceed with a program for mixed breed dogs which will
allow it to act even more broadly and effectively as the dog's champion.”
The creation of this program
“ushers in new opportunities for AKC's constituents and clubs and will allow the
organization to grow and flourish.” AKC quote.
Despite all the spin it is
more than transparent that the 134 years of championing the purebred dog has
co-mingled the generic to the brand. The gazette is no longer in print, just on
line without the accomplished writers it once published. No longer is it “the
official journal of purebred dogs” as that banner was removed in the 1990’s.
While there have been other
changes, this departure from the premium brand of purebred dogs makes one wonder
where the AKC is headed?
For those folks still
competing in Conformation events, you may have noticed entries are down. The AKC
has answered by inventing new competitions hoping to boost the flagging entries.
This may raise revenue but only in Performance events.
The answer spilling out of the
AKC Boardroom is to offer a participation point towards a Championship title.
Does this raise the bar for
excellence in quality of purebred dogs? No! It is a lowering of adherence to
well-established standards of quality purebred dogs. These standards were
originally written by the National breed clubs over a hundred years ago but they
are now controlled by the AKC approval process.
Since accepting sponsorship
monies in the early 1990s, the American Kennel Club has targeted new income
streams to the detriment of the purebred dogs. This was not an Edsel moment like
when Ford motor company stumbled, briefly, and then got their wits about them to
continue with established products. Why can’t AKC do what the Tucker Automobile
Company did in 1947-1948 when it produced 51 very excellent cars - 47 of which
51 still exist today - be happy with the current program?
Instead, the AKC is offering
participation titles in conformation. What does that do to the original purpose
which was rewarding excellence in breed type, not in just showing up. Soon we
may be seeing an additional class in the conformation ring called “Looks Like”.
Is AKC on the right path? Does
all the bleeding from decreased entries and registrations, combined with
reported systemic corruption detract from its foundations as the champion of the
Do you think AKC should follow
the Coca-Cola example and return to an established, premium product? Please
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