Registration changes and fee
increases are of primary concern as the showing fancy struggles to maintain its
identity in the world of purebred dogs. Despite wonderful TV coverage of the
Westminster and AKC/Eukanuba shows, the stature once accorded to dog breeders is
Beset by Animal
Rights legislation, a drop in puppy sales accompanied by soaring
veterinary costs, and other expenses associated with showing and
breeding top quality dogs, breeders began dropping out, leaving
puppy sales wide-open to puppy mills, or as AKC renamed them,
“commercial” and High Volume Breeders.
Now with a failing economy, a proposed $25 per dog/per year show
tax, the seven-fold increase in AKC’s event fee passed on to
exhibitors in higher entry fees,
entries are down
so much that some of the largest shows look like fun matches and
clubs are desperate, having contracted for judges and venues based
on previous entry numbers.
We sent these questions to Mr. David Roberts, AKC Registrations
Department Vice President. He was gracious in taking my call which
no one else would take or return. I am confident Mr. Roberts will
make every effort to respond to these most-asked questions.
What follows is a recap of recent coverage on AKC changing policies and administrative
decisions. In chronological order, we begin with a significant obstacle to responsible breeding.
April 2008 | The March 2008 rule change complicates
pedigree research, prevents responsible breeders from tracking the
dogs they produce or keeping up with show wins, and forces breeders
to register and name each puppy in a litter in order to gain any
degree of protection for their breeding program. It insures more
income for AKC and that seems to be reason enough for just about all
policy changes going on today.
Update: This "Name Change" rule quietly preceded a monumental
decision by the AKC Board to allow
registration of non-registered dogs.
New York, NY - The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to announce
a registration rule change that now allows owners of AKC registered
dogs to change the official name of their pet. Dogs are eligible if
they were born in the U.S., have never been bred, or have not won
any awards at an AKC event.
"We have a lot of interest from AKC registered dog owners looking to
rename their dogs," said David Roberts, AKC's Assistant Vice
President of Registration. "In most cases, the dog is a beloved pet
and the owner would like to pick a name that has special value to
them. The new rule allows owners to change the name when
transferring their AKC registered dog, or to request a name change
at any time."
Previously, a policy was in place that only allowed the owner to
change a dog's name if the dog had been individually registered by
its breeder and the request was accompanied by written permission
from the breeder. The new regulation reads:
"The name of a dog registered with The
American Kennel Club will be allowed to be changed provided the dog
was whelped in the United States and in cases where the breeder(s)
first individually registered the dog, their written consent would
be required. A dog name containing a Registered Kennel Name cannot
be changed without the written consent of the owner(s) of that
Registered Kennel Name.
However, no change in the name will be recorded by The American
Kennel Club after the dog has produced or sired an AKC registered
litter or received an award at an AKC licensed or member event.
Any name change must comply with all AKC requirements."
The service fee for a name change is $25. The Dog Name Change
Authorization form is located online at http://www.akc.org/pdfs/ADCG01.pdf.
The completed form can be faxed to the AKC at: 919-816-4261 or
mailed to the address on the application.
AKC & NON-REGISTERED DOGS – THE POLL
08|05|08 - TheDogPress / Barbara J. Andrews - After approving the
name change rule in March, the AKC Board approved the
Administrative Pedigree Research Service which to many breeders, is an acronym for capturing:
A) puppy mill dogs registered with a competing registry or
B) pets specifically sold “without papers” by AKC breeders.
Either reason is like dropping the A-Bomb on a show breeder’s
kennel! Whether you agree or not, make your comments and VOTE below
when you have weighed this information.
Withholding papers to insure the pet dog doesn’t produce
“registered” puppies has always been how breeders protected their
breed, kennel name, and bloodline. But when there were legal
actions, we're told that AKC began quietly registering those dogs.
When infuriated breeders found out, that brought more action. AKC
found itself in a no-win situation. Then, thanks to this columnist's
monitoring of registration problems which included in-print
comparisons to the cat associations' equitable registration system,
AKC gave us Limited Registration. And all was good, until
Somewhere along the way, Rules (see below)
were added or changed, absolving AKC from honoring the breeder’s
intent unless the breeder has a written agreement with every party
to the original purchase. But if the original buyer (or broker!!)
transfers the dog to someone else with whom there was no contract?
Bingo, registered breeding dog.
AKC has refused to tell us when the current rules were passed.
Perhaps one of our Delegate readers knows and will share that
information, (anonymously of course)
It is a slippery slope, which in my opinion, can turn into a
landslide of non-purebred or genetically defective AKC registered
"purebreds". What AKC quietly accomplished is now dressed up with an
ambiguous new name, under a policy (?) based on a rule (?) that
seemed okay on its surface but like a peeling a rotten banana,
looked pretty bad when exposed.
The new Administrative Pedigree Research service was
apparently decided by staff, with little or no Delegate input, and
presumably no board vote. Because the minutes are now so
abbreviated, we can’t be sure if there was objection by anyone on
the board even though the damage derived from generations of
questionably “registerable” dogs is incalculable.
As of August 1, three months after approval, we were still unable to
find definitive information on AKC’s website regarding the
revolutionary, history-making new service. It was allegedly leaked
to one publication by an AKC Delegate who shared the “FAQs” from the
private Delegate portal. The service will generate an extra $30, $10
of which is said to pay for the pedigree research to determine if
the dog originates “from AKC registrable stock.” How much "research"
can be done in less than an hour? Breeders spend days evaluating a
pedigree before deciding on a mating... oh well, you get the point.
So TheDogPress contacted Mr. David Roberts, AVP, Registrations (the
person listed as contact for additional information re the new
service), Ms. Daisy Okas, AVP, Communications, and Ms. Lisa
Peterson, Director Club Communications. The only response was an
email from Lisa Peterson, who provided a link to the Board Minutes,
which contain only the following:
"BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS David Roberts, Kristi Munchel, Mari-Beth O’Neill
and Rosario Vila, AKC Staff, participated in this portion of the
meeting via video conference."
"Incorporating AKC Registrable Dogs into AKC Registry
Chapter 3, Section 6 of Rules Applying to Registration and
Discipline grants AKC the authority to register dogs of AKC
registrable stock. Dogs or litters may qualify for registration if
pedigrees show no break in AKC lineage and all dogs and litters
originate from AKC registrable stock. Staff advised the Board that
without objection it will begin registering dogs of AKC registrable
stock lacking litter registration papers provided that the dogs are
otherwise deemed registrable by staff. The majority were in favor of
AKC’s “no comment” response raises questions for which there may be
no acceptable answers. Does this service in any way benefit
responsible breeders? We're left to assume that puppies sold with
“no papers” due to the possibility they carry a serious genetic
fault or were of overall non-breeding quality can now enter
the breeding gene pool unless the breeder can furnish a written
agreement to the contrary and prove that all parties to the sale
know and signed the contract? And here's the big catch - any
subsequent owner-applicant would have had to sign a non-breeding
contract or the breeder's contract is negated and the dog could be
The genetic and moral impact of overriding a responsible
breeder’s knowledge and judgment is incomprehensible. Consider
this; you had a signed non-breeding contract on a potential carrier of a serious
genetic disease yet that dog somehow winds up a puppy mill?
Or a carefully scrutinized buyer falls on hard economic times,
registers the pet dog with another registry so he can breed it to a
horrid AKC registered dog owned by a neighbor?
All of those puppies and their puppies can
then be AKC registered?
Now you understand why no caring breeder playing by the rules to
protect their breed and the integrity of the purebred dog could ever
accept this artfully named program.
Nor can any Delegate, someone elected to uphold the specific concept
of purebred dogs on which AKC was founded and chartered. Is that why
the Administrative Pedigree Research Service was staff developed and
Board approved without a Delegate vote?
What is the impact of registering “puppy mill” puppies so
commercially created they weren't even AKC registered? How does AKC
determine pet shop or BYB puppies are purebred even though the odds
are significantly higher that such dogs are not from unbroken "AKC
AKC says there is benefit for the pet buyer. Baloney! How many pet
buyers would pursue getting AKC papers on their unregistered dog
unless they intend to breed it? With this new service, it's a
walk in the park for greedy pet owners or a nice family uneducated
about "responsible breeding." Is that why AKC refuses to really
educate the public on the advantages of owning a purebred AKC
Registered dog? Has AKC inadvertently blown the lid off
something that was only a myth anyway?
Even acknowledging the strategy of a well-run corporation’s
marketing department and fiduciary responsibility, this new service
portends the end of pretense. Will the Delegates who stopped the
Petland deal allow this to happen? Breeders have been denigrated
as being "elite" but that's what all breeders of purebred animals
strive to be! Anyone can produce slaughter beef or a hack horse but
only the elite can breed a herd sire or a Derby winner.
You run into enough unexpected genetic problems no matter how
carefully you research but the odds increase astronomically when a
dog that was sold with no papers is allowed to contaminate a
breed’s gene pool. Ditto a puppy mill or backyard dog that some
clerk at AKC decides originated from AKC stock and has “no break in
lineage” according to a pedigree the buyer didn’t get? Gimme
In the FAQs (which we couldn’t obtain) AKC says it gets over 400
inquires per week from owners who think their dogs are AKC
registrable and 41,000 inquiries per month from owners who don’t
have an Individual Dog Registration Application. Let’s see… assuming
even one fourth of 42,000 inquiries per month actually result in
registrations, that means over 120,000 dogs of
inferior and/or questionable genetic quality could enter the AKC
gene pool over the next year.
But wait, some of those dogs, bred by top breeders but sold as
Limited or Papers Withheld, will become champions and reproduce! So
Good Breeder, how would you know that the champion with a wonderful
pedigree from a reputable breeder was sold as a pet with no papers
for a REASON?
There will be more on this subject. The bomb has not even hit the
ground for breeders and Delegates who will never accept bypassing
ethical breeders as a good thing. Capturing registration fees on
puppy mill produce registered with a competing association may mean
more income for AKC and we all want it to be able to have the funds
to "do for dogs" but at what cost?
Tell us and other breeders how you feel. AKC has respected reader
input in the past and we know there are good people on the Board who
will listen. You made your position clear by over a thousand
opinions expressed in the Judging poll which we conveyed to AKC's
Judging Operations department which is taking appropriate action.
AKC does listen.
We encourage you to speak out again.
YES – Registration Service if you approve the new service.
If you have reservations or do not approve, click
NO – Registration Service.
FYI: Chapter 3, Section 6 of Rules Applying to Registration and
Discipline states in part:
"For the purpose of registering or refusing to register purebred
dogs The American Kennel Club will recognize only such
conditional sale or conditional stud agreements affecting the
registration of purebred dogs as are in writing and are shown to have
been brought to the attention of the applicant for registration. (emphasis added).
The American Kennel Club cannot recognize alleged conditional
sale, conditional stud or other agreements not in writing which
affect the registration of purebred dogs, until after the
existence, construction and/or affect of the same shall have
been determined by an action at law."
The only contracts that the AKC will enforce will be the
withholding of AKC registration papers until a dog is paid for
or altered, if the terms are clearly set out in the bill-of-sale and signed by all
parties involved in the sale of the dog, (emphasis added) this is required by our rules.
Also see the new rule allowing owners to change the name of their dog which was approved in March 2008, something not all breeders appreciate!
AKC strongly discourages co-ownerships. According to this cautionary warning on the AKC website,
http://www.akc.org/reg/contract.cfm current 3/26/09, if you
enter into any kind of contract with a dog person, you’re on
your own. Here’s what AKC says about contracts.
dogs are bred, sold, or transferred on the basis of certain
conditions, restrictions, or understood agreements between the
interested parties. Some breeders sell their puppies on
Spay-Neuter Contracts, which require that the dog be spayed or
neutered by a certain age. Others enter into co-ownership
contracts with new owners or into Stud Contracts with the owner
of a male dog. Some dogs are sold with the agreement that they
will be shown to a certain level of achievement in AKC events.
”The AKC does not and cannot enter into arbitration when an
understanding between buyers, sellers, or co-owners goes wrong.
The AKC will abide by the decision of the court if the case is
litigated. We advise that all contracts be thoroughly examined
and understood before the transaction is completed. For more
information, see our Procedures for Registration Matters.”
And lastly, see this revealing documentation on AKC REGISTRATION FRAUD and then click over to:
AKC SILENT ON NON-REGISTERED DOGS
Learn what if anything, AKC can say that would make palatable the knowledge that it has or will register dogs which a.) the breeder felt should not be registered or b.) were not bred by the listed breeder or c.) are not the offspring of the listed sire and dam?
Now AKC welcomes breeds no
one has ever heard of from countries we can’t find on a
world map! Simultaneously, we are expected to believe
someone at AKC can somehow verify those imports, BYB or
puppy mill dogs registered with a competing registry?
Despite what we’ve been led to believe, AKC doesn’t “have”
to register puppy mill produce for legal reasons. Indeed,
AKC has actively solicited commercial breeder business. See
AKC Letter To Puppy Mills.
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