I just re-read an article in the Library about puppy millers and it started me thinking. It hit me very clearly that you guys can carry on all you want and accuse AKC of evil doings, but you are fighting a losing battle and actually AKC might even be on the right track.
February 2002 | Mike Murray, TheDogPress.com
I'm sitting here in a neighborhood of healthy, happy, mutts (most of them running the streets). The vast majority of people don't care about royal bloodlines or pedigrees going back centuries. They want a companion or a puppy for the kids. They certainly don't want to get into the 'business' of dogs. They just want a family pet to enjoy.
My wife got Tanner from the pound. For his ancient age he is still reasonably healthy and he has given us many years of companionship. He was around for most of our daughters' growing up, and the bond between these two is very easy to see and unbreakable. We got Murray from the pound, and he is disgustingly healthy, and will probably be around for more years than I want to think about.
What can they give us that a purebred dog couldn't, other than bragging rights to some pedigree, which is meaningless to someone not in the sport?
We already talked about how hard it is to actually buy a dog from 'real' breeder. But you know what else occurred to me? You really only want to sell to other breeders. To the public, you sell your 'pet quality' puppies. So after telling me I should only buy purebred dogs, the only ones you want to sell me are the ones that you yourself define as genetically inferior. Am I missing something?
Show breeders care about pedigrees. The rest of us don't. We get our dogs to enjoy, not to take out of a crate, show him off in a ring and brag about him, then put him back in a crate or kennel.
If I am looking for a purebred, unless I am willing to spend a lot of money and get involved in a business I really have no interest in, I am most likely not going to get a perfect dog even buying from a breeder.
So why not buy from from a pet shop? I'm not looking for pedigrees and bragging rights, I just want a happy and healthy dog.
I'll admit I don't know enough about it, but maybe AKC is heading towards the right track. Licensing and regulating the pet shops and commercial breeders and giving them guidelines to adhere to so that I have a reasonable chance of getting a healthy dog. Regulations governing what happens if I buy a sick dog. Someone has to do it, should it be a mindless, soulless government bureaucracy or a group of dog people? Maybe AKC has to bring them into the fold before they can start making needed changes.
I don't see how you will ever get the general public to buy from show breeders. You are too hard to find, too hard to buy from, and the benefits are too hard to understand. The general public will continue to buy from pounds, newspapers, and pet shops. The answer, in my mind, is for a group of dog people to have a hand in establishing guidelines for commercial breeders and pet shops, and then certifying them.
Just as AKC has come to stand for purebred dogs, it would be nice to buy from an 'AKC Certified' pet shop that has met guidelines established by people who understand and care about dogs. So if I go to a pet shop and I see this 'AKC Certified' logo in the window, I can be reasonably sure that the store only buys from certified dealers, has met at least minimum standards, that the dogs are most likely to be in good health, and if not mechanisms are in place for return or refund.
Then show breeders can quit worrying about the unwashed masses, and continue doing what they do best which is to maintain the genetic diversity and purity of individual breeds, while Joe Sixpack can get what he wants, a family pet.
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