Columns: No Margins, No Limits, No Kidding!
Strike The AKC!
Save Our Sport And Purebred Dogs
When a company ignores what made it successful the people that make it run STRIKE! Dog clubs, judges, handlers - cancel all dog show events for 90 days.
September 2016 Update | TheDogPress.com
Vickie Haywood, Dog Sports Editor, Usui Reiki Master
When a company ignores what made it successful, you strike! Dog Clubs, Breeders, Judges, and Handlers too; strike AKC! Dog shows are like any other job, when things are bad, you can find yourself out of work - unless you’re union and then what do you do? You strike. You carry signs, get media attention, and the company pays attention.
Let’s call this a forced reorganization of AKC and the sport of purebred dogs.
I catch a lot of flack for AKC bashing in my columns but gee, I was not off the mark at all was I? Look at dog shows today. It is not just entries that are down. Judges and breeders who have worked for 20 or 30 years to get approved for a group or to build a bloodline and kennel… they are leaving. I think we can still work together to save the sport if the AKC would act like a company that cared.
Here’s an example. My poodle club was recently the object of some agility bashing by someone who organized a boycott of our agility trial as a way of showing displeasure for my club not falling right in line to allow mixed breeds at our trial. AKC has said Mixed Breeds are okay.
We thought Agility and Field Trials were invented to prove that purebred dogs can actually do what they were bred to do. So we said no.
Consequently, our entries did not fill but that’s fine by us. Actually it will help us next year as a lot of people quit trying to get into our trial because the last 2 years we filled in 48 hours so now the word is out to enter early.
The only way my club will allow mixed breeds is if we were to go to a large facility with a 2-ring trial. It would be hugely expensive to divide the efforts of the hard-working people who work the show. And who profits??? You guessed right - AKC.
We treat our entries and workers with huge respect. We feed them breakfast and lunch, have great prizes and MACH bars, plus a worker raffle each day to win free entries for the next year. I personally chopped up 10 cantaloupes, made 10 pounds of tomato salad and my co-chair made 15 pounds of potato salad and 10 pounds of slaw. Many clubs feed their workers hot dogs; we fed our people 22 pounds of prime deli meats and cheeses and a huge mandarin orange salad. 10 cases of water and soda went out the door along with 200 pounds of ice.
Our 3 day trial pays for all the things my club does over the year and did I mention that the ducks for our HUNT TEST were $1100 this year?
We do all this so we can make AKC (and the Poodle Club of America) look good. Ask someone how many East Coast Poodle Clubs put on a Hunt Test every year. Ours is a 2 day event. The first one we ever did had entries from 7 states.
We work hours on end to put on a fine show. The “we” is full of fine people who spend hundreds of dollars on hotels, food, gas and pet sitters so they can donate their time on a show AKC doesn’t seem to care about other than the fees we pay to them.
But here’s the catch. Many can no longer afford to show, some had big retirements that are now gone because of the economy, others can’t sell enough show pups to support their own show habit. Who can afford a huge litter of XYZ when there is no market? I have a dear friend and club member sitting on 6 four-month old standard poodles when a year ago they would have all been promised before birth.
* Do you see your “union” doing anything to promote the job you love?
* Any commercials? Public service announcements?
* Anything to say that people should seek a wellbred purebred from a dedicated show breeder?
* Other than a few telecast shows that AKC makes money off of directly, do you see anything on TV about the value in good purebred dogs?
So if the union is hiring scabs (registering puppy mill dogs and promoting “mixed" breeds) we need to strike the union!
When I got into the sport in 1969, my first show dog, out of Champion Parents, cost $150. Today you can buy a poodle in any paper for $200. But wait, what about Designer Dogs? They are actually selling for $3000 even though I tell people who call me that they can adopt one from any shelter for $50.
Where is AKC in informing the public? Probably getting ready to “register” Designer Dogs!
Interestingly, I still have volumes of small poodles to groom and few other small breeds. I have a lot of adopted dogs because veterinarians are now placing pets for clients moving into retirement homes, nursing homes or just moving...(in with children?) Most owners have never heard of an AKC dog show!
Such is my life on ...
*Editor's Note* Vickie is now a Reiki Master.
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