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2010 saw dog food and vet bills up, dog show entries down, HSUS legislation gaining ground, and worst of all, purebred dogs and breeders losing stature.


Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief  01|06|11


Mixed Breeds, approved in April 2009 has wasted a ton of money promoting an unpopular cause that directly contradicts the AKC Mission Statement [1].   For fewer than 600 mixed breed dogs competing in 3,000 trials?  Apparently so, unless you buy the new mantra that AKC wants to represent “all dogs.”  Not content with rubbing “responsible dog breeders” the wrong way, mutts/mongrels/crossbreds will be seen at the 2011 AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC Obedience Invitational. 


Korean Jindo Dogs for LAPD?  North and South Korea in the news and now the Jindo.  Originating on Jindo Island in South Korea, the mid-sized hunting breed is to be used for detection and service work by LAPD’s K-9 department.  Meg Purnell Carpenter (Overhill Kennels, the U.K.) became an international emissary for the breed when she judged there and while she gratefully accepted some of the prized breeding stock, she would raise an eyebrow at LA’s plan. 


Grand Champions had a good year, earning 3,420 Grand Championship titles in AKC events.  But what’s a show without a system?  AKC is launching its own Grand Champion Ranking System to list the top 25 Grands in each breed.  It's a great way to show off retired champions and support the kennel clubs and AKC.


The AKC Breeder Of Merit Program didn’t do as well.  Everyone likes to win awards but this invention was patently geared towards propping up AKC’s flagging registrations. 5 years in some aspect of the sport?  Easy!  Member of an AKC club?  No problem.   Certification of (all?) health screenings recommended by the Parent Club?   A juicy bone for vets but rejected by top breeders along with registering 100% of puppies in every litter.  With good reason AKC breeders fear that “Limited Registration” [3] would not stop pets from being bred from and the breeder’s good name maligned.  Perhaps it will catch on this year.


UKC OFFERS WATER TESTS, WEIGHT PULLS AND MOREUKC’s Purina Series made history and the winners, including all Breed Winners, will be honored at the Purina Awards Ceremony January 25th in Albany, Georgia. The public is expected to come out in large numbers to meet the 2010 winners up close and personal. The United Kennel Club has a lot more events than conformation and dog lovers are exploring them, from water tests (as seen on the Outdoor cable channel) to weight pulling which is even done by toy breeds!


AKC’s Meet The Breeds more fitting than ever as ever more new breeds are admitted.  Gone are the days when a Rare Breed Club worked for years to build numbers and carefully record generations of pure breeding.  As recently as the 80s, a Japan Kennel Club registration was unacceptable and TKC pedigrees were scrutinized.  Now we register dogs from countries no one can find on a world map!   And speaking of TKC,


The Kennel Club (England) has been a beacon of quality dogs so we are shocked to observe its surrender to the Animal Rights wackos.  TKC now says it will refuse to register puppies from any bitch that has had more than 4 litters or 2 C-sections.  The Kennel Club has slipped its wig – proving how right the colonists were to flee the monarchy!  While it is true that some breeds suffer from genetically-created health problems and disfigurement, this may well come back to bite them.  The thriving puppy producing business in the U.K. has, like the puppy mills here, discovered it simply doesn’t need the elitist, all-controlling “kennel club.”  What a sad day for purebred dogs!


The AKC Humane Fund grew at a rapid rate, bolstering the extraordinary good done through the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) which donated over $400,000 to Search and Rescue and other organizations.  Makes a gloomy year seem bright!


HSUS’ PUPPY FRIENDLY PET STORESHSUS’ Puppy Friendly Pet Stores do not to sell puppies.  The Humane Society just signed its 1000th pet store; an enviable accomplishment that escaped the notice of dog breeders. Think of it!  Each pet supply store posts (HSUS furnished) signs and information directing a prospective puppy buyer to a shelter or other “humane source.”  Hats off to Wayne Pacelle!  Thumbs down to AKC for making no attempt at marking the desirability of the purebred dog.


AKC Brand Recognition got yet another infusion from Marketing and Communications.  AKC has been doing very well promoting its many products ranging from credit cards to kennel runs to dog toys.  What is has NOT been promoting is the value and reliability of the Wellbred Purebred.  This editor has had many conversations with AKC Board Members on that subject.  Even after accepting that “well bred” conflicted with puppy mill (aka High Volume Breeders) and thus was contrary to the bulk of AKC’s registration income, top breeders find it hard to tolerate the great American Kennel Club’s refusal to promote purebred dogs.  We are further insulted by dog food companies advertising mutts during Westminster and other televised AKC events.


Animal Rights & HSUS have really insulted AKC by setting up shop in its Raleigh NC Office’s back yard!  Worse yet, county and municipal legislators have snubbed the AKC Legislative department!  Guilford County pushed for SB 460, an intensely restrictive state-wide animal rights law.  While it was ultimately defeated, it is easier to give credit to the NRA, NCRAO and SAOVA than to pinpoint just what AKC did to stop the “puppy mill bill.”  2011 promises more of the same with HSUS continuing to wave red flags in front of the crippled bull known as the American Kennel Club. 


Champions Not Cheap, Just “Easy” AKC’s new formula for lowering the point scale in all divisions was overdue.  Any exhibitor who tried to finish a dog without the added expense of “building a major” can vouch for that.  Even so, the board must have sipped the same Cool Aid that muddled the minds of The Kennel Club (England) when it decided not to factor in entry numbers generated by Specialty events.


Translate that to a disproportionate number of easy champions in those breeds which hold a lot of specialties.  AKC also decided not to include the AKC/Eukanuba show entry numbers AND those shows which precede it.  That may be seen as a wise move to avoid penalizing Florida exhibitors (starting with the AKC/Eukanuba move to Orlando) but to omit specialty entries from point scale calculations is downright dumb.  Will a plethora of specialty shows be approved? 


The Board also decided to re-calculate every year instead of the previous three-year schedule.  Given the instability of dog shows in a worsening economy, one wonders why it wasn't done last year!.



[1] AKC Mission Statement

[2] AKC Chairman’s Report

[3] Failure Of Limited Registrations To Protect AKC Breeders





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