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AKC Corporate Greed Distracts From Core Purpose
Your comments are welcome (below) as AKC focus shifts to the bottom line, mixed-breed dogs and events, canine health, and responsible ownership.
September 17, 2018
Joseph Byer, Jr., Rights Research Editor
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 purebred dog?
Do you think AKC should follow the Coca-Cola example and return to an established, premium product? Please comment below.
AKC Mission Statement: Changes 2005 to Current. The focus shifts to the bottom line, ALL dogs, non-purebred dog events, canine health, and responsible ownership. Also see related instant information for a complete financial picture of ii compiled AKC revenue, pension, and retirement information.
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