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The American Kennel Club's proposal to focus on activities for mixed breed dogs would depreciate the purpose and value of purebred dogs.  We need your comment below!


September 2019 update

Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, SAAB


The March 2015 AKC Board Meeting stated "The recommendation is that AKC provide the means for informal groups of dog owners that are interested in purely social activities centered on their dogs to associate with the AKC. In general, these owners are not interested in AKC’s traditional sports, breeding their dogs, or having the formal structure of the traditional dog club. They are not familiar with what the AKC has to offer."


Was this a prelude to de-emphasizing purebred dogs and conformation dog shows as the primary reason for the American Kennel Club's existence? The AKC Mission Statement{1} was changed to include performance events for what AKC calls Mixed Breed Dogs. The sad fact is that has proven that show breeders take a backseat to Commercial Breeders (puppy mills) in terms of AKC registration income.


You may remember in 2009, AKC announced a new program for mixed breeds{2} after The American Kennel Club Board Of Directors "… 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."


For over a decade TheNetPlacesNetwork has suggested AKC should advertise only purebred dogs and the array of dog sports it already offers. The agenda for "social activities" is not what we had in mind so I called the (then) American Kennel Club Secretary Jim Crowley. Mr. Crowley said he would check on it and get back to me. His next-day email said in part, "there is currently no outreach program as the one we discussed in place nor any plans to implement one. … It was discussed in February … and March, 2015, but as the March minutes indicated it was not pursued at that time and it hasn’t been pursued since, mainly because of a fear by some that this would compete with and draw members away from current AKC clubs and events."


Well said!  Anyone who can balance a checkbook understands that AKC has to implement new income strategies, not-for-profit notwithstanding. Dwindling registrations from show breeders and the small percentage AKC collects from Entry Fees and Kennel Club dues cannot support a company with an ever-increasing budget.


What has AKC done to promote well-bred purebred dogs?

Do you see magazine and TV ads depicting the advantages of owning a carefully bred, lovingly raised purebred dog? No. Does AKC point out the wisdom of purchasing a purebred dog with predictable size, coat type, personality and purpose? No.  Does AKC spend even $1.00 to suggest that people should buy direct from AKC Breeders Of Merit - as opposed to the local pet shop?  Never! 


Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, why not address the fact that the baby is drowning due to lack of support? I have personally implored AKC Board Members to reach out through mainstream media advertising. That hasn't happened.


Why doesn't AKC do more to encourage purebred dog owners' interest in the wonderful array of AKC events? A pretty pamphlet included with the registration certificate is not enough to interest new owners in obedience classes or dog shows but a reminder on puppy matches at 4 months would be timely. A flyer about AKC shows, Barn Hunt, Agility and companion events would generate interest when the puppy most needs training and control.


If the slump in purebred dog ownership continues, where does that leave the judges and breeders who have devoted themselves to a craft that seems headed for antiquity? Not with "mixed breed" dogs that's for sure!


Do you think moving beyond purebred dogs and events is right for AKC? Does bringing "mixed breeds" into the AKC demean the value of purebred/breed type (i.e. "typical" size, coat type, personality, behavior, talents, and health)?


Subscriber Anne Fontaine said, “...should the AKC denigrate into an "All dogs are equal" group, I think I may, after 50 years, take the road more traveled and just give up registering with the AKC at all. I have had 40 Champions and numerous Obedience titled dogs and have encouraged puppy buyers to look into the fun aspects of dog showings - with Junior Showmanship, obedience and agility sports. I may as well save my money and time if mutts = purebreds.


Subscriber Caroline Hair said, “AKC needs to return to a policy of requiring all breed clubs to hold at least one show a year in their own territory. I am frequently asked by people seeking to learn more about a breed ask when our local dog show is scheduled. For almost ten years I have had to tell them that the local kennel club only holds shows as part of clusters over a HUNDRED MILES AWAY! Our obedience club does hold local obedience and agility trials several times a year but this isn't the best place for the public to learn about specific breeds from experienced breeders, especially as there are mixed breeds competing at these events. We need for AKC to stop trying to be all things to all dogs and do all it can to promote PUREBRED DOGS AND RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS.


But what about "Anonymous" who replied to Anne Fontaine, “All dogs are equal and Mixed Breeds compete equally in all areas…” ?  Review the 3 links below first, then tell our staff and 1.2 million readers how you feel about AKC having changed direction (without changing the Mission Statement) and putting mongrels on a par with purebred dogs.


See these related articles and give us your opinion on whether AKC should focus on the purebred dog or promote "all dogs" including mutts/mongrels.  Is the ever-increasing AKC events open to "All-American dogs" contradictory to the AKC Mission Statement and charter?


{1} AKC Mission Statement  {2} AKC Mixed Breeds Program  {3} Puppy Mill Defined EST 2002 © 1621908


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