Columns: No Margins, No Limits, No Kidding!
No AKC Brand For Purebred Dogs?
The public is mesmerized by all the cute little dogs at the dog show, but they are just not buying puppies from show breeders.
January 31, 2011
Nina Garcetti, West Coast Reporter
Given their choice of a family companion, more and more the public believes a dog from a reputable breeder is genetically inferior to a pet “rescued” from a shelter. Hey, saving a life “feels good” and is much more noble than buying a pricey purebred.
The Golden Gate Kennel Clubs All Breed Benched show is held in Daly City, CA. As the newspaper polled the public, breeders, and our own AKC Rep, the writer elicited what has become the prevailing public sentiment of the pet owning public.
Steer Clear Of Purebred Dogs
An owner of a rescued Boxer proudly described how she had saved the all white dog from certain death at the hands of a breeder who apparently euthanized them at birth due to genetic problems. Her dog was just fine. As the reporter pushed our AKC Representative on the subject of white Boxers, he confirmed that yes, white boxers tend to suffer from blindness and seizure disorders. Any reputable breeder would euthanize them at birth!
Making the rounds at the show, our gumshoe from The S.F. Chronicle came upon an all white Bulldog in the benching area. This dog was deaf. Our writer wasted no time in driving that point home.
The Animal Rights Message Is Clear
Meanwhile, outside the venue, our local Animal Rights group spent a reported $8,000 for a billboard near the entrance to the show. Using it as a backdrop for their demonstration, the message was loud and clear… Adopting a shelter dog “Saves Lives” while “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs Chances.”
The two-day “pageant” included the grisly reenactment of euthanasia of some animal rights guy in a dog suit. I had to laugh at the irony. Still, the video loop of the dastardly deed in a real shelter reportedly played on a video loop all afternoon for everyone arriving at the dog show. There is no mistaking it. The point was made. The pet owning public needs to save a dog, not buy one from a reputable breeder. There are purebred dogs of any breed available simply for the taking.
No AKC Brand Recognition
So where was our message here? And what is a reputable breeder anyway? AKC has never defined that. Maybe they should rent a video crew.
In an effort for AKC to “brand” itself, have they completely overlooked WHAT it is they are selling? Which is more important? Peepads, dog toys and dog bed commercials or presenting the purebred dog as the quintessential family companion? Somebody needs to decide!
The message from TV land is loud and clear. “Send money to save lives!” HSUS has built a war chest that surpasses anything AKC has contemplated, let alone considered matching on behalf of purebred dogs. We have given our public relations prize, the Westminster Dog Show telecast over to the same cause. It promotes “Pet adoption” and “Shelter Dogs“. “Purebred dogs… why buy one when you can SAVE one at a shelter near you for free!”
When was the last time you saw an equine telecast that failed to promote The American Quarter Horse Association? The AQHA is BRANDING THEIR PRODUCT. The Quarter Horse! So where is AKC’s commercial on any dog show telecast? Right now, nowhere. It’s a pee pad ad!
How about putting this message out there at every commercial break? “AKC… Keeping America’s pet owning traditions alive” or… “The right dog for America’s Family.. Buy a purebred dog from a breeder. ” Or “A healthy family companion from people with a lifelong devotion to America's Pets”
It wouldn’t hurt to pay for primetime ad spots on network and cable too. AKC registrations are plummeting. It is easy to see why. If you can’t keep your product front and center in the public eye, you have nothing to sell.
So, where’s the value in something you can’t give away? Hey AKC, if I can’t give it away, I am not gonna register it either!
Read Nina’s take on Wooly Mammoth Judges
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