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The dog fancy is concerned with the shaky future of “the sport of dogs” and what the new AKC Board of Directors will do to protect show breeders.


March 5, 2012

Barbara "BJ" Andrews, SAAB Member


Those in the know feel that the marketability of well-bred purebred dogs will be either preserved or destroyed by the next two American Kennel Club Board elections. Here’s why...


This year’s election, March 13th, is especially critical. For the first time in AKC’s history, the Chairman of the Board (Ron Menaker) and the Vice Chair (Tom Davies) are being replaced simultaneously. Long time Board member Walter Goodman will also be term-limited. All are eligible to run again next year.


TheDogPress asked Steven Gladstone (re-elected to the Board in 2011) how both the Chairman and the Vice Chair seats could become vacant at the same time? Steve said it was “unexpected and unplanned” but occurred due to the new term limits voted in by the Delegates.


Gladstone said that either Carl Ashby or Allan Kalter is expected to be immediately elected as Chairman but that both men are up for re-election to the Board the following year.  Okay so if by some fluke a person is not re-elected to the board, that person becomes ineligible to serve as Board Chairman?  He replied in the affirmative.


The AKC Board Partnership With Show Breeders:

Whether we call it a sport, hobby, or profession, the term encompasses breeding, showing, and judging dogs. How well breeders support the sport determines the future of those who judges them and the continued ability of kennel clubs to host shows and provide viable resources for their respective communities.


Reread the above and then let’s be honest. What is it today that would prompt a person to seek out a “Responsible Breeder”of AKC registered purebred dogs? Nothing. Even if a family takes the time to search out when a dog show is being held or broadcast, or they go on the internet to study breeds, and if they decide on a pure breed they like, where do they go to find it?


Question: Does a newspaper ad or a roadside sign proclaiming “AKC Puppies For Sale” have the same meaning it did 20 or 30 years ago?


Everywhere you look, including your local classified ads, you will be directed to a shelter. If you watch Animal Planet and live in New York City, you will go to the ASPCA to save some poor defenseless dog rescued from a “bad breeder” or a hoarder, or an animal abuser who takes in strays. If you watch other network shows, you will see ten mutts for every purebred dog. No more Lassies, or Jake And The Fat Man Bulldog (ref #1) or the Beverly Hillbillies Bloodhound.


Will The New AKC Board Honor A Contract With Breeders?

The future of “the sport of dogs” hinges on AKC’s dedication to marketing the desirability of owning an AKC registered dog. It’s that simple.


We asked Steve Gladstone why AKC doesn’t do more to market the AKC Brand (ref #2). He said that AKC has “spent a ton of money in the advertising and marketing department and is now testing everything.” Pressed for more information, Gladstone agreed to discuss ways in which he believes AKC can promote both its brand and the value and desirability of an AKC registered puppy. We will follow up on that.


So who will win this milestone election? The candidates are all extremely qualified. If anyone missed the outstanding coverage afforded by Dog News, go to their website and peruse the candidate’s answers to the questions posed by John Mandeville and Matt Stander. Then, together with other club members, form a consensus by which to direct your AKC Delegate’s votes. Don’t delay! The election is March 13th.


Who do we like? I knew you’d ask. There are seven delegates running. They are all qualified and committed to the sport. TheDogPress knows less about the candidates than you do if you happen to be a member of a breed or kennel club in which they are active.


Who is to blame for long-time breeders dropping out, judges planning vacations instead of filling a month with assignments.  Why are so many good breeders no longer bothering with registering pet pups?  Do show breeders have to shoulder part of the blame for the state of the sport today?


Yes.  Of course.  Have you held your club member or delegate accountable for the mess we’re in or were you too busy going to shows?  Were you reluctant to criticize or speak out for fear it would come back to haunt you.  What did you really say or do about AKC opening the door for questionable puppy mill registrations (ref #3)?


What has your club Delegate done to stop plummeting registrations? How do they feel about the growing commercialism of AKC? Has that person ever explained AKC’s real mission to you? Have you asked…?


Did you join the uproar over the Pedigree foods ads promoting mutts during the Westminster broadcast? What was the person seeking re-election’s heartfelt position?


Do you believe AKC should market the advantages of owning a purebred dog? Some current board members feel strongly about that. We had predicted that advertising guru Alan Kalter would take the AKC to a new level of public awareness. It has not happened.


We will be asking both sitting and the newly elected board members to go on record regarding the critical issues which will decide the future of the “dog sport.”


Get related information and dig for gold below.

Ref #1 Jake's Breeder/Trainer Interview

Ref #2 No AKC Brand For Purebred Dogs

Ref #3 AKC Registration Rule Changes Benefit Puppy Mills EST 2002 © 1203



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