AKC plays good breeders for fools

October 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

A while back, the top dogs at the American Kennel Club brought to their member clubs a plan to make it easier for puppy-mills“high-volume breeders” to register their widgetspuppies with what once was the best “brand”in the dog world.

The members of those member clubs, who pride themselves on being ethical, responsible breeders, responded with torches and pitchforks, and the plan seemed to be shelved.

Except apparently not.

ftsFaced with declining registrations (and so, revenue) because of competing registries that print “papers” for puppy-mill dogs, including (gasp!) non-purebreds such as puggles, maltipoos, labradoodles and more, the AKC brass continued on course. These registries had sprung up when the AKC  officially cared about dogs spending their lives in cages  — or at least cared about the integrity of its records of “pure” dogs — and the millers realized as long as a dog had “papers” most pet-store buyers neither knew nor cared what organization (or dude in his basement) printed them.

Add a couple of other factors to the defection of puppy-milling scum bucks: The greater awareness of health problems associated with small gene pools common in purebred dogs and the recent cache associated with adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue group. (Both great developments, by the way!)

The problem for the AKC: It needs the money from the back shop (puppy mills) to pay to keep the display window (dog shows) decorated.

They could change their business model. But instead, they chose to help “raise the bar” on high-volume breeders — sell their failing brand to “model” operations that may be cleaner and have kennel help with more teeth and a clean smock, but that still ignore what we have known for generations now: A family pet needs to be raised in a family, not in a kennel. Because factory farmed pets have problems out the wazoo , many stemming their unfamiliarity with what a human home is really like.  Even worse: The lives of the “breeding stock,” who will never know what it’s like to be a pet.  Clean cages don’t fix the miserable lives of these dogs, and no true dog-lover would ever pretend they do.

Oh, and to judge from my e-mail, the AKC has also chosen to spend utter gobs on very pricey blue-ribbon PR firms to promote what’s in that display window.  Because the high-volume breeders aren’t going to be interested in paying for a brand that doesn’t have a good image with consumers, are they?

How far will the  AKC willing to sell out ethical, reputable breeders? How little does the AKC actually care about dogs?

Go here, here and here.

Honestly, I’ve gone from hoping the AKC will reform to hoping they implode. Then maybe  we can build an organization that actually does care about dogs — all dogs, even shelter dogs — as well as the preservation and protection of our heritage breeds, the celebration of and support for ethical breeding practices (including putting some fresh waster in up those disease-riddled gene pools)  and working to end puppy-mills, however “high the bar” is raised for these factory farms.

The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom has shown some small signs that it cares more about dogs than “purity.”  I’m still waiting for some small sign that the American Kennel Club cares more about dogs than money.

But all I keep seeing in the opposite. The rot is clear through to the core, I’m afraid.

Hat tip to Terrierman, and yes, I know the top picture made his head explode.

When blogs collide: Yes, it’s true. I’m spending the weekend at Dr. Patty Khuly’s house in … Miami.  Again, thank heavens I have a good house-sitter and great neighbor, otherwise with all the critters here I’d never go anywhere.


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AKC plays good breeders for fools Watch Your Step-High Wire Dog

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