The American Kennel Club & Integrity…omg

I have been grooming dogs since the  late 1960s.  Our industry is the pet industry. There are several trade publications that  anyone can receive for free.  You just have to sign up to get them.

One of these magazines is Pet Age.  Clearly, they aren’t about making policy. All they do is report the facts.  The facts are, as reported in Pet Age, December 2009, on page 8 in the ‘Briefs’ section :  The Hunte Corp. (Goodman, Mo.) in conjunction with the American Kennel Club (New York…actually—Raleigh, NC, but I’m quibbling) hosted a free health clinic for professional dog breeders Sept.3—4.  Nearly 100 adult breeding dogs received heart and joint exams as well as grooming services during the clinic.

This is the same American Kennel Club that  publishes the Gazette for the hobbyists/fanciers, and  which regulates dog shows & trials, maintains our studbooks, and has a huge marketing campaign  trying to get people to insist on AKC papers.

Since they are really the ‘only game in town’ (nobody really trusts the United Kennel Club for their studbooks, & the Continental Kennel Club—which has a post office box for an address—that the puppy mill breeders use when their  records are so bad even the AKC won’t take their money?  Puh-lease…), the hobby breeders have to hold their noses & continue to register with AKC…but  the way it works is that hobby breeders are members of kennel clubs.   Kennel Clubs MAY become members of the AKC, and they then elect delegates to the AKC to represent their interests at monthly meetings…& no delegate has brought this up at a meeting!  At least not yet.

The excuse (I mean the explanation) the AKC gives for allowing the professional breeder  to mass produce puppies & not keep them in  stress free surroundings?  Hobby breeders can’t keep up with demand for puppies.

If there is anything that would make you  address your own sanity, it’s the idea that both the ASPCA & HSUS (NOT a humane society, but a lobbying organization) do more to try to warn the public about puppy mills than the AKC.   The AKC is not going to bite the hand that feeds it—& currently, the hands are puppy mills, providing way more food than the hobby breeders.

Notice, the demand is not for adult dogs—but puppies.  We know for certain that in some breeds: Basenjis, Shiba Inus, Jack or Parson Russell Terriers, that  for every puppy sold, one ends up in rescue.   The rescues tend to keep statistics.   There are several reasons for this.  One reason is that the types of people who are attracted to certain dogs are not honest with themselves. They are not introspective, and are attracted to the dogs ‘ conformation—its looks— & don’t really understand the temperament or personality of the breeds.  But another reason is that hobby breeders are not only not screening their potential buyers carefully enough, they are selling intact puppies that can be easily bred when mature.  Go back & read my blog on Integrity & being a purebred dog fancier & humane activist.  Naive  hobby breeders who think that everyone has the same level of integrity as they do have just assumed that puppy buyers really love the breed so much that they would never jeopardise it.  They might not even know they are  jeopardizing it  if  the hobby breeders don’t address  what they are doing to ensure the future of the breed, genetic testing, etc.

Unfortunately—what is happening is that—to stop mandatory spay/neuter legislation, hobby breeders will have to join up with lobbyists for puppy mills (who have so much more money), in many states—-to be able to continue  maintaining the integrity of their breeds.  Most are libertarian in their political dealings:  that is, they don’t want to become involved. What will happen is that they will be restricted and stop breeding.  The fact is, in many places—the legislation is really fair:  they limit breeders to keeping no more than 20 breedable dogs. What kind of hobby breeder would need more dogs than that?

In the meantime, if we fanciers don’t address what the AKC is allowing, none of us will be able to afford  genetically sound purebred dogs.  We either have to ask the AKC to come up with a registry class for the poorly bred  puppy mill purebreds, or accept the idea that  many breeds will not have viable gene pools due to so many dogs being carriers or genetic defects.  It may be happening to Bedlington Terriers, due to copper retention in their livers—but the puppy mills won’t bother with Bedlingtons.  All  you Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, & Chihuahua fanciers—are you going to ignore this?


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5 Responses to “The American Kennel Club & Integrity…omg”

  1. Mary Nagy Says:

    AKC does provide information on how to find and recogznie a responsible breeder. And it is absolutely true that the ‘hobby’ breeders cannot possibly meet up with demand. Most of them have a list of puppy-buyers waiting so the outside stranger has no chance of getting one. Commercial, or higher-volume breeders need to be held to a standard of care, not to numbers. The old kennels of the past had a lot of breeding dogs, yet they are still renowned for the quality of the dogs produced and their care. I applaud all efforts by the AKC and Hunte Corporation to continue to educate the breeders, no matter how many dogs they have in their kennels. This is truly the way to go. And finally, the breeding industry needs to be stronger in self-regulation. We cannot sweep sub-standard breeding, based on CARE not numbers, under the rug. I would also appreciate if HSUS would stop stealing.. oops, I mean seizing, and selling dogs from kennels, but instead part with some of that huge fortune to help breeders who are trying to do a good job. Educate them, and follow up with them to ensure positive changes are being made. Assist them if they have hit hard times in this economic chaos, with vet bills or feeding. There should be an HSUS assistance fund for these cases. HSUS, however, makes a ton of money in donations for every super-hyped raid they do. If ALL breeders were perfect, HSUS would find another reason to raid and seize the animals. This is a large part of their funding scheme.

  2. disparateinterests Says:

    I rest my case–
    The AKC states that the vast majority of puppies registered are bred by hobby & show breeders? Over 20.000 puppies a month? Do you believe that? That’s like believing the Amish puppy mills are run by families—so they are not puppy mills.
    & the Canine Health Foundation? In many cases, we know where the genetic defects come from: dogs with genetic defects that are bred produce more dogs with genetic defects.
    & true lots of puppies & dogs are imported to ‘meet the demand’—but there are no statistics on all those imported dogs to tell us how many find permanent homes.
    & I have nothing against people breeding their family pets—many are show quality dogs. The issue remains that not all the family pets sold end up in ‘forever’ homes & live ‘happily ever after’. We spend a lot of money rounding up stray dogs & biting dogs in Chicago.
    You tend to defend the practice from a political point of view rather than a ‘genetic health’ point of view. You state that many show breeders are narrowing their gene pool. Are you aware that the Portuguese Water Dog breed in this country started with less than 50 dogs less than 30 years ago? You have no evidence that commercial breeders have a more robust, outcrossed gene pool. & you totally ignore my point about demand. Sure—there is great demand for designer hybrid PUPPIES. We have veterinarians—‘experts’ in genetics (ha!) telling people that mixes are more genetically sound. How many are in a shelter by the time they are 2 years old? That is what the real issue is. We know there is a demand for puppies. Something tells me you are a hobbyist or backyard breeder who really wants to believe that every dog he ever sold is still with the original buyer.

  3. disparateinterests Says:

    I guess the concept of being responsible for actually interviewing prospective puppy buyers & turning down inappropriate homes—whether people have the money or not—is not the issue you think is of most importance. That the dogs will mostly be good pets is a given—-but the best example I have of what actually happens is the Associated Press story reported (in the Chicago Tribune) on Sunday, 12/27 regarding the ‘glut’ of Chihuahuas being dumped in Los Angeles Area aniaml shelters—to the tune of approximately 340 a month. The reporter says the rescues blame the backyard breeders. There is no doubt there was a demand for PUPPIES—-it’s the adult dogs ther are no demand for. hould be responsibile for the unwanted dogs? The buyers? They aren’t—they’ve dumped them. I say the breeders….& it seems that many breeders of the ‘rarer’ breeds agree with me—but the AKC does not.

  4. disparateinterests Says:

    Again—-the L.A. Chihuahuas are said to come from ‘backyard breeders’. These people don’t consider themselves breeders. Go to & you will see some parent clubs take the welfare of the dogs they are stewarding seriously. Bottom line is that the AKC doesn’t really are about this issue. They do not educate the novice or backyard breeders about ethics in the fancy. If that isn’t their job—how is hosting a health clinic and providing grooming services to commercial breeders justified? If you are a hobby breeder, why doesn’t this upset you?

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