Editorial: November 10, 2023
Once again, the American Kennel Club will host its very popular version of Meet the Breeds at the Javits Center in New York City on January 27 and 28, 2024. Once again, it’s the purebred dog breeder’s opportunity to support this worthy event, which promotes our belief in breeding healthy and happy purebred dogs and to help dispel any negativity that is reported on in our sport. We face massively widespread popular beliefs put forth by animal-rights groups that we breed unhealthy and badly behaved animals, while they wax poetic about cross- and mixed-breed dogs that have found their way, through no fault of their own, into animal shelters. Never does one hear about the percentage of mixed-breed dogs versus purebred dogs that are found in shelters. Overall, we do a great job of protecting the dogs we breed and finding responsible individuals who are willing to commit to their puppy for its entire life. Of course, there is the rare exception when an individual is found to be guilty of misuse. But while reprehensible, cases like that from our community are very rare. We carry a heavy burden to get our side of the story told to the public. Sadly, the public is not made award of our contributions to the progress in health research that benefits not only our dogs but all dogs with regard to finding cures for disease that will one day benefit humans as well. The dissemination of this information falls squarely on the shoulders of the American Kennel Club.
One would like to see the American Kennel Club spend more resources on this neglected area. This is where our participation in Meet the Breeds can help spread the word. The New York event towers over the others that have been held across the country. The hype, the crowds and the sheer joy on the faces of the public who attend are proof positive it can be and is a great promotion for the sport. New York is a proven success, while other Meet the Breed events have not enjoyed the number of breeders participating in the event or the audience they hoped would attend. Whether it’s an organizational issue or the lack of communication with local breeders who would support these events, there has to be some soul-searching into the reasons by the American Kennel Club: Why is New York such a great success that is not shared by the other events? Dog News has in the past suggested that there be regional representatives, divided by variety groups, who help the American Kennel Club enlist breeders in their area to support the breed booths of all our registered breeds. Meet the Breeds is too good and valuable a vehicle to let fall through the cracks. So we will see you at the Javits Center in January.