Question of the Week
I think "supporting breed clubs to discover problems" lies more in the realm of the CHF. And the Kennel Club does support their efforts to find markers for disease specific to individual breeds. AKC should encourage the breed clubs to learn what and how they can donate DNA to the Canine Health Foundation to continue their work.
There is work by AKC but not public and not enough. I would love to see coordination and scientific information to help parent clubs and breeders. Breeders and the public need accurate information and help in utilizing it in a proactive positive way. All poor results do not mean “throw the dog/bitch out with the bath water”! Share information and make positive decisions.
Yes, we have the Canine Health Foundation but to my knowledge the AKC has never contacted the Norfolk club to send a representative speaker to encourage us to test our dogs. Years back when I was the president of the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club there was talk of testing our dogs. Truthfully I didn’t understand it, after all the Norfolk I saw were standing on all fours; nothing seemed wrong. I enlisted the aid of Lee Arnold, who I believe at the time was the president of Canine Health. Lee was invited to speak to my club during the Montgomery weekend. The room was packed with breeders of both breeds. Thereafter we got a handle on health issues in the breeds and took action. The Norfolk have continued with health testing due to that very first meeting. It is in the best interest of all breeds if the AKC took more of an interest in various situations breed clubs face, health being a major one.
The AKC, Canine Health Foundation and their research are advancing purebred dogs' health at a greater rate than ever before in history. Their work is monumental and the only organization of its type in the world. I’m grateful, as their work is making these the best of times for breeders to be illuminated by the best choices science has to offer. Making “purebred predictable on purpose.”