When Joe Biden is sworn in as 46th president, his German Shepherds will join him in the White House.
Wed, 12/02/2020 - 9:34pm

Editorial: December 4, 2020

Purebreds in the White House, AKC's Doodle-derived faux pas and DNA deliberations


As President-Elect Joe Biden and Mrs. Biden prepare for their move into the White House, the overwhelming headline was a first: A 2-year-old Shepherd shelter dog was moving into the White House. Somewhere in the story that followed was the mention of a 12-year-old German Shepherd Dog also moving in with the Bidens. As is the norm, these purebred dogs take second billing to anything rescue and shelter related. So it was with much unhappiness that breeders and owners of purebred dogs were incensed with the sale of Labradoodle merchandise and the like at the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog’s gift shop. When questioned about the inclusion, the AKC reply was that a former employee purchased these items. While we are concerned about the well-being of all dogs, the American Kennel Club should be promoting purebred dogs, not cross-breeds and mixed breeds. It was suggested by Dog News to the powers that be at AKC that instead of selling these items that they take a tax write-off and donate these stuffed animals to the children of the women in the women’s shelters they support through their AKC Humane Fund. 



In this day of DNA testing, is it time that all dogs registered with the American Kennel Club be required have submit carrier status for various genetic diseases? As we try to eliminate the diseases that many breeds inherit and strides are made in that direction, has the time come? Many dogs are now imported from countries that, while recognized by the American Kennel Club, have registering bodies that are not very old and the pedigrees may not go back as many generations as we would like. So health testing in these countries is minimal at best. 



Once again, the merrymakers on the AKC Board of Directors continue the tradition of giving out gifts. Earlier this year because of COVID-19, they modified the judges approval process to allow judges to ask for six additional permit breeds beyond the maximum number they were permitted to apply for, and expanded the number of CEUs (Continuing Education Units, i.e. kennel visit, national-specialty mentoring, etc.) permitted in various categories. This gift to move judges along, set to expire on December 31, 2020, was extended to March 31, 2021. Don’t we have enough judges judging too many breeds as it is? Would a six-month moratorium disrupt the greater plan? More is not necessarily better, and knowledge can’t be pushed up by six. 



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