Fri, 03/19/2021 - 1:46pm

Question of the Week

What priority do you think the newly elected AKC Board of Directors should focus on?

 

Patrick Ormos

Nashville, Tennessee

I would like to see a lot of work done to ensure the integrity of the studbook.

Too many breeds are having strange colors introduced through cross breeding, e.g. blue merle Pembrokes or Frenchies. These genes do not exist in these breeds but have been introduced. Puppies are being sold as AKC registered.

If their parent clubs want to introduce these colors, modify their standards and begin an AKC-supervised program, then good for them. But to crossbreed haphazardly and then lie on the registration applications harms the integrity of our studbook.

 

John Mayhall

Pine, Arizona

I would like to encourage new board members to review the current judges approval process and investigate new ways for applicants to gain knowledge. With the exception of the enormous costs incurred by applicants, I believe in the current process. But there may be other mechanisms available to better address the judges’ approvals in light of the life-altering COVID pandemic. 

 

Debra Hamilton

Pleasantville, New York 

The AKC holds itself out as a pure-breed registry and event sponsor.  

When it comes to mentoring the continued understanding of pure-breed dog ownership, the AKC Board and Delegates do not often step forward to provide education to breeders and new dog owners on how to mentor/be mentored positively, which will result in continued participation in the breed.  We need to work together better as a breed fancy group and educate without derision.  

How do the new Board and Delegate community hope to help longtime breeders foster new blood in the ranks for the long haul? Are they providing education on how to speak with empathy and compassion? Are they providing education to new owners on how to have staying power, even when the road is difficult?

Is the new Board looking to helping clubs provide more transparency between themselves and their members and when questions are asked? Does AKC have programs that teach Boards how to appreciate and acknowledge a different perspective without ostracizing the brave member questioning status quo?

 

Eve Auch

Truckee, California

The AKC should focus on the purebred dog and not so much on the “All American dog.” They have become more concerned with the dollar than purebred dogs.

 

Lorene Wilson

Murrieta, California

The AKC Board should give serious consideration to current technological advances to utilize the full reach of the AKC database by implementing a nationwide AKC Online Entry Service to service its members by lowering entry-fee cost and to streamline the entry process all to one server. AKC Online Entry Service should substantially lower the cost for Junior Showmanship as well as offer a discounted entry fee for the BRED-BY Exhibitor class. 

The AKC must focus to grow the sport by increasing participation. COVID-19 has created substantial challenges toward the financial viability of many dog clubs that cancelled their regularly scheduled events. Under the circumstances, the AKC should give serious consideration to lower the cost of event entries. The AKC should strive to make dog shows a more affordable sport to enable and encourage younger families to participate in the sport of dogs. 

 

Iva Kimmelman

Stow, Massachusetts

The American Kennel Club must get up to speed with the times. This is 2021. They must put breeders/exhibitors at the forefront.

The entire board must actually attend dog events that they control: conformation shows, field trials, lure trials, obedience trials, Juniors judging, CAT, Fast CAT. They must see firsthand what is going on, so they can serve us. This includes all things that pertain to purebred dogs.

I have always tried to keep an open mind about PALS and now this idea with Juniors showing mixed-breed dogs, but frankly I am having a hard time with that last one.

When Juniors are judged, part of the process is evaluation on how the particular breed is being presented to you. How will this work with a goldendoodle, or … ?

 

Margaret Reidy

Ranger, Georgia

I would hope that the new board continues to support Junior handlers being allowed to compete with mixed-breed dogs. The point of a handler is to show a dog at its best, not the pedigree of the dog. Mixed-breed dogs are neutered as part of their ability to be registered [as PAL dogs] with the AKC. Their being in the ring will have no deleterious effect on protecting the purebred dog. Additionally it exposes children – and junior handlers are children – to a world that they may previously not had the opportunity to partake in. Get them around purebred dogs, and they will grow in appreciation for and the determination to have one. Sadly disappointed in the elitism of the March 5 editorial in Dog News.

 

Claire Coppola

Parker, Colorado

In my opinion, the AKC seemingly has lost its way.

The mission of the club is to promote purebred dogs. The show ring is for purebred dogs. It should not be made to be elitist. Opening up back-end titles to all dogs is wonderful, and I agree allows participation of any dog owner and dog.

The general public still doesn't understand the benefit of a purebred dog. Preservation of these breeds and health testing are paramount. Understanding genetics is paramount.

Working with parent clubs to include mission statements that indicate the benefits of purebred dogs is a good starting point.

When mixed-breed dogs sell for double the price of a purebred dog there is something upside down in your marketing program. The AKC Marketplace is to promote purebred dogs. Some of the breeders listed there also sell mixed-breed dogs. They should be immediately removed from the Marketplace, or not allowed to participate in the first place.

AKC member clubs are required to host a dog show. This is becoming increasingly difficult given the fact that much of the volunteer power of these clubs is drying up. Working with the clubs to reorganize, merge or relax the rules about hosting shows in order to make the show circuit stronger is a necessity at this point in time.

I have been showing purebred dogs for 25 years, and in that time frame I think the AKC is losing its mojo, and at an increasing rate of speed. I think it's reaching a crisis level.

There are many purebred-dog owners who would be happy to work with a Junior who wants to show a dog, not necessarily a kid's family mutt. This is a learning experience for Juniors and their parents. This change needs to be rescinded as soon as possible before it even gets off the ground to show them what the conformation ring is all about.

Why would you make the change to allow Juniors to show mixed breed dogs starting in July and then ask the membership afterwards what we think? Are you that out of touch?

I, for one, would like to know who voted in favor of this. I believe it's a bad, bad, bad plan.

 

Marlene Groves

Colorado

I write not as a newbie or an oldie, but someone in the middle, with 20 to 25 years of varied participation in the sport.

Everyone realizes the AKC has many challenges, from COVID to aging participants and judges to a monster-size website. But honestly the number-one thing that holds the sport back is THE POLARIZATION OF DOG CLUBS (with breed clubs probably being the worst).  

We have board members who only serve themselves in their decision-making process. While they whine for volunteers on one hand, on the other hand they squash most members with experience who are actually willing to help, so all things are controlled by a friend or someone in the inner circle. It drives away good people and is not a beacon to attract new people.  

I propose you look very hard at the AKC Rules Governing Breed Clubs, and that you find a place to insert language regarding club board members, and specifically indicate they must “serve and communicate with all members” to be on a board or to serve as a committee chair; and further they should “abstain” on issues that impact or benefit them or their dogs. Basically you can create a “Neutrality In Service Statement.”

I realize that by bringing this forward, I may likely be criticized (perhaps even attacked, as it sort of happens whenever a suggestion or question gets voiced). We need clubs to be able to accept any/all comments and suggestions, and for clubs to start treating all members in a respectful, valuable and equal manner.

As an honest and transparent person, I will not only submit this to Dog News, but also directly to the AKC and to my breed club.

 
Lynda Lamensdorf

Memphis, Tennessee

Same old thing from me! Promote responsibly bred/health tested AKC-registered purebred puppies and dogs using commercial brands of dog-food advertisements – make a deal with them.

Sigh. How many years do I have to say this before SOMEONE listens to me?

 

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