new dog teaches old man a trick or two

AKC: Worth It’s Weight In Dog Poop?

Registration papers from The American Kennel Club (AKC) assure a new owner that he or she has just purchased a quality pup, right?

WRONG! The AKC merely certifies that your pup’s parents, and their parents, were also registered by the AKC.

The bloodlines of your registered pup are pure for at least three generations, and it is guaranteed that your dog’s phenotypic characteristics (size, shape, color, etc.) “resemble” others of its breed.

The standards in NO way guarantee temperament or demand that a dog be able to perform its traditional function – that the Chesapeake be able to swim and fetch, for example.

“An organization created to protect the purity of dog bloodlines has become . . . misguided in its view of ‘quality’ and guilty of encouraging destructive forms of inbreeding that have robbed dogs of traditional skills and left them vulnerable to crippling disease.”

How so?

1. The American Kennel Club defines quality in a dog primarily on the basis of appearance. Scant attention is given to such other canine characteristics as health, temperament, and working skills. Over the years this policy has led to destructive forms of inbreeding that have created dogs capable only of conforming to human standards of beauty. Many can no longer perform their traditional tasks – herding, tracking, hunting – while more than a few cannot live outside a human-controlled environment.

• AKC Irish Setters have been inbred for show quality conformation to the point that they are often ridiculed as being “so dumb that they get lost on the end of their leash.”

• The Cocker Spaniel has not competed in field trials since 1965, having lost its ability to hunt.

• In the 1950s show zealots turned the German Shepherd into a weak-hipped animal with a foul temper and bizarre downward-sloping hindquarters.

• Many of the toy breeds are so small and fragile that they cannot live outside artificial environments.

• The Bulldog and the Boston Terrier have difficulty whelping naturally, because of the breeds’ exaggerated heads, and bitches are regularly subjected to Cesarean sections.

• In Australia the Kelpie, which is considered a rival to the Border Collie in the management of sheep, became the darling of the show ring in the 1930s and within three decades had nearly lost its herding instinct.

2. Because it benefits financially from the registration of dogs produced and sold commercially, the American Kennel Club has failed to take a stand against the puppy mills and pet stores that exploit purebred dogs. It will neither refuse to register those animals – although many dogs, produced and sold under inhumane conditions, are of questionable pedigree and genetic fitness – nor cooperate with authorities seeking to regulate them.

• Puppy-mill dogs are poorly socialized. The crucial periods for puppies to form human contact are six to twelve weeks and again from four to six months. Without that, they often have behavioral problems. Most puppies sold through stores are more than three months old and have missed the first of these periods.

• At most stores puppies (not to mention kittens) receive no medical care and can suffer from worms, dehydration, and malnutrition, in addition to genetic defects. Animals that are sickly and remain unsold are sometimes killed and thrown away

• Critics charge that the AKC has refused to take an active stand against commercial exploitation because it derives more than 70 percent of its annual income from the registration of litters and dogs. That money, they point out, supports all AKC activities, including those in behalf of dog shows and trials, which promote appearance – conformation to an idealized breed standard – as the essence of quality.

“In the AKC,” one official has noted, “the dog becomes an object. People get dogs, don’t use them, and then selectively breed them for characteristics other than work.”

William F. Stifel, a former President of the American Kennel Club, was once asked whether the AKC would register a blind, deaf, three-legged purebred pup with hip dysplasia and green fur.

Stifel’s blunt response? “We would register the dog. AKC unfortunately does not mean quality.”

from The Atlantic, 1990, 265(3), 49

Tzuri AKC Registration Certificate

But what about Tzuri, you ask?


Do I have any assurance that she will be a worthy representative of her breed?

🙂 🙂 🙂

To Be Continued…

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