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The AKC and "papers"

September 22, 2008

Often I hear people talk about the AKC and how it is important in their decision to buy a pup. While the fact that a pup's parents may be registered with the AKC can be important it should not be the ONLY reason you go with a particular breeder. Often during the discussion they talk of breeding their dog because, after all, "it has papers" Let's look at this from two points First, how important is the AKC and .second, just what is the value of papers.

The American Kennel Club has been around a long time. I must admit I enjoy going to dog shows and occasionally watching them on the Animal Planet. There is no doubt that a great deal of time and money goes into campaigning a dog for it's AKC championship.

However, I am of the opinion that form follows function, NOT the other way around. In other words, a dog should be bred on it's ability do the function the breed was originally created for. Not for the fickle whims of fashion. Does anyone think the poodle was originally cut to look so outlandish when it was originally retrieving game from water? Does anyone think a Bouvier could work on a farm with the ridiculous style of cut it wears into the show ring? The American bred German shepherd has been changed so much from it's origins that it is practically considered a different breed from it's European cousins. For any serious professional looking for a German shepherd for police or military work, the LAST thing they look for is AKC papers. .Quite often that is the kiss of death and trainers will not even look at the dog. It is quite common to hear things such as "the AKC ruined the German shepherd in this country" These dogs may make excellent pets and house dogs, but a CHAMPION? Any dog that can not do what it was originally intended for is not a champion. Ok, before I get emails saying I am advocating that American Pitbulls should be able to go back to their roots of dog fighting, hold it a minute,

Let me say I deplore dog fighting and those who involve themselves in it. I do say though that an American Pitbull should be able to demonstrate his working ability also.. There are many venues possible for that today. The list seems to grow all the time. Even the AKC offers a Temperament Test but it is not mandatory for a dog to be a "champion". There are breed specific temperament tests offered out there also that are not so generic. What they are not is someone's "opinion"., but rather a pass of fail test for a dog. The animal either can pass, or it can not pass. What does it mean for a dog to win a dog show, other than a judge thought that today this was the dog that most correctly fit the breed standard for LOOKS.. A dog that pees itself at the first loud noise or some other nonsense can still be a champion. It is only that particular judge's opinion, on that particular day that matters. No pass or fail, no points to earn or lose (other than show points). Nothing that is not arbitrary. I am not even going to go into the politics and costs of campaigning a dog. What I am saying, is in my opinion, for a dog to be called a CHAMPION, , for the title to mean something, a dog should have to do more than look pretty. There are many, many people out their w/ho are doing things the right way. Besides entering their dog in dog shows, they compete with their dog in a wide variety of sports to prove their dog is a worthy champion. My" hat off "to those people for their dedication. If I was to spend my hard earned money on a pup, these are the breeders I would look to.

As for papers, there are many dog registries out there besides AKC. If that is your thing, ok, but investigate first. Look at the parents, what have they produced, what are they like, how did their other pups turn out? These are all questions you should be asking. Remember, a pup with one eye and one ear who hates kids and pees during thunder storms, can still get papers and still be bred by unscrupulous people. Papers are no guarantee you will get what you wanted or that your pup will grow up to be worthy of being bred itself. The Animal shelters are full of dogs that desperately need a caring home. Please consider one of these animals also. Do not let the fact that they do not have their "papers" sway your decision. If it is your goal to compete in some venue with your dog then yes, papers will be important, otherwise, do you really need them?

This is how I feel, what do you think?

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