Sunday, February 25, 2007

Should AKC allow mixed breed dogs in competition?

AKC 's Objective:

• Advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs.

AKC's Core Values:
  • We love purebred dogs
  • We are committed to advancing the sport of the purebred dog
  • We are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our Registry
  • We protect the health and well-being of all dogs
  • We cherish dogs as companions
  • We are committed to the interests of dog owners
  • We uphold high standards for the administration and operation of the AKC
  • We recognize the critical importance of our clubs and volunteers
Now, AKC is considering allowing mixed breed dogs to be able to compete in working events (obedience, tracking, agility, etc.) They are polling the public - here is the poll:

On the first page of the information packet attached to the poll, they state:
"Exposing mixed breed dog owners to AKC and encouraging them to make their next dog a purebred by showing them that purebred dogs consistently outperform mixed breeds...."

Which has owners of both pure bred dogs and mutts up in arms. That paragraph goes on to provide statistics "proving" purebred dogs are better than mixed breeds. Whatever.
They also are polling whether mutts can perform in the same events, or have their own seperate events - is this a "back of the bus" thing? Or, is AKC worried that mutts may actually start "outperforming" purebreds? Things that make you go hmmmm.
Say a university was considering whether to begin accepting into its programs. "It has been proven that is inferior and cannot perform as well as our elites. If we allow them to participate in a limited capacity, more people will realise how inferior they really are, and how much more desirable the elites are." I can't see how the AKC statement can be read any other way and I find it really insulting!

Opponents of the bill say:
Why pay to be part of an organization that thinks we are inferior?
AKC is just after the money, because their registrations are down - many other registries accept both mixed and purebred dogs to compete in all sorts of working events.
It counters their stated purpose - upholding the integrity of purebred dogs.
Which they already don't honor, since they will register any litter out of AKC parentage without regard to the integrity of the breeder. Tens of thousands of puppy mill and poorly bred puppies get pumped into the market already, and to date the AKC has never used their authority to stem the tide or censor crap for-profit breeders.

Supporters of the bill:
Welcome the chance to take both their pure bred, and their mixed-breed dogs to the same events.
Say that if more people are exposed to AKC core values, they will better understand the importance of supporting both rescue and proper breeding practices.
AKC will use their increased profits to do more to educate the public.
AKC should take SOME sort of responsibility for providing activities for the street bred or deliberately bred mixes resulting from the purebreds which provide their bread and butter.

Since I voted vehemently against, I'll counter the above "for" points of view.
There are already many organizations where one can compete with both pure and mixed breed dogs. Granted, it would be nice to have another venue.
Anyone who is working and competing with dogs is already dog-savvy enough to understand about proper breeding and the importance of rescue.
Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.
Good point, although I am not convinced this is the best way to "take responsibility."

If you have an opinion one way or another, go ahead and vote! If you disagree with me, I love to hear opposing views. :)


Blogger Caroline said...

I am definitely "for". There are other registries that permit mixed-breed dogs to compete, but the AKC events are by far the most well-known, numerous and frequent. They could do a lot to encourage spaying and neutering of mixed-breed dogs if they permitted mixed-breeds to compete when altered - like UKC and AMBOR regulations. They would also need to be prepared in some way, however, for the increase in competition, especially in the more popular arenas like agility.
I had not heard of this bill. I guess I should read some of those "Front & Finish" magazines that I haven't looked at in some time.
BTW, I have purebreds, but my new puppy is a cross-bred - English shepherd (not AKC recognized) X rough collie. I actually have considered doing competition obedience with her in the alternative registries - she's very smart. She was purchased as a farm dog, not a competition dog (although I did compete with my Aussies until a few years ago).

7:38 AM  
Anonymous jan said...

I love it: When you see how our stars outperform your riff'll learn better and just kick your riff raff out. Will the mixed breeds get a fair shake at the competitions?

I have two purebreds and two mixed breeds. I think this is an effort by AKC to try to remain relevant and to increase revenue.Can't blame them for trying, I guess.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I love mixed breed doggies and think they should be allowed in.

Or maybe they should just have their own competition so they have a chance to compete.

10:58 PM  
Blogger threecollie said...

I stepped back from the AKC quite a few years ago, because of the puppy mill, ruin the breed as a working dog thing, that has gone on with too many breeds. I was not real pleased when they accepted Border Collies and I don't think much of what passes for them in the breed ring. I hope BC's never get too popular.

6:59 AM  
Blogger carina said...

Those of you with word verification - I was going to respond on your blogs, but Blogger is messing up and is not displaying a verifier can't!

Caroline - after talking this over with quite a few other people, I'm starting to change my mind a little...I'm still not sure! There are definitely great points to be made on both sides.

Jan, yup. That was my first response! I personally think a dog is a dog is a dog, it's character and temperament that count. I like Rottweilers because I like that general breed character, but I've also had lots of mutts.

Karen - one possible plan under the AKC proposal would be to haver seperate events, but that's just an idea they're throwing lout there.

3collie (thanks for posting that movie story) - yup. :) A lot of people were unhappy when they accepted BCs. Being a popular AKC breed is a BAD thing, inevitably means a huge increase in poorly bred and unwanted purebred dogs.

7:11 AM  
Blogger e said...

HI Carina, Cooper and Daphne
Eve is sooo glad she found your blog. It's a really good and informative read.
Thanks a lot Carina for all the replies on my foray into BARF.

I am for mixed breeds in competitions. I love my mixed breeds and the exposure can help the underdog.

Eve and Fei

9:27 AM  
Blogger JJ said...

That statement makes me insane. I can tell you without a doubt that my "mixed-breed" rescue Aspen could outperform any of those AKC "elite" dogs at any level. She has a love of the game unlike many I've seen there just chasing titles for their breeding program. However, since I'm not a huge fan of AKC anyway, I don't know that I'd take her there to be put down and ridiculed, since they already make fun of my sheltie for his face.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

My love of obedience training and competition comes because of a mixed breed dog. I was excited when I first heard about the survey, but disappointed when I read one of the goals was to show how well purebreds out perform mixed breeds and even more disappointed when I saw so many people against allowing mixed breeds. One of the biggest being that they feel, allowing mixed breeds will cause people to breed mixed breeds for performance.
The UKC and The Kennel Club has successfully incorporated mixed breeds into their programs without this occurring. Heck, even normal registration isn't without it's problems. Maybe I am just being wishful, but I can only see the benefits.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Nightshift said...

I am mostly for promoting purebred dogs. The AKC is going to do what they want. I am afraid this will promote mixed breed breeding more then it already is. I do not promote mixed breeding because its a proven fact that 95 % of all dogs that end up in shelters are mixed breed. Is it because mixed breeds just don't measure up? Are they not as intelligent, so therefore a nusciance.

10:34 AM  

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