Breed Standards Ensure Preservation


  • May 25, 2019
  • by Barbara (BJ) Andrews

From the monthly column "On The Line", ShowSight Dog Show Magazine, May 2019 Issue. CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE.  Pictured above: For many older people, lap dogs are more comforting than pain meds.

You build a winning bloodline only to see it diminished by those who would stop cropping ears and/or docking tails in a breed whose Breed Standard requires it.

Has AKC has sold out breed club Standards in exchange for the significant $$$ income generated by registering imported dogs and selling certified pedigrees? Just as troubling, can the American Kennel Club be influenced by “animal rights” supporters who are so insecure that they have to “make a statement” by showing an uncropped and/or undocked dog?

There is nothing in the AKC charter or bylaws nor has any legal precedent been set decreeing that a long-tailed or drop-eared dog MUST be eligible to be shown and potentially awarded in contradiction to the AKC Breed Standard.

To the contrary, those “natural” dogs would be disqualified or at the least, ignored under a breed standard that specifies docked tails or cropped ears. Many national/parent breed clubs are considering or have already re-written portions of their breed standard to accommodate flop ears and/or long tails. Why? Because “animal rights” activists proclaim cropping and docking is cruel. In their ignorance, newbies or animal rights advocates ignore the health benefits, especially in hunting and field breeds.

There are 62 AKC docked breeds and over 20 breeds with cropped ears.

This is not a “breed issue.” It is a political issue driven by the “animal rights” proponents who would put “the rights of animals” over the rights of their adoring owners.

How ironic that some animal lovers actually think they are protecting the animals by campaigning against the centuries of tradition that have insured the existence of purebred dogs. Animal Rights activists have turned many horse breeds into only memories or the pride of wealthy breed preservationists. Budweiser brewery still honors and preserves the magnificent Clydesdales but other draft breeds that founded our country and pulled our artillery wagons are nearly extinct.

Saint Bernard dogs no longer rescue people. Mastiffs, Great Danes and other “giant” breeds survive because breeders are motivated by ribbons and wins and there are still wealthy owners and breeders devoted to the breed. The same could be said for other giant breeds that/who have been replaced by technology or machines. But does that mean they should disappear?

Pictured below: Budweiser Clydesdales

We buy a car because the style and size suits our needs. We buy a truck or SUV because it is functional but also stylish. We buy a Lamborghini that will never see a race course because we love the look and the statement it makes.

Pointers and Setters, not because we hunt but because we are attracted to their functional beauty and style. Lap dogs are not 
a luxury in today stressful times. For many older people they 
are more comforting than pain meds. For the emotionally anguished, stroking a dog is better and sooo much less debilitating than tranquilizers!

True it is that most mutts, mongrels or if you prefer, “mixed breeds” can and do fulfill all of those vital roles but the odds of “getting another like Trixie” are discouraging.

Breed Standards define specific characteristics, size, coat type, and personality. Purebred dogs developed because we needed particular, predictable qualities that enabled dogs to protect our livestock, to put food on the table, to keep robbers at bay, and most of all, to listen to us, and to give tangible love and support without regard to our social status or even to our ability to care for them.

When a certain “type” performed one of more of those duties better than another, we wrote it down and tried to preserve those qualities. Purebreds Are Predictable. That is exactly why Breed Standards exist and why we must preserve them.

Most ShowSight readers are breed club members so take a minute to be sure that your Parent club is protecting the breed as is its charter. Let a political organization deal with animal rights. The duty of your breed club and its members is to protect and uphold the AKC for the breed. Do you duty. Preserve the breed features you love! 

 

 

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