Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Purebred Thing Again

Great post on the "Closed Studbook" debate on Jameson Parker's Barking Backward blog here.

I replied at length and thought it might be worth double posting here; this is an edited version so go to the original for more.

Hear, hear! The closed studbook paradigm is a recipe for genetic impoverishment and disaster. I have always outcrossed my pigeons for both appearance and performance and no one minds, but dogs are generally bred "pure", to their detriment. Dysplastic shepherds with hips like frogs and the topline of a hyena, deaf Dalmatians, eyeless or blind double merles bred in hope that a littermate's color might be perfect... the list goes on.

Salukis are a sturdy breed founded on forty something original founders, believe it or not a relatively large number, though several lines are not represented today. There is also an unusual mechanism for bringing in "native" dogs through the Society for the Perpetuation of the Desert Bred Saluki, all of which makes for what you might think would work very well. But the same pressures, mostly from show people, prevail. All believe in pure lines, most in a myth of mystical Arab- invented dogs, not realizing that virtually identical salukis (or "tazis") occupy the same niche from Morocco to Mongolia, and may well have originated in the east and come down the Silk Road to Arabia (good images in Asia pre- date Mohammed, recognizable petroglyphs are earlier than Christ).

I brought back tazis from Kazakhstan starting over a decade ago for hunting, and both pure and crossed descendants have made a name for themselves in NM,AZ, even Cal ever since. I had them get evaluations as salukis because my other reason for importing three breeders was to bring new genes to the saluki pool.

But AKC judges consider them "mongrels" though they have at least 3 and up to 6 gen pedigrees. Others object to brindle, common in Asian lines and not unknown in Arab, saying it comes from greyhound, though ancient images of such dogs are common in Asia. Meanwhile, every nation in Eurasia is threatening to separate their saluki and their flock protection dog from the others for the same nationalistic reasons. THAT'll help.If it weren't for a few brave hunters and dog scholars my dogs would be genetic dead ends. Worse, they have no legal status as "pure"-- if NM adapts mandatory spay neuter I will not be able to buy an exemption for them and should (though WON'T) neuter this genetic gold.

I will end on a note of black comedy. A show judge was delicately insulting what she called "your pretty little Asian lurchers" [ie crosses] "which can't be pure salukis!" Why? "Real salukis descend from a few English diplomat's dogs imported in the early part of the 20th century. Even the ARABS don't have pure salukis any more!" Leaving out the fact that any number of rich Arab hunters would have her beheaded for that, I have seen good salukis in eastern Turkey and Kazakhstan, and know of excellent ones from Siberia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgizstan, and even Xinjiang, where there are good images dating to AD 700! All "mongrels" of course.Her provincialism as well as her ignorance of biology is showing.

But the kicker? Re appearance: "Your dogs have VISIBLE MUSCLES-- salukis don't!" ????

At the time, before health slowed me down, we ran 2 or 3 days a week and hunted 8 months of the year on a friend's ranch-- 100 + sections of high rugged New Mexico plateau with no cross fencing, that doesn't touch pavement. My hounds were indeed all bone and muscle and appetite-- "a wind in the grass with teeth" as my eloquent stepson once said. I tried to probe diplomatically what my interrogator did to exercise her dogs-- lure course? "Oh no-- they could injure themselves. Besides-- too much exercise makes them build TOO MUCH MUSCLE."

UPDATE: Lane Batot comments on a good "native" hound. "Though my dog was snubbed by the majority of the AKC conformation show set as a "crossbreed", this Arab Sheik(whom I WOULD NOT sell my dog to-despite his obscenely enormous offers!) who actually hunted with his salukis, and certainly knew his stuff, was very disdainful of the "purebred" AKC dogs. When I suggested, since no way was I going to part with my boy, that he purchase one from the show people(who would undoubtedley have sold dogs for a fraction of what I was offered!), he encomposed the entire AKC Saluki Specialty with a contemptous sweep of his arm and said "BAH!"(I loved that "BAH!") "THOSE are NOT Salukis!", and then pointing to my "crossbred"--"THAT is a SALUKI!!!" "


Anonymous said...

Boy howdy, can I rant on and on regarding this subject! Especially now that I have a couple of those Tazis myself! But I may start referring to them, but only in baby talk, as my "Central Asian Lurchers" now! Anyone who knows ANYTHING about functional dogs, will JUMP at the chance to get dogs as close to their working origins as possibe! Sighthound-wise, I did before with my Azawakh(whose father was still living with the Tuaregs in North africa at the time), and again with a half-Turkish, half AKC Saluki--incidentally which who was wanted BADLY by an Arab Sheik that saw him at the prestigious AKC Saluki Specialty show we were visiting one year. Though my dog was snubbed by the majority of the AKC conformation show set as a "crossbreed", this Arab Sheik(whom I WOULD NOT sell my dog to-despite his obscenely enormous offers!) who actually hunted with his salukis, and certainly knew his stuff, was very disdainful of the "purebred" AKC dogs. When I suggested, since no way was I going to part with my boy, that he purchase one from the show people(who would undoubtedley have sold dogs for a fraction of what I was offered!), he encomposed the entire AKC Saluki Specialty with a contemptous sweep of his arm and said "BAH!"(I loved that "BAH!") "THOSE are NOT Salukis!", and then pointing to my "crossbred"--"THAT is a SALUKI!!!" to be continued....L.B.

Jess said...

'Lurchers,' how amusing. Does she even know that a lurcher is a cross between a sighthound and another breed, usually a herding breed? If anything, your Tazis would longdogs. ;)

One of my Facebook friends commented on a long thread on FB that I read with some amusement, about four months back or so. It was so amusing that I saved the thing to amuse my like minded friends with. A certain well known sighthound judge was denigrating a certain Saluki bitch over her color, which happens to be black, and this judge seemed to think that calling the bitch a 'lurcher' was clever. The import that gave the bitch her distinctive color was four generations back. Four. So even if that dog HAD been a lurcher, the dreaded lurcher blood would be only an echo.

This was a kick ass, gorgeous bitch and I would take her in a heartbeat even if she was HOT PINK.

I remember getting my first show dog, many years ago, because in my limited experience at that time, that is what you did if you wanted to get into dogs responsibly and you were a suburban woman: you bought a show dog and finished it so you could breed it and be very 'reputable.' The dog fancy works on a 'mentor' based system, where the newcomers are expected to sit at the feet of the experienced, and soak up their wisdom. I sat, and I've been listening for a long time now.

My experience, and I'm sure, that of many others, is one of disappointment; the 'experienced' often have no knowledge of biology or genetics or the real history of dogs (as opposed to the potted histories most often encountered in breed books.) What they preach is more often religion and mythology.

Then they get mad at you for not drinking the kool-aid.

Josh said...

You forgot "white elitist" in your description of that woman. I'm guessing, of course.

Josh said...

You forgot "white elitist" in your description of that woman. I'm guessing, of course.

Steve Bodio said...

"Offcouse" as Canat might say.

BorderWars said...

Great find, good to see that you and Jess have already made contact.

New members to the Resistance against the PureBlood-Brigade are always welcome.

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks Chris. Though if you search the archives you will find I am hardly "new" to the battle and have been fighting it for years-- just get tired of yelling at the idiots!

Jess said...

Christopher means Mr. Jameson when he says new members, I am sure :)

Steve Bodio said...

I am a little slow sometimes (:-S)

Anonymous said...

.....okay, back for more ranting(but it will be accurate ranting...). First, I guess I should write phonetically my new baby talk term-of-endearment for my Tazis, so folks can take me seriously--"Sin-twull Ay-jin Woorchirz"(I called them that yesterday, and it MUST be true, because they came right to me!!).....And yes, Jess, your experience with the "Fancy" is like so many others I've known--the sensible dog people who have a lick of common sense eventually quit, tired of the politics and mendacity, and find like souls, or just do whatever they think is best with their dogs on their own. As the participators in the Dog Fancy have become more and more urbanized over the years, the stupidity regarding the breeding of "purebred" AKC dogs has gotten more Nazi-control-like("only WE do things right--everyone else must be OUTLAWED!), and is based less and less on good sense--it HAS become a society based on myth, and is akin to religion, as you said! And anything contradicting it is BLASPHEMOUS! What is sad, though, is how EASY these so-called dog "experts" are to refute, if one is given the opportunity, and one has even a bare minimum of REAL dog experience! The general public, alas, usually doesn't know better(though things are improving--thanks in part to internet communications!)--I do all I can every chance I get, to give people a more balanced view of "purebreds". And I think attitudes ARE changing, and the AKC encapsulated crowd are getting shriller in their debates because they are at last(and deservedley so) feeling more threatened themselves. Hopefully in time, views will be based more on REAL histories and real purpose, health, and temperment, and exagerrated physical uniformity will at last be seen as the truly damaging and unimportant shallowness that it be continued...L.B.

Anonymous said...

....Strangely, though, I am NOT AGAINST dog show people doing their thing, if that's what makes them happy. I wish they'd just educate themselves in a broader understanding of dogs, and quit thinking they are some how superior to everyone else in their views--they might actually improve their lines of dogs in the future if they would get more involved in things other than just conformation. The unhealthy exagerrations that they think are superior examples of dogs remind me of anorexic peoples' warped view of themselves, or steroid pumping bodybuilders, who are bloated and artificial charicatures of human beings. It seems visual exagerration in humans is a form of psychological addiction, in whatever form it takes. And this obsession with inbreeding and being "purebred" in the Dog Fancy? What is so ironic is that there is SO MUCH dishonesty in the AKC registration process, that all manner of crossbreeding and lying goes on--the double irony is that some of the "backyard bred" dishonestly registered crossbreeds end up being healthier, more functional dogs that the more controlled, inbred, "superior" bloodlines! I wisht I had a nickel for every AKC registered dog who was anything BUT a "purebred". I worked in a Pet Shop many years ago as a teenager, where I was apalled to find the management printing out pedigrees on mutts and alley cats that vaguely resembled whatever breed they were claiming them to be, and charging exorbitantly for them! It is amazing to me how ignorant most AKC-oriented-only people don't realize this goes on all the time! There are HUNDREDS of different scenarios where the "purebred" status of dogs is compromised in this system, and every yahoo that can read between the lines that is involved with dogs knows it. Of course this varies with breeds and their popularity and sale-ability, and I don't doubt rarer breeds like Salukis, with a narrower, much more show dominant aspect(alas) are more anally controlled, but even there, I don't doubt some fudging(involving individual dog identities', etc.) goes on from time-to-time. But it still SHOULD come down to Health, Temperment, Ability, in EQUAL regard to appearance as to perpetuation and "improvment" of dogs--although in the case of Saluki-like dogs that have been honed for their purpose for undoubtedley thousands of years, the idea of "improvement" shouldn't even come up--just keep them what they are, and you'll be doing great! And there REALLY needs to be checks in breed standards to squelch overly exagerrrating any physical features, the true downfall of AKC show dogs as healthy, functional animals. I hope for the day when all dog breeders brag about their outcrosses the way they tout their inbreeding now.....L.B.

Mike Spies said...

Steve -- reposting below the comments I made on this subject on JP's blog

All ‘breeds’ of dogs are, by definition, line-bred. And all dogs have genetic diseases in the gene pool – cross bred, line-bred or inbred – they all are subject to these potential problems. But blanket statements need to be examined more closely.

The key to all breeding is selection of breeding stock. If the breeder selects one (or just a few) attribute to the exclusion of all others, he is breeding potential future problems. The only standard that should be a constant in all breeding decisions is selecting stock that is, first of all, healthy.

While I am no fan of breed clubs or breed standards, I do not believe that maintaining a breed is a bad thing – quite the contrary. There are any number of sporting breeds that are healthy and generally live to late maturity, barring accident or misadventure. Breeding based on field performance and selecting healthy, high performing animals will improve a breed and will tend, over time, to REDUCE the probability of genetic faults. But no breeding is likely to completely eliminate them.

While it is popular to condemn line breeding and other tools for breeding sporting dogs, In the many years that I have been raising, training, hunting and field trialing FDSB English setters, I have never experienced any loss due to genetic faults.

Just stay away from artificial standards, breed the best (and healthiest) to the best (and healthiest) and NEVER do it for money.

Retrieverman said...

Thanks for the mention, Steve.

This is an important animal welfare issue that is getting more and more attention.

Dog breeding has to be brought up to the level of what modern science knows about the perils of breeding within isolated populations.

Conservationists who deal with endangered species often have to do close breedings, but we've seen that in those species, they work very hard to conserve genetic diversity if they can. For example, there have been several recent outcrosses in giant pandas that are designed to ensure that species lasts about another century.

Dogs aren't an endangered species. We also have a lot of genetic diversity within the domestic dog population to work with.

And since the rise of the Fancy, all we've done is squander that diversity in the name fashion and winning prizes.

Moro Rogers said...

It's times like this when I'm very glad to have a

Anonymous said...

......and I also encountered this strange aversion to my Saluki showing "visible muscles" at my very few visits to the Saluki Specialty Shows many years ago. On top of that, my half-Turkish dog was literally the BIGGEST Saluki around--a full 31 inches at the shoulder! More in the Borzoi than Saluki standard! The breeder who gave me my dog was present(she was the one who invited me to come), and she, in defense of her breeding, would tell people, "Just go FEEL that dog!" So I had lots of strangers coming up "feeling" my Saluki! Good thing it wasn't my Azawakh! And that my Saluki was incredibly gregarious and friendly and well-socialized to humans--not shy and aloof as they are "supposed" to be.....Anyway, I got lots of exclamations of amazement and wonder over my dog's rock-hard musculature--which came from running up and down steep mountain forest slopes virtually every day, pursuing real wild game. Which is the condition all of my dogs were in--huskies, wolf-hybrids, trailhounds, Basenji, etc. What I considered normal condition for healthy outdoor dogs. It was PITIFUL to me that these Conformation Show people(so many of them anyway) found this to be such a unique phenomenon. I also saw many Salukis I would consider emaciated--and I tend to prefer dogs on the lean side! But seeing every rib and most of the spinal knobs sticking up is NOT just "lean"! But this is the "fashion" for many regarding Salukis. They are too stupid to realize some of the dogs from old photos, etc. that they are basing their "standard" on ARE underfed animals barely eaking out an existence with impoverished desert nomads in a 3rd world country! But these are the kinds of silly notions that get entrenched with unrealistic, overly-urbanized individuals whose common sense areas of their brains have never been developed--totally atrophied just like their Salukis' muscles.....L.B.

Steve Bodio said...

Lane-- a son of Sarban?

Anonymous said...

....gosh, it's been so long ago, I've totally forgotten Shim-Shek's(my Saluki's name--one of his pet names was "Shim-SHARK!) parents' names--I might could find out......His sire was the AKC dog( a reddish-colored dog; he was still a quite functional animal--he caught and pulled down a deer by himself--THESE are the things I want to hear about in a pedigree--NOT how many ribbons it got trotting around a show ring!); and his mother was the Turkish bitch--a piebald, I believe. Shim-shek was a tri-color with a black muzzle--I don't know how accurate this statement is, but at the time--and this from various Saluki people-- ONLY Turkish-bred salukis had black muzzles. Likely this was a notion involving only Arabic bloodlines, that vehemently deny brindles are "real" Salukis, too. The littermates of my Saluki varied from more black Tri-colors, to Chocolate Tri-colors, to grizzle-brown. More Piebalds were expected in the litter, but there were none. And even though I would not sell my dog to the Arab Sheik(who also flew in Arabian Horses for the conjoined "Egyptian Event" which included the Saluki Specialty--quite the whoop-to-do!), he collaborated with my breeder and eventually got a dog or dogs from her. But he had zero interest in the soft-muscled, neurotic AKC show winners!....L.B.

Kitty Carroll said...

The harshest critic of AKC and all breed registries is Patrick Burns. He writes often on his blog as to how a disaster the AKC has become for ANY breed of dog. My experiences with the AKC people are parallel to those above. The AKC and similar registries are frauds. Terrierman reported this year that several "best in show' dogs at the Crufts in the UK FAILED the vet health check!!!

Anonymous said...

....Not to keep flogging a dead horse, but--just out of curiosity, I dragged out my old AKC breed books with all the Standards. As I suspected, there was plenty written in the Saluki Standard that EMPHASIZED good, strong muscling on the dogs--even stating specifically that they needed to be strong enough to pull down gazelles--which sorta requires a certain amount of muscle! As I have encountered before in other breeds, these strange ideas of what the dogs need to LOOK like(never mind function, health, or temperment!) often CONTRADICT their own(AKC) standards! And another thing--to me, to acquire a dog that LIVES to run, like a Saluki, and then NEVER letting it run off-leash or out of a smallish fenced yard, is tantamount to abuse. Like not providing food, water, shelter--the basics! People that think like that REALLY need to stick to less demanding little foo-foo dogs. But even these toy foo-foo breeds like to just be DAWGS sometimes! What dern good does it do to be reincarnated as a dog, and never get to enjoy dog skills and abilities, and pleasures?....L.B.

Retrieverman said...

The person who really started all the anti-AKC movement was Mark Derr, who often writes for the New York Times and who has three great dog books-- A Dog's Best Friend, A Dog's History of America, and How the Dog Became the Dog.

He wrote an article called "The Politics of Dogs" in The Atlantic in 1990.

Virtually everything else that has been written about the AKC, closed registries, and dog shows can be traced to that article.

He blogs at Psychology Today:

And his other blog:

I always learn something when I read his work.

Anonymous said...

I really like Mark Derr's stuff too, but the anti-AKC stuff has been going on LONG before that. Not only people who actually work and hunt with dogs, but even people deeply involved in the dog business. Despite certain others villifying him for unpopular political views on other dog blogs(AHEM!), I really like a lot of what old LEON WHITNEY--the veterinaraian/breeding experimenter/hunter had to say about conformation show breeding back in the 1950's and 60's--even if I don't approve of all his methods, especially in the incredible overbreeding of various dogs just to see what he could get--a lot was learned at least from it. And he was lamblasting(VERY bluntly!) the AKC way back then(no matter what you might have heard elsewhere.....) Just READ his book "The Truth About Dogs"--circa 1960's--and you'll see that anti-AKC conformation ideals were percolating even then. They just never caught on(and still haven't enough!)....L.B.

Steve Bodio said...

I would add my friend John Burchard, serious dog man and a scientist who studied with Lorenz, who has been voicing these concerns in print for decades. The Atlantic article was a watershed though- it brought a wider audience.

Anonymous said...

....and well, yeah, LORENZ most definetely disliked conformation show breeding(and wrote about it) of course! There have been many others over the years--not to mention just yer average yokels that actually used their dogs for work/hunting, that have ALWAYS been disdainful of "Show stock". But I think the general public is FINALLY getting a better idea about the foibles and B. S. involved with those AKC registrations and mantras. And we need to continue building on that public view(as Mark Derr and others are)....L.B.

Retrieverman said...

There were several critiques of dog shows and the fancy within decades of its establishment.

In 1903, Harding Cox, a retriever fancier and trialer, who was a protégé of Sewallis Shirley, the founding president of the Kennel Club had this to say:

In Lady Wentworth's famous treatise on toy dogs (in 1911):

And you can find it some of Rawdon Lee's essays on different dog breeds, which appeared in his breed encyclopediasfrom the 1890's. Most notably the bulldog:

Time is known to play grim jokes with historical monuments, but it probably has never burlesqued anything more than it has our national emblem, the British bulldog.

Evolved for a specific purpose—a purpose long since stamped out both by law and by sentiment— the present day examples can only be looked upon as the result of breeding for certain points not desired or found in any other kind of dog. That the bulldog can claim as great pretensions to antiquity as any other now so-called breeds is not to be denied; but to say that bulldogs are bred to-day on the same lines as they were even sixty years ago would be an assertion that could not by any evidence be defended.


People have long complained about dog shows. All three of the examples I've given here come from people who were around as the fancy became institutionalized and was starting to bear its bitter fruit.

The Derr article caught the AKC totally flat-footed. It had no response for it. People were fired over it.

It was that bad.

I don't think people would be writing to such broad audiences complaining about closed registries had that article never been published.

Retrieverman said...

Konrad Lorenz also bashed the fancy in Man Meets Dog. That's my second favorite part of the book, right behind his essay entitled "Dog Days," where he takes his dog to the Danube for a swim and a muskrat hunt. That's probably some of the best dog and nature writing I've ever read.

Steve Bodio said...

Agreed- Lorenz was an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Steve's comment about having no space in which to run sighthounds legally and MSN laws is right on point.
All the rest of these umpteen comments are b.s. IMHO. Fact is, you don't need the AKC. Who cares what they think? You can buy dogs from central asia, breed them any way you please and have lots of fun with them. You can buy gun dogs from working dog breeders, you don't need the show dog lines.
So what if the AKC is elitist? Querencia, if you please, looks to me like a bunch of rich guys doing rich guy things. Pretty elitist. Do I care? No. Hooray for rich guys. If it weren't for them, who would bring dogs from Central Asia, who would preserve antique guns? Who would save the raptors and conserve the game animals? There is a place for class warfare, but making dogs the battleground is just plain silly.
Back to Steve's first comment: what is really important is to preserve land for use by dog owners, to reinstitute the legality of letting dogs chase rabbits, to end forever MSN legislation and legislation that restricts the number and type of breeding that's allowed. Because no matter what the AKC does or does not do, these items will bring about the extinction of dogs. The AKC is just irrelevant. It tries to gain exemptions for its own, but doesn't even succeed at that.
Why does every discussion wind up in an orgy of ineffectual class warfare leveled at the elitism of the AKC, while failing to even see the mass s/n-ing, the increasing restrictions on land use, the increasing and ridiculous nature of restrictions on dog breeders that is going on? Check APHIS. Why are we s/n'ing dogs in foreign countries and bringing them, en masse, into the USA to take up space that might have been occupied by carefully bred dogs?
P.S. Oh, yeah, closed registries are bad.
Sorry if I sound rude. Just trying to get your attention. I've argued this point across umpteen blogs but nobody answers.

Steve Bodio said...

I like your attitude Kathy, & agree 99%! I even like (some) rich guys. Though the Q- philes who have visited Casa Q know I am not numbered among them-- a 4 room, permanently leaky, semi- unheatable 120 year old stone & stucco house on a village lot is no mansion. Maybe I should post more pix...

What I am is lucky, blessed by friends; also maybe I have a skewed sense of priorities. Like "Trout Bum" John Geirach, who drives an ancient pickup full of cane rods, I would rather have fine things-- books, guns, art-- than "security"; as my late father once said, there ain't any such thing. I have good things, and got dogs out of Asia-- but if you don't go the tourist route Asia is cheap. A whole month in our Almaty apartment cost less than a night in the high- rise tourist hotel!

This is no apology, nor do I deny a certain "elitism" of taste. Quality matters. And I would love being rich as long as it did not make me timid-- sometimes too much is a deterrent to action, while "Nothing left to lose" makes you jump off the cliff, trusting you will sprout wings on the way down.

"Give me the luxuries of life and I will live without the necessities"-- Oscar Wilde

Anonymous said...

Ha! Kathy--I am ANYTHING but financially wealthy!!!!(although I consider myself VERY wealthy in many other ways....) I have almost always lived WELL BELOW the poverty level of the U. S.! Running dogs in the woods costs NOTHING if you know how to go about it--other than the upkeep of the dogs. It can actually SAVE you money in MEAT! And when people ask me how I can afford to take care of all my dogs, I let them know I spend less on my dogs than most average citizens spend on beer and cigarettes(which I luckily CAN'T afford!). And most of my exotic, rare canines have been acquired VERY cheaply or for free--the people involved with breeding such dogs usually are doing it for love, not money, and with the right connections/associations, and with a reputation of giving such dogs great, fulfilling lives AS dogs, there are ALWAYS free pups needing homes! I must cringe and turn down super opportunities all the time(alas). And don't sell the AKC elite too short--they are ALWAYS trying to get legislation passed to limit breeding/keeping dogs to the narrow standards they think is proper--even joining the A R's in their efforts. Talk about one unholy alliance!! Just because they haven't been too successful yet doesn't mean they won't one day. Keeping the general public informed is the BEST way to fight such ignorance and canine tyranny. Land use? Yeah, I WISH--that tends to go to elitists too--I have been an incorrigible tresspasser all my life(and dang good at it, if I say so myself--but that is largely due to the DULLNESS and complete ineptitude of most modern Americans in the woods anymore), so I have never experienced such freedom of land use EVER, being such a peasant, but it ain't never stopped me either. Sure would be nice to be LEGAL for a change, though.....L.B.

Anonymous said...

L.B. - Thanks for explaining the connection. If the AKC is in cahoots with the ARFs, then a swipe at the former amounts to a swipe at the latter.
I just dropped in on AKC's site to sign their petition against APHIS. Beautiful site. AKC is a class act when its own interests are threatened. But in this instance they oppose the regulation without qualification. This is apparently not an instance where they try to exempt their own.
HSUS has developed an interest in canine health!! HSUS follows the money, so, I suppose alliances with AKC, dog food mfgrs, vet schools, etc., might be in their best interest. I still believe ARFs are against us; the AKC is grandly, imperiously, indifferent, a few ringside snots notwithstanding.
As always, closed registries are bad, even if they are not the worst thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes--that is, as far as future dog welfare goes--the WORST thing about the AKC or any other similar "purebred" breeding system--that dang closed registry! And when I vent about the AKC, I AM very well aware that it is wrong to lump everyone and everything in one big, negative category--there ARE some sensible AKC-oriented folks, including some TRYING to improve things--but they do have quite the row to hoe! And SOME AKC individuals might ally with ARs(temporarily, before they then turn on each other), whereas others would never do so. So it's all relative(but alas, that also includes a lot of the breeding!). Having a safe spot to vent on the AKC is therapeutic for me--I have had to listen to more than my share of people putting the organization on a pedestal, without having a clue about what they are talking about, so I never hesitate to do a little "edukatin'" when I can! Like don't put TOO much reliance on those "AKC Registered" papers on puppies! I REALLY REALLY would like to see the AKC become a truly HONEST respectable SENSIBLE(not just based on false prestige) organization one day. They say nothing's impossible! This would include a more tolerant attitude towards other registries and individual ideals of dog keeping/breeding. And that they finally LEARN something from that(closed FOREVER registries-ahem!)....L.B.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying, L.B.
It's not the injustice of lumping that I object to. It's that the AKC is simply not responsible for laws that restrict our rights to own and breed dogs, although it appears sometimes that they are, as when they manage to finagle exemptions for AKC dogs. It worries me that so much righteous anger is being siphoned off and directed toward the AKC.
What we should be doing is using the AKC's legislation watch section of their site to home in on and oppose restrictive legislation.
I'm glad you took the time to answer, however, and that you talked about venting. I always feel uncomfortable with this subject because I suspect the animus against the AKC is rooted in some real pain, some of which may last for generations. We should have a thread somewhere, or a whole blog, just for venting against the AKC.
As always, though, we can blame the AKC for closed registries and for encouraging wacky selective breeding.

Anonymous said...

The AKC may not be responsible for making the laws, but they are VERY influential in peoples' views in what is considered "proper" breeding and keeping of dogs, that in turn influence the making of those laws. The ignorant general public naturally defers to such a large, old, prestigious organization, and therein lies the problem. Although people in the AKC tend to think they are the ultimate in dog knowledge and lore, they are often suprisingly ignorant in that regard. The ignorance becomes arrogance when they refuse to consider other canine keeping viewpoints. Which is WHY such folks as rant about it on this blog NEED to continue to do so in any medium possible--to balance out this unbalanced general view that the AKC is THE AUTHORITY on dog care/keeping. And we wouldn't NEED to IF the AKC were not so negative in their opinions of us "backyard breeder" types, villifying us every chance THEY get! And lumping US in one narrow, negative category. This comes, not from some imagined paranoia, but YEARS of "discussions" with AKC afficiondos.....L.B.