There is nobody more disgusted with the state of purebred dogs today than I am. What breeders have done to the Poodle, the German Shepherd, the Doberman, the Bulldog, the Bull Terrier, the Pekinese, the Shar Pei and so many more breeds, is revolting!
In the not so distant future, the Poodle’s neck and tail will come out of the same hole on the back. They will have no idea where they are going because they will be staring straight up to the sky and they will have very little ability to go anywhere because of their extreme structure! The German Shepherd is nothing more than a caricature of its once magnificent self. How do breeders expect them to work all day when they can barely walk? When they do walk, it is on their hocks (which, for the most part, knock together!).
The Poodle was once a magnificent all around working dog! They hunted, herded, hiked and hauled carts. They were a medium sized dog with a bombproof temperament. Now, sadly, many are spooky, gigantic messes with no ability to swim or hunt or herd or much of anything else except parade around a show ring. They have been reduced to absurdly built coat racks full of dye, hairspray and wigs. How on earth is that an improvement over those grand working dogs from the late 1800s and early 1900s?
The bulldog can barely walk or breathe and are incapable of giving birth naturally. Please tell me how that is better than the moderate Bulldog that was used to jump up and grab the nose of a bull and be athletic enough to get out of the way and have puppies on its own?
The Border Collie is a working dog. They are supposed to come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter as long as they do their job well. The show Border Collies all look exactly alike. They look like little cloned cookie cutter dogs with no drive. When I see them at shows, I think of Stepford wives marching along compliantly, no questions asked and no spark in their eyes. The legs on the show Border Collie are getting shorter and shorter with each generation while the coats are getter longer and longer and their bone bigger and bigger. Soon we will be looking at Cousin It trotting around the Border Collie ring! It took no time at all to transform a great, functional, high drive working dog into a show ring zombie. Thank GOD there are still MANY breeders who understand what it takes to produce great working dogs with herding instinct intact and with pure love for the work.
I could go on and on and really wish breeders would objectively look at what they are doing to the dogs! I have heard from many that they are “improving” the breeds! WHAT??? How can they look at the original dogs and not see how ridiculous most breeds look today in comparison?
All one needs to do is look at the progressions of the GSD to truly understand that things went horribly wrong for this breed!
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. If a grotesque three headed alien made of slime flew in from outer space, chances are pretty good we would find it quite unattractive. If, however, that is what we grew up with and the ONLY thing we ever saw, chances are pretty dang good we would find it beautiful! Some of you old folks will remember that Twilight Zone episode where a woman keeps undergoing plastic surgery because she is considered grotesque on her planet. You never see the doctors and nurses until the unveiling when you see this beautiful person under those bandages surrounded by grossed out ugly aliens.
I know my view is not popular with many of the show ring set, but it is my view. I used to show dogs forty years ago and I had that same mindset that the show dogs were the only true purebred dogs of any value. Then, through many years of experience, I learned the truth about performance and structure.
So what does my rant on the destruction of purebred dogs have to do with defending AKC?
How many times have you heard or read somebody’s opinion that they refuse to support AKC because of the structural and health issues found in today’s purebred dogs? I know many people who refuse to participate in AKC agility because of those reasons. I completely disagree!
Blaming AKC for the state of the purebred dog is like blaming the DMV for crappily made cars! The DMV doesn’t make those cars and AKC doesn’t set the standards or tell the breeders what to breed! All they do is keep the records!!! I don’t understand why people can’t see that!
AKC is an organization, not the breed police. They publish the breed standards that are WRITTEN by the breed clubs! If people want to boycott anything, boycott the breed clubs! It is THEY who have turned the dogs into what we see today! NOT AKC!
The best way to create change is through education. Boycotting alone will not educate. People need to realize what is happening to our wonderful dog breeds for the sake of a ribbon and work to change things. Sadly, many breed organizations, like the Poodle Club of America for instance, are closed to new membership. The only way to join is through sponsorship of a current member. That is like leaving Dracula in charge of the blood bank! As long as Dracula is running the show, things will never change for the better. They will only continue to get worse!
If judges only put up sound dogs capable of working at their intended job, they would never get hired! Judges put up what the breeders present to them in the ring. These are the same breeders who educate the judges. There’s that Dracula/blood bank thing again!
Sadly, unless people work their dogs at the very highest levels in performance, they would not know what it takes to make a great working dog! Trotting around a ring is certainly no indication that a dog is capable of working hard in the field, or swimming tirelessly or running down a gazelle in the desert! Trotting will never guarantee any of those things! As a matter of fact, most highly successful hunting sighthounds are not attractive movers at the trot, but they can gallop like nobody’s business! I have seen the same with Border Collies. A great working Border Collie is not necessarily a beautiful trotter!
If the show type dogs were the best at their intended jobs, THAT is the type of dog the working folks would be using. They are not and for good reason!
So the next time you hear somebody bashing AKC, please remind them that they are just the record keepers, not the breeders. Tell them to go to the source to complain and try to make changes! Good luck though, those show ribbons are evidently incredibly dear.
There are plenty of other breeds in big trouble as well but I can only piss off so many people at one time :).
Helen Grinnell King