Mark your calenders!

By Lynn –

On December 10th, 2009 on BBC America, us on this side of the pond will finally get to see the controversial Pedigree Dogs Exposeddocumentary!

It’s not for the faint-of-heart, but like a lot of other gut-wrenching documentaries about dogs in dire need of reform: it is a must-see by anyone who considers themselves a “dog-lover”!

I have no cable here, but I will definitely mark my calender for the 11th…to see exactly what kind of reaction the AKC will manifest.

Don’t want to wait until December to watch it, or do you not have cable (or BBC America channel)? Get on a high-speed connection, set aside an hour of your time and watch it here.

Due to pressure from this documentary, the Kennel Club has recently passed some reform against practices such as breeding for exaggeration, such as in the case of the Bulldog (the standard revisions of which were rejected because they will make the dog look “different than it is today”) and especially in the case of the show German Shepherd Dog, seen here in some extra footage not put in the documentary. The KC has also banned the mating of close relatives, at least on paper. To their credit, they even posted a memorandum in 2006 warning people about the horrific practices of puppy mills and the dangers of buying a puppy in a pet store (ironically, they do not refuse to register these puppies). As for pedigree welfare, some changes are slightly noticable at Crufts 2009, but is it enough, or just too soon?

Now we just need to get them to abolish the closed-registry system and stop intentionally breeding deformed dogs. Think your breed is immune to genetic disease? Think again. The key to remember here is that, while not every single purebred dog out there has an issue, there’s a higher probability that they currently have, or will have something go wrong.

Think the American Kennel Club is any better? Quite the contrary…ABC Nightline actually only covered half of the issue!

I find it almost funny that, almost right after the original showing of the documentary in Britain, the Chairman of the AKC whines and bemoans the drastic decline in registrations. But two months later…OH MY GOSH, DON’T GET THE WRONG IDEA!! We are ALL for health TOOOf course they’re all for the dog’s health…they’re “the dog’s champion”! That’s why they rely on puppy mills to drive registra–er, financial numbers!

My gosh, puppy mi–ER, excuse me! What a negative term! Why not call these kennels High-Volume Breeders?

There’s definitely a lot more information here than can fit in just one blog, but this is a good start; however, I don’t have much faith that the AKC will do anything significant in the light of deformed dogs, incestuous breeding practices, and puppy mill registrations. After all, their precious “sport” is at stake…and the best policy seems to be steaming forward with the Same Ol’.

Mark your calenders and keep an eye or ear out for the hopefully-inevitable kicking and screaming as the AKC drags itself like an unwilling teenager into the late 20th century.