Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AKC To Go Out of Business By 2025?

SOURCE :: Click to enlarge

The American Kennel Club appears to be ready to go out of business by 2025.

That's the take-away message from an analysis of the perilously steep decline in AKC registrations that has occurred since 1992.

Between 1992 and 2008, AKC registrations declined by more than 55 percent, and a "best fit" trend line done by DVM magazine suggests the organization will be gone by 2025 unless a drastic change is made.

If we looks at AKC registrations per capita, the decline is even steeper -- a 61% decline in registrations over the same period of time.

SOURCE :: Click to Enlarge

What's the reason for the decline? You can chase it around the barn any number of ways, but the simple story is that No one wants to register their dogs with the AKC anymore.

Most dog buyers would rather go to the pound (the source of more than half of all pet dogs in the U.S.) while those that still go to breeders are looking for healthy dogs, not show dogs.

But what about that piece of paper that says "AKC" on it?

No one believes it's a sign of a either healthy dog or a knowledgeable breeder producing quality dogs.

In fact, quite the opposite.

The word is out that the AKC has been in bed with backyard breeders and puppy mill dog peddlers for decades, and the AKC's own board minutes and the statements of its Chairman reflect that.

The word is out that AKC dogs, on average, are less healthy than mutts and cross-breeds, and canine health insurance records and premiums reflect that.

And the word is out that AKC breeders have been giving "the big wink" to defect, disease and deformity for more than 50 years. Who wants to be associated with that?

And so the AKC is crashing to the ground.

Like a drunk hugging a vodka bottle as it speeds down the road, it is unable and unwilling to change until it is too late.


Heather Houlahan said...

How'd you get the damn figure to embed?

I couldn't make it work.

HTTrainer said...

Why wait?

PBurns said...

What can I tell you Heather? I am clearly a genius. Also extremely modest and crushingly handsome ;).

The data, by the way, came out a while back (I reported on it) and was even featured in AKC Perspectives Delegates Newsletter -- an official AKC publication in an article by Carmen Battaglia. See >>

What's great here is the "best fit" extension which DVM did. Nice! Instant headline: "AKC Going to Go Extinct."


Heather Houlahan said...


I figured it out myself.

zron said...

You left out an important dynamic - the schizoid or adversarial relationship between the AKC's core constituencies. Show breeders have for decades been at war with back yard breeders and puppy mills, espousing the notion that the only good dogs are the ones from "responsible" breeders and the only responsible breeders are show breeders. Thus show people have been campaigning against the AKC's lifeline - essentially saying if you don't show don't breed, actively discouraging even the pet owners who buy puppies from show stock from breeding. This then raises the issue that the only point of registration is to pass on "the pedigree" to offspring. But if you shouldn't breed then why register? So the very success of dog shows suppresses registration, and registration is the only financial goal of the AKC.

Show breeders have a lot of puppies not destined for the show ring. Having been a show breeder myself for many years, I can tell you that most puppy buyers begin with the notion that they will get a puppy from good lines, let it have a few litters (let the kids experience the wonders of birth) and make a little cash on the side. But, given the abundance of dogs being euthanized, it seems every dog born leads to a dog somewhere being put to sleep. So one is left with the notion that the only justification for breeding is to "improve the breed" and believe me that is what show breeders think (or say) they are doing.

I think you can see the conflict.

jdlvtrn said...

What about the possibility that each breed club will revert to putting on their own shows, complete with politics, point systems and just maintain their own breeding/pedigree records? Or just shift to another registry with business as usual.
I am not pro-AKC but their demise will not do much good for dogs either. The bulk of dogs will still be coming from careless, greedy and uninformed people, acquired by clueless, naive people.

PBurns said...

Yes, something will replace it. The dinosaurs are gone, but now we have birds. Life will carry on ;)


Stacey said...

So do the spikes in enrollment neatly reflect the desperate inclusion of new breeds and/or movies and celebs that make a certain breed fashionable?

PBurns said...

Not sure.

I think the slope prior to 1992 reflects America's love of dogs (still going strong), while the slope downward after that time reflect several things, not least of which was the realization, after Time and Atlantic magazine article, and ESPECIALLY AFTER THE GROWTH OF THE INTERNET, that the AKC was a fraud, selling bogus broken dogs.

Read the link at bottom to to "The Business of Diamonds and Dogs." The market was built on sand and lies, and it was primed for collapse, and it did.


scotman999 said...

MY this all sounds deceptively like what is going on with the ObamaCare vote....

Unknown said...

Let AKC go. The sooner the better. Let each breed club hold it's own shows with Judges that have completed that breed clubs education course in order to judge dogs by their standard instead of by who has the most money. many breeders have destroyed their own standard by AKC judges putting up poor quality dogs. You can rightfully blame AKC for genetic desease thriving in the ring. AKC's purpose was for non profit, to promote pure bred dogs, something that they are clearly not striving to do today!
"Pure" to the "standard" should be breeder ethics.

Nitsa Trayler said...

I agree that the AKC has many faults, but the fact that all the comments I have read are saying if you are a dog show person you are breeding defective dogs. You are so wrong. This is a sport I have participated in for the past 48 years, I love the dogs, people, and the joy of winning and loosing. For the most part we are responsible breeders, we are the ones that participate in breed rescue, responsible dog day events, training, community programs, and therapy dog. We are not bad, stupid or misinformed people. We do not believe that everything we breed is show quality, and therefor sell our puppies on limited or spay and nueter contracts. We are not puppy mills and I for one resent being grouped together with them.

PBurns said...

Nope, not all show breeders are breeding defective dogs. But far too many are. Look at the health surveys and you will learn a lot.

Also, look to see if the dog actually does the job it was bred to do.

For example, look at your breed. From the link, it looks to me like you have Fox Terriers. Do you think this breed is not defective? I assure you that it is -- the dog does not hunt because it has a chest like the keel of a war ship. It was ruined by the show ring and its working form is only preserved as the Jack Russell Terrier.

Of course, if you do not hunt, you do not think the dog was ruined, and never minds its name and that no owner of this breed owns a locator collar. The purpose of the dog is now to win ribbons, not to work.

I note you used to show German Shepherds. Is there a more messed up dog on the planet than the GSD? They are so defective the U.S. Secret Service will not take an American dog because they move like broken erector sets. Do you think the show ring GSD is not a mess? I assure you that it is, and EVERYONE knows it.


Nitsa Trayler said...

I agree, I do not think the GSD is worth considering and it is a messed up breed, but I can assure not only does my Smooth hunts rabbits with my Borzoi, she swims and does social programs. I also know many "show" terriers that hunt and participate in earthdog events. As for my Borzoi he has hunted and killed ooyote, shows, just earned his CGC, and is the Paws for Reading dog here in Tracy, Ca.
Both dogs are certified service dogs. Stop Generalizing. As fo the health survey, the general public rare partipates in them so the bulk of the surveys are done with breeders who are very cognizant of health issues. Again this is not the puppy mill people either.

PBurns said...


Earthdog events are to a fox den what a size 2 is to a size 30.

The fact that you do not know this illuminates the problem with the show ring.

Send me a picture of your borzoi with his coyote!