Six Quick Bits:
1. We still love dogs.
There are more dogs in the U.S. than ever before. Americans have far more dogs, per capita, than folks in Latin American, Europe, Africa, or Asia.
2. There is more, and better, dog training information than ever before.
American dogs have more access to better dog training options and information than ever before. Not all dog training advice and methods are equal, of course, but the average cell phone has more information, videos, and local contacts than the largest library just 20 years ago. Your cell phone is also the largest online pet and equipment store in the world.
3. Fewer dogs are being killed in shelters.
Fewer dogs are ending up in shelters or being euthanized today thanks to spay-neuter education, persuasion, subsidies, and laws. Spay neuter laws prevent millions of canine and feline deaths a year, and untold misery.
More dogs are being adopted.
4. More dogs are being adopted from shelters and through rescues.
Dogs from states where dogs are in surplus (the South and Midwest) are now screened, sorted, and sent to areas where there are fewer shelter dogs (cities and suburbs, especially on the coast).
5. American consumers are turning away from the AKC.
Consumers have figured out that "American Kennel Club" dogs are too often diseased, deformed, and dysfunctional, a product of mandatory breeding within a closed registry, and zero show ring points given to health, temperament, or working ability. Many AKC breed standards actually require selection for structural deformity. As a result, AKC registrations have fallen from over 1.5 million dogs a year to about 400,000 -- a decline of 74%.
6. Pet shop puppy sales have fallen to very small numbers.
The trouble here is up-river from the pet shop; commercial breeders ganging up large numbers of dogs, often in small pens with wire bottoms and little socialization, freedom, or exercise. Here breeding bitches are "bred until dead" and their puppies scooped up at the age of 6 to 7 weeks and whisked off to contract middle-men transporters such as Hunte. Here puppies from a dozen locations, and from dozens of litters, are co-mingled before vaccine immunity has reliably kicked in. The result: a predictable number of dogs with parvo, distemper, eye infections, and kennel cough.