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July 1999 Newsletter - Volume 2. Issue 23

Table of Contents

©1999 MB-F, Inc.

You may use this paragraph as permission to reprint any article in the MB-F Newsletter providing 6rticles are printed in their entirety, proper credit is given to the author and to the MB-F Newsletter, and a copy of the publication in which it was reprinted is sent to the MB-F Newsletter, P.O. Box 22107, Greensboro, NC 27420. Opinions expressed by authors in this publication are their own and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. Publisher reserves the right to edit.

(The Greatest and Largest Dog Show Organization in the World)

By Tom Crowe

No one can dispute the subtitle above but is the tail wagging the dog? That’s what this article is about. In order to explain the previous statement I have to go into a bit of history with which many showing dogs are already familiar.

In the beginning a group of sportsmen decided to start a registration and pedigree system that would identify certain sires and dams carrying favorable traits. The idea was to perpetuate those traits in the breeds in which they were interested by selective breeding. It was a great idea and it worked and it grew. A club was formed (The American Kennel Club) to differentiate it from the English Kennel Club. As time went on it followed that the different breeders should be able to show the results to other members and so began the tailgate shows with picnic luncheons, etc. Voila! Dog shows were born and competition became the fun part of every show.

As the sport progressed it became apparent to many that some other kind of management was necessary to run the shows and along came superintendent George Foley to be specific. If you will go deeper into the history of the Foley organization you will quickly become aware that Mr. Foley was responsible for the adaptation of many of the rules governing the smooth operation of the shows. If you will review the records of the early shows you will find many notables among Mr. Foley’s early clients such as the Belmonts, the Rockefellers, the Duponts, the famous Morris and Essex lady, Mrs. Geraldine Dodge, and many more. The Midwest soon caught on and along came A. Wilson Bow in Detroit and Jack Bradshaw in Los Angeles was already in action on the West Coast. Edgar Moss entered the scene in the early thirties and he single handedly created almost all of the clubs below the Mason-Dixon line.

Meanwhile the American Kennel Club was growing by leaps and bounds. Registrations were increasing each year as were dog shows. Whole new departments were being added in addition to Registrations, such as Show Plans, Show Records, Judges Approvals, Obedience Department, Field Trials and other events plus a Legal Department. The kennel review became necessary and another department was added. As the shows became larger and expanded into the thousands instead of the hundreds and the registrations grew into the millions a computer department had to be added. Then along came field representatives introduced to handle problems at the shows.

Imagine what all this has done to the expenses and the cost of doing business such as rentals, salaries, equipment, computers, software, supplies, plus funding for the Canine Health Foundation, the Dog Museum, etc. It’s all a long, long way from the original intent of the founders. It is now to the stage where the “Tail (shows) is wagging the dog (registrations)”.

Trying to adjust to this tremendous increase (the cost of managing shows versus the income of registrations) has made it necessary for the Kennel Club to seek outside means of supporting these expenses. Hence the credit card and other projects being examined such as health insurance and many others. All of this gives the outside world the appearance of commercialism when in reality it is survival of what we have today.

The Canine Health Foundation is working very hard to become self-supporting and still fund the research which will be one of the great milestones in fulfilling the original intent of the founding fathers which was purifying pedigrees and promoting purebred dogs. The Foundation’s plans include securing funding from the many large corporations benefiting from the funded research, seeking large endowments from wealthy individuals, and increased help from prosperous kennel clubs.

Help is needed from all sectors and all directions to promote the aims and goals of the American Kennel Club, the Canine Health Foundation and the Dog Museum. All dog clubs must help by accepting a larger fee for processing the entry information required by event operations. It takes people and salaries to keep event records and manage the whole show strata. A computer and fewer people, on the other hand, can manage the Registrations Department. It is only a matter of time when the reinvention of registration programs will become active and will run almost automatically and interactively on line with persons wishing to register dogs. This will dramatically reduce the AKC’s internal registration costs. It will also increase registrations through the registrant’s ease of use.

It all boils down to a few simple facts. If clubs and exhibitors wish to continue this wonderful family sport as it is now and as it can be in the future, we all need to contribute our share. Cooperating with the AKC, the Canine Health Foundation and the Dog Museum to reduce operating expenses and increase income through donations, increased fees and severe reductions in overhead and direct expenses — these are the keys. When this happens, THE DOG WILL WAG THE TAIL. We shall then be deserving of the privileges of belonging to and enjoying the growth and goodness of our sport.

If I may I want to digress slightly but still remain in the field relative to Registrations. I want to emphasize the above is in no way to be considered as criticism of the present or past AKC Boards or staffs. It’s more like Topsy. “It just growed.” All the operational changes over a period of a hundred plus years appeared to be correct as the years flowed past. Now, however, it is time to set things right by correcting the previous methods and instituting new means of absolute verification of questionable sires and dams by DNA.

Our focus is now more demanding and it’s necessary now not to be examining the past but rather establishing guidelines for the future. It is more necessary today to make registrations verifiable as true records of lineage than ever before. Shows should continue as the competition ground, proving and sanctioning the improvement of the breeds as it has always been, but with a freshly cleansed and trustworthy view for the breeders and the public wanting to buy purebred dogs. Have faith. All of this will come to pass and our Dog World will become a better and more respected place in which to live. It just takes time and the cooperation of all concerned.

In addition to all of the above I wish to broach a subject somewhat related to registrations and puppies and the sale of puppies and grown dogs. InfoDog, the web site of MB-F, has recently introduced a program called “Winners and Bragging Rights”. The program is designed to promote purebred dogs, their owners, their breeders, and their handlers via the Internet. It has, however, been designed to serve a far greater purpose in addition to bragging about wins.


InfoDog has inserted a routine in the Winners and Bragging Rights program giving the Dog Show World the opportunity to buy and sell puppies and grown dogs on the net. The breeders and the owners of purebred dogs will have control of the dog market with world wide recognition as the place to buy or sell a dog or puppy. The rules to be established will be the assurance to buyer and seller alike that the pup or dog meets all of the criteria necessary to prove customer satisfaction. Certified pedigrees, shots and a veterinary health examination, etcetera, prior to shipment or pick-up will be part of the acceptance program. The main idea of this entire program is to instill in the public mind the integrity of the show breeder and to dissuade fraud and misrepresentation.

There is a saying among handlers that, “When you want to buy a top show dog there are none to be found.” They also go on to state, “When you want to sell a top show dog there are no buyers to be found”. We plan to introduce some changes to those statements such as “Look to the Internet and infodog.com. They have the program to revolutionize how purebreds change hands when honest dog breeders become involved. Say good-bye to puppy mills and shysters, when Dog People take over.

This is a self-help program. InfoDog will furnish the program but you must provide the product for it’s sale or purchase. For more information contact InfoDog via email, phone or snail mail. We look forward to your comments and your cooperation in this project. More later on this subject.

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by John S. Ward

Recently I received a call from a friend, who is in the market for a pure- bred dog of pet quality but of decent breeding. At my suggestion she attended a local large All- Breed Show for purposes of observation and of making contact with local breeders. She reported back to me shortly thereafter that several of the breeders she met were prepared to sell her a puppy, but required that she sign a contract promising to abide by several conditions specified in the contract. She was dismayed by the number and scope of the stipulations and was looking for advice and guidance as to whether she sign such a contract. In her view, the process was as complicated as adopting a human baby and she was thinking seriously of checking out the pet ads in the local classified section of the paper.

Obviously all breeders wish to be assured that their puppies are going to good homes and will be treated responsibly, but some of the conditions of sale border on being ridiculous. One suspects that these breeders are more interested in retaining control of the activities of the buyer than they are in the welfare of the puppies.

In the following paragraphs I am going to discuss some of the conditions I have noted in the aforementioned contracts. You will probably note that I am on the side of less rather than more regulations of what the new owners do with the puppies they have purchased. I believe the best approach is to be very careful in checking out the qualifications of the future buyer and then following up the sale with suggestions rather than demands regarding the handling, care, and careers of the puppies.

Co-Ownership: I have run across may cases where breeders insist on being the co-owners of every puppy they sell. This of course is an extreme example of a mania for control and cannot be truly justified on any other basis. Aside from ethical considerations co-ownership is the biggest single source of controversy and even litigation in the dog game.

Puppies from future litters: Another condition of the sale that one runs across is the agreement on the part of the buyer of a bitch to breed her and to return one or more puppies from that breeding to the seller of the bitch. This arrangement in my opinion should be replaced by a standard lease agreement without any money changing hands.

Spay/Neuter Agreement: Like all responsible dog owners, I am aware of the unwanted dog population problem and I have no desire to contribute to that surplus. Nevertheless, I believe that conscientious owners of purebred dogs are the least part of that problem and should not be ordered by the seller of a bitch puppy to refrain from breeding. I suspect that in many cases, the breeder’s concern is economic and is driven by the desire to eliminate competition.

Limited Registration: The use of the limited registration option in filling out a blue slip can serve a useful purpose, but it too is subject to abuse. The prospective buyer should be advised of both the positive and negative aspect of this option, that is, the fact that the dog is eligible for competition in many AKC performance events but that any of its progeny cannot be registered.

Use of Kennel Name: Some contracts require that the Kennel Name of the breeder must be used when registering the individual dog. This is of course a form of advertising for the breeder, and in my opinion should be optional on the part of the buyer. I have found that most purchasers if so requested will follow your suggestions.

Competition: In the case of a Show Puppy, some breeders will stipulate that the puppy must be shown to its breed championship and will also specify that the dog must be handled by a professional. This can be a very costly proposition and in my opinion is probably unenforceable in a court of law because of its vagueness. This is another case where encouragement and help are more suitable than is coercion.

What To Do? In the case of the prospective buyer, the answer is simply say NO. It is your money and if you are are not satisfied with any of the terms of the contract or even the contract itself, it is your privilege to renegotiate the contract or to walk away. Lastly, may I respectfully suggest to a breeder that he or she take a good look at a contract and make an honest effort to eliminate those clauses that are merely for control purposes and that will seriously discourage a prospective buyer. We are in this wonderful sport to promote the utility of the purebred dog as a companion to man and we must persuade others to join us.

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by Dorie Crowe

In the past few months we have had hard times at our office. As you might suspect, a number of MB-F folks do have dogs. And, as it inevitably happens, we have had several of these companions go on to that big x-pen in the sky. Some passed away from “old age” or severe illness or, as a result of the heart wrenching decision some of us must make in the best interest of our much loved companions to put the animal down.

No matter how it happens we all grieve for these animals that have shared and been so much a part of our lives.

And, of course, we have all set ourselves up for this, haven’t we? Any one of us who makes the decision to invite a dog (or any other pet) into our lives knows on some level that at some time the inevitable will happen and we will be shocked and amazed when it hits us squarely in the belly. But we jump in with both feet anyway, don’t we? And we do it again and again. We get so much from our relationship with our dogs that we just push “the end” as far back in our consciousness as we can.

Sometimes we are amazed that some of our friends and acquaintances just don’t understand the depth of our grief over these companions. Sometimes we don’t understand how some folks who lose their dog treat it in what we think is a very casual manner (“It’s just a dog.”). We sometimes wonder what these folks don’t get from their relationships with their dogs that we do and why don’t they? Why don’t they get it?

Around here we have some interesting stories. We have some folks who have both dogs and cats in their houses. We have some who are involved with rescue dogs. We have some who have a bit of land and have populated it with various pets that strut around on the grounds and all seem to get along well.

We have the person who it seems must have a neon sign or a beacon outside their house for any stray or unwanted animal to come and be accepted. This person began with a wonderful Golden Retriever and over the years seems to have magically acquired several other dogs that have wandered into the circle. Even though a couple of them have been difficult in terms of personality, interaction with the other dogs, health, etc., they have found a caring home. What would have happened to these little guys if they hadn’t found their way to this person? We tease, but we admire the capacity to make this commitment.

It’s interesting to see these companions our employees bring to the office from time to time - on their way to vet appointments, to board for vacation, just to visit, etc. Each has that special bond and we gather ‘round each of them to ooh and aah and otherwise comment. It’s interesting that whenever one of them makes their way into the office the number of people who feel compelled to reach out and scratch an ear, rub a chin, stroke a back., talk on the phone while stroking the pet that’s now sitting in their lap, etc. It’s the same at shows — you can’t walk through the tent or down an aisleway without seeing the same thing. What a gift this is!

We do also have some employees who don’t have a dog, a cat, a bird, fish, or any animal companion. We have had some who said they’d never have a dog.

As a matter of fact I see one of those almost every day who thought they’d never have a dog and seemed to think the rest of us were just a little crazy. Over the years it went from never, to maybe they’d like a *. Through a set of circumstances they were introduced to a Corgi a while back. As I watched this situation over the months a definite change seemed to occur. There were bits and pieces dropped in conversations. Then there was talk of worry when the dog went for a few hours to be groomed that he would be okay. Now there’s a photo of the dog with the Easter Bunny that appeared on their desk! Ahh, I thought, gotcha! The little dog has melted a heart, become an important part of their life and now they are just like the rest of us.

In the Sport we talk a great deal about going out into the community and educating people and promoting purebred dogs. Sometimes we forget that our well-trained, personable little companions are our best ambassadors. There are probably dozens of times in a day when you and your dog could do wonders for the Sport just by being visible companions. A well-trained dog, responsibly owned, is a wonderful example to set within your neighborhood and your community. You just might help someone else to “get it”.

Even though we all have to face that terrible moment that inevitably comes none of us can say it’s not worth what we got in return.

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We have received several “blasts from the past” in the form of old articles. They were submitted to us by Howard Nygood for publication in the next few MB-F Newsletters. In view of the rebirth of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club, we thought this glimpse into those “good ol’ days” would be a treat for those who remember the show and those who have only heard stories. The articles first appeared in the AKC GAZETTE June, 1927 and July, 1928. Reprinted here with permission of Neil Singer.

The Judges Have Spoken


T HE Morris and Essex Kennel Club, only recently organized mainly by fanciers residing in the counties of Morris and Essex, New Jersey, made its début recently by staging, probably, not only the largest outdoor limited breed show, but one that, possibly, will go down in “doggy” history as one of the finest ever held. Through the courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Marcellus Hartley Dodge, the polo field of Giralda Farms, Madison, New Jersey, was given over to the fancy, the beautiful setting of which must have brought joy to exhibitors and spectators alike. A woodsy road leads up to this handsome plateau, unfolding to the visitors a view of the carefully placed Lodge, with its intimate environments, situated in the center of the large polo field. The whole scene is surrounded entirely by woodland. An Italian blue sky on this day poured its bounty upon the tremendous green carpet below, and the doggy congregation sang its approval in all the keys invented by the master musician. Four enormous tents were provided for the comfort of the exhibitors and their canine charges. Several thousand feet of pipeline were laid to bring water to the caterer’s tent, and most important of all, right to the doors of our canine visitors. The generosity of Giralda Farms provided a bountiful buffet luncheon to everyone. Fifteen large rings were provided, and plenty of chairs were ready for all fanciers to watch the work of the officiating judges. The festivities were opened on the previous evening when the club members enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Dodge at a buffet supper, and this was followed by a dance in the Lodge. If ever there was a happy gathering, this was it, and the happiness prevailed until all the Judging was done on the next day. Everybody was delighted and praised the setting of this show, and particularly gave credit to those responsible for the success of the exhibition. Many distinguished visitors favored this event by their presence and the show was honored particularly by a short visit of Governor and Mrs. Moore. A short training exhibition of a shepherd puppy, about ten months old, was given by one of Mrs. Dodge’s American-breds, educated in her Princeton Training School. It was the companion course of training, the kind of work every shepherd in private hands should be able to do. The visitors were enthusiastic about the little fellow’s performance. Because of the very large entry, judging in some classes started at 9:30 A.M., and in practically all classes as scheduled. This promptness was unquestionably disturbing to some late arrivals, but it was impossible to exercise leniency and maintain efficiency. Exhibitors can help all shows by being on time, and it is, as a rule, such an easy thing to do. Best in show went to William W. Higgins’ Ch. Higgins’ Red Pat, a beautiful Irish setter, and best of all, an American-bred. He is entitled to the first leg on the magnificent best in show trophy donated by P. A. Rockfeller, to be won twice by the same owner. A companion piece was his to commemorate this win. Red Pat was the ringside favorite, and the judges’ award was accepted with enthusiastic applause by the “critics.” In sporting dogs, first went to the Irish setter, Ch. Higgins’ Red Pat; second to the English setter, Ch. Cooke’s Girlie, owned by Carroll Johnson and D. M. McCullough; third to the pointer, Ch. Trewarthentic Ben, owned by P. H. Powel; fourth to the cocker spaniel, Ch. My Own Perfection, owned by Cordova Kennels, and fifth to the springer spaniel, Horsford Historical, owned by Walton Ferguson, Jr. Among the working dogs, first was taken by the Old English sheepdog, Lassie of the Farm, owned by Mrs. Wilbur Kirby Hitchcock; second was won by the Doberman pinscher, Fedor von Butersburg, owned by the White Gate and Westphalia Kennels; while third was captured by the shepherd,


This beautiful Irish setter went best of all at the first show of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club

Ch. Amor vom Geyerberge, owned by Cassius Winkelman. The terrier group was headed by the wire-haired foxterrier, Ch. Signal Warily of Wildoaks, owned by Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Bondy; second place went to the Bedlington terrier, Ch. Deckham Olad of Firenze, owned by Lieutenant-Colonel M. R. Guggenheim; third to the Scottish terrier, Laindon Lauds, owned by Miss Mary Ray Winters; and fourth to the Airedale terrier, Flying Queen of Shelterock, owned by S. M. Stewart. In the remaining or non-sporting dog division, the Boston terrier, Mosholu Bearcat, owned by Mrs. M. C. McGlone, was first; while the chow chow, Pep of Clairedale, owned by Clairedale Kennels, came second. Shepherds brought out the largest entry, with one hundred and twenty dogs entered. This is a record for an outdoor show. This was, in itself, a surprise, and so was the high average of quality of the exhibits. Many of the imported dogs had to bow to the American-breds, with Irma of Cosalta, owned by Cosalta Kennels, going to best of winners. But Irma was defeated for best of breed by Ch. Amor vom Geyerberge, a greatly improved animal since the time I saw him in Newark. Breeders will have to watch out for over-refinement, a thing which was particularly noticeable in the American-bred males. An interesting exhibit was the collection of game little Bedlington terriers shown by Lieutenant-Colonel M. R. Guggenheim. There were nine. Best of winners went to Duplicate of Firenze, a Crystal Palace winner, but he had to bow in best of breed to his own kennel mate, Ch. Deckham Olad of Firenze. Olad was best in show in Rochester, and won the terrier group four times in five consecutive shows. On this day, however, a little foxterrier spoiled his fun. The skillfulness of the George Foley Dog Show Organization, and its efficiency, played a very important part in the success of this show, and I know every fancier appreciates its efforts. An expression of satisfaction was on everyone’s face, and happiness was in the hearts of those who carried home with them the sterling trophies in memory of the first annual show of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club. All in all it was a most delightful day. Undoubtedly it should become an annual fixture of the Metropolitan dog show circuit. Or at least, such was the wish of every one who attended. - W. H. Ebeling. June, 1927

The Judges Have Spoken

W HO will deny that supreme efforts are not rewarded by a most gratifying success? The second annual show of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club was again held on the polo fields of Giraldado Farms, Madison, New Jersey, under the guardianship of Mr. and Mrs. M. Hartley Dodge. Unlike most dog shows, the ceremonies were opened on the evening before the show at the residence of the host and hostess with a buffet supper, where about one hundred and fifty fanciers had the pleasure of enjoying a delicious repast, in beautiful surroundings, so gracefully provided by the charming hostess and ever-jolly host. Spirits ran high, and I believe the happiness of the doggy crowd was complete. After the supper, the guests motored to the hunting lodge on the polo fields, where a large orchestra just made us dance and dance and dance. It was one hour past midnight before the happy gathering broke up, regretting the fleetness with which the hours of joy had passed. But there was another day to come. The early morning of the show gave us an unpleasant surprise. It rained - how! But before the judging got well on the way, the sun peeked through the dark clouds and decided that the gathering was worthy of its magnitude, and before long a southern sky completed the picture of the artistically arranged polo field, dotted with enormous tents for all and every purpose. The arrangements were complete in the minutest of details. The Giralda banners of purple and gold fluttered at each corner of the judging rings, the platforms were painted to match and so were the ring posts. The rings themselves were of great size, and footing for man and beast was excellent. There was no excuse for a “slip” and nobody slipped, as far as I know. A most excellent luncheon was served to all exhibitors, free of charge, and the St. Vincent’s Boys’ Band, of Madison, entertained us during the lunch hour, which added to the joy of joys. As an outdoor show, I believe it was not only the most beautiful attempted and carried out, but also the largest of its kind. It was a 23-breed show with 920 dogs entered. Shepherds topped the list with 103; wirehaired foxterriers, 83; cocker spainels, 81; beagles, 55; Bostons, 54; English setters, 54; schnauzers and springer spaniels, each 40. Some entries had to he refused, arriving too late for the catalogue. The list of officiating judges was impressive and the large entries vouch for the rest. Judging by the applause at the various ringsides, the awards were received with considerable enthusiasm, and critical criticism did not come to my ears. Everybody seemed to be just happy. Shows of this nature, I believe, do a lot toward the cementing of the Fancy in general; they should create a better understanding, and may I express the hope that in another year “party politics” in some of the breeds may have disappeared, which would automatically swell the entries to a much higher level. An American-bred male, Inkee of Romont, swept the field in shepherds. He went from open-class through to best of breed and finished second in the working group. It was a well-deserved and popular win. He is owned by Charles W. G. Baiter, Short Hills, New Jersey, and sired by Giralda’s famous Iso von Doernerhof, the latter probably the greatest “breed building” sire America has had. Space does not permit comment on individual dogs, and I shall have to limit myself with giving the four “group” winning animals. But before doing so, I should like to express to Mr. and Mrs. Dodge our bountiful gratitude for not only making this show possible, but most particularly for their generosity and kindness to all. In this, I know, the entire Fancy is with me. The wins: Sporting dogs, judge A. F. Hochwalt.


Frederic C. Brown’s recently imported Sealyham, which has been cleaning up in American shows

First, W. W. Higgins’ Irish setter, Ch. Higgins’ Red Pat; second, Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Brown’s cocker spaniel, Ch. Lucknow Creme de la Creme; third, Rumson Farm Kennels’ pointer, Ch. King Sisters Tex; fourth. Paul Bailey’s English setter, Delbright’s Fannie Farmer. Working dogs, judge Anton A. Rost. First, White Gate Kennels’ Doberman pinscher, Big Boy of White Gate; second, Bement Kennels’ shepherd dog, Inkee of Romont; third, Anahassitt Collie Kennels, Wellcroft Wingstress; fourth, D. G. Hertz’ Great Dane, Bello v Shonbush. Terriers, judge Walter S. Glynn. First, Pinegrade Kennels’ Sealyham, Delf Discriminate of Pinegrade; second, Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Lewis’ wirehaired foxterrier, Ch. Talavera Margaret; third, Willinez Weather Kennels’ Airedale, Ch. Willinez Warrior Bold; fourth, Lt.-Col. M. R. Guggenheim’s Scottish terrier, Laurienston Lukeo of Firenze. Non-sporting dogs, judge Frank H. Addyman. First, Mrs. Al. C. McGlone’s Boston terrier, Million Dollar Blink; second, El Cher Kennel’s chow chow, Yuan Frere of El Cher. Best in show, judge Alfred Delmont. The Sealyham, Delf Discriminate of Pinegrade, Pinegrade Kennels. - W. H. Ebeling. July, 1928

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May 26, 1999


There are approximately 52.9 million dogs in the United States according to the Humane Society of the United States and the AVMA website.

Of this number the number of dogs in those litters that are the offspring of AKC registered parents but never registered is unknown. From 1988 through 1998 (11 years - average life span of a dog), AKC issued 29,608,599 dog applications.

AKC’s 56% Purebred 29.6 million population dogs estimate 29.6 million

Number of unknown purebred litters that are never registered

Unregistered 44% Mixed breed purebred population est. litters and 23.3 million mixed breed population

Source: Dolores Alonso, Director of Registration, AKC, April 1999

There were 555,964 litters registered by AKC in 1998. Of these litters 196,013 (35%) were registered by large-scale breeders. (A large-scale breeder is defined as anyone producing 7 or more litters in a year. This may include dog fanciers, “Puppy mills”, etc. Source: William Hughes, Director, I & I, AKC

AKC registers approximately 1 million dogs per year.

The population that breeds dogs as a hobby is estimated to be between 60,000 (the subscribers to the AKC Gazette), and more realistically 125,000 - 150,000, the number that attend shows and receive premium lists.


There has been a slight decline in the registration of purebred dogs but not necessarily in the numbers bred. While the percent of dog owning households has declined from 37% in 1995 to 31.6% in 1998, the number of dog-owning households has increased by over 3 million in the same time period (from 31.2% in 1995 to 34.6% in 1998). Part of this trend includes a slight increase in the number of households owning more than one dog (from 1.52 dogs per household in 1995 to 1.69 dogs per household in 1998).

Significant, however, is the increase in ownership of other pets, particularly cats. Cat ownership increased by 2 million from 1995 to 1998, while dog ownership only increased by 400,000 in the same time period. While a higher percent of households report owning dogs, (31.6 in 1998) than cats (27.3 in 1998), cat owners are more likely to have multiple cats in the house (1.69 for dogs; 2.19 cats). This increase may reflect changing lifestyles. Cats can be left alone for longer periods of time when both adults work outside the home. Also, cats can be accommodated in smaller homes and apartments than most dogs. (Source: A VMA Membership Directory and Resource Manual, 45th and 47th edition).

The peak years for dog owning families are between the ages of 25 and 45. The baby boom currently represents the largest single segment of the population. This segment of the population is nearing retirement and leaving the peak dog owning years.


While the baby boomers are nearing retirement more of them are living alone. In turn they may seek the companionship of a dog. Also, there is some indication that the dog owning years is lengthening.

This may dictate a change in the popularity of some breeds - smaller breeds being more suited to apartment and/or condominium living.

As the benefits of dog ownership for personal health continue to gain wide acceptance the popularity of dog ownership is likely to remain at a steady level. However, as the United States becomes increasingly urban the opportunities for dog ownership and for breeding dogs have become more restricted. Both of these forces are likely to modify both the breeds that are popular and the numbers of dog owners.


There are approximately 60,000 veterinarians practicing in the United States. Seventy-five percent of all veterinarians are in private practice. Last year, U.S. veterinary colleges/schools graduated a total of 2,462 students. Of those graduates 100% found veterinary-related employment or chose to continue their education in order to specialize in a particular clinical area or species.

In 1997 the average starting salary for newly graduated veterinarians in private practice was $31,468 and $36,708 for those in large animal practice. Veterinarians with five years experience in private practice averaged $44,000. After 10 years experience, the average salary for veterinarians reached $73,000. (Source: American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges, 5/25/99)

Increasingly, specialization has become a larger part of veterinary medicine. Currently there are specialization’s in the following areas: anesthesiologists, behaviorists, dentistry, dermatology, emergency and critical care, internal medicine (with subspecialties in cardiology, internal medicine, neurology and oncology, laboratory animal medicine, microbiology (with subspecialties in virology, immunology, bacteriology/mycology), nutrition, ophthalmology, pathology, pharmacology, poultry, practitioners (with subspecialties in avian, companion animal, equine, feed animal, diary, feedlot/cow-calf, wine health management), preventive medicine/epidemiology, radiology, surgeons, therigenologist, toxicology, and zoological medicine. In 1995 there were 5,044 active board certified diplomates. In 1998 there were 5,925. This represents an increase of 17% over the three-year time period. This trend is expected to continue with a resulting increase in the costs of veterinary care.

Veterinary expenditures per household for dogs in 1995 averaged $132.00. This figure increased 42% in 1998 to 186.80. An even larger increase was noted for annual household veterinary expenditures for cats, which rose 84% from $80.00 to $147.19. A portion of the increase in cats vet expenditures can be attributed to the increase in multiple cat households. (Source: A VMA Membership Directory And Resource Manual, 45th and 47th editions)

wpe9.jpg (1939 bytes)    The Shaggy Dog Stories



Life isn’t about keeping score. It’s not about how many friends you have, or how accepted you are. Not about if you have plans this weekend or if you’re alone. It isn’t about whom you’re dating, who you used to date, how many people you’ve dated, or if you haven’t been with anyone at all. It isn’t about whom you have kissed. It’s not about sex. It isn’t about who your family is or how much money they have, or what kind of car you drive. Or where you are sent to school. It’s not about how beautiful or ugly you are. Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on, or what kind of music you listen to. It’s not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown, or if your skin is too light or too dark. Not about what grades you get, how smart you are, how smart everybody else thinks you are, or how smart standardized tests say you are. It’s not about what clubs you’re in or how good you are at “your” sport. It’s not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper and seeing who will “accept the written you.” ****LIFE JUST ISN’T**** But, life is about whom you love and who you hurt. It’s about whom you make happy or unhappy purposefully. It’s about friendship, used as a sanctity or a weapon. It’s about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening. About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip. It’s about what judgments you pass and why. And who your judgments are spread to. It’s about whom you’ve ignored with full control and intention. It’s about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge. It’s about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it. But most of all, it’s about using your life to touch or poison other people’s hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone. Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices are what life’s all about.

(submitted via the Internet)


DAY 752: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.

Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

DAY 761: Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded. Must try this at the top of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. Must try this on their bed.

DAY 762: Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.

DAY 765: Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was.…

(submitted via the Internet by Angela Porpora)

Humor is a good thing.

If you have a favorite doggy laff
-- particularly a true story --
please send it in and share a good laff with fellow dog enthusiasts.

Send to:

MB-F, Inc.
c/o The Shaggy Dog
P.O. Box 22107
Greensboro, NC 27420

e-mail: mbf@infodog.com

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