What subjects are of primary importance to the participants in our sport, and to the future of purebred dogs? Certainly there are many: current news, event coverage, history, profiles of the dogs and personalities in our sport. There is so much great information out there that we scarcely have the space to bring all of it to our readers. And yet, something has been missing...
The comment that we’ve most often heard about Dogs in Review since its inception is that it is the single magazine that consistently brings relevant, educational and important information about the sport of purebred dogs to its readers. That’s exactly what Bo Bengtson and Paul Lepiane had in mind more than 10 years ago when they founded the magazine, and we’ve made it our mission to continue in that tradition.
With that in mind, I couldn’t be more proud to introduce a new feature to DR for 2008, one that we believe is among the most important aspects of the sport that we can cover and which is long overdue. Beginning with the April 2008 issue, and continuing throughout the year, we will bring our readers the Top Sires and Dams for 2007. The April issue will highlight each of the Top Sires and Dams in the seven variety Groups. In our Group issues during the remainder of the year we’ll bring you the Top Sires and Dams of every breed — Working and Herding in May, Toy and Non-Sporting in June, Hound in July, Sporting in August and Terrier in October. We’ll include not just the statistics — the producers and the names and numbers of champion offspring — but we’ll interview the breeders and owners of many of these dogs to find out what is significant about these sires and dams, where they came from, and what they’re offering to their respective breeds. As wonderful as it is to bring this information to the sport, we still hope that over the long term we will also be able to contribute to compiling records for the all-time top producers in each of the breeds. As we’ve mentioned before in DR, some parent clubs keep permanent records of the producers in their breeds; Poodle Club of America, as one example, publishes Poodles in America, a new volume of which is now available every four years. These invaluable resource books date back to 1929 and record every AKC champion of record in the breed as well as the total numbers of champion offspring for each sire and dam. Unfortunately, there are as many or more breeds for which these official records are not kept. With the belief that there is little of more importance to a breed than its producers, we hold out hope that a workable method of compiling this data will reveal itself in the near future.
As I write we are just a week away from leaving for Westminster, and have just watched the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on television. The broadcast was well done and the kind of publicity that is good for the sport, as Westminster’s television broadcast is as well. With the new year, it appears that there are more and more threats of legislation that is unfavorable to dog owners, including hobby breeders, and we must continue to do everything possible to present AKC-affiliated breeders, owners and events to the public in a positive light, and to maintain the positive, strong face of our American Kennel Club. AKC is one of the few organizations large enough and financially strong enough to effectively fight legislation that is detrimental to dogs and to responsible breeders; it is our responsibility to do everything we can to support our governing body.
We look forward to seeing you at shows this year!
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