Good news for the sport — and dogs in general — in late August and September. The second week of the month California Senate Bill 250, which sought to increase revocation of licenses on intact dogs and cats statewide and impose other unreasonable regulations, was put on hold until January 2010. After numerous amendments over the past few months the bill was brought before the Assembly for a vote on Sept. 9. With 41 votes needed for passage the bill failed with a 28-42 vote.
A number of local breeders, owners and handlers spent countless hours fighting 250 and their efforts were rewarded with its failure to pass. A similar victory was won in North Carolina in August when an “anti-breeder” bill was defeated there, another hard-won victory by responsible breeders and fanciers who worked alongside the North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs.
California Bill 241, which limits the number of intact animals a person may possess, is still active. Other legislation that would impact the breeding and showing of purebred dogs is pending in Ohio, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and around the country.
The updated edition of Patricia Craige Trotter’s already marvelous book, Born To Win — Breed to Succeed has been released and with additions is now priceless for anyone with even the most casual interest in the world of dog shows and hobby breeding. Look for an excerpt in this issue.
Another development came up at the September AKC delegates’ meeting with a proposal for a Grand Champion title for dogs that meet certain predetermined criteria, with interesting suggestions put forth by delegates. The proposal will go back to the Board for adjustments. Several months ago Bo Bengtson sent a letter to AKC staff, which was also printed in the June issue of DR, proposing such a title to be awarded to dogs with a specific number of Best of Breed wins at shows with significant numbers of dogs competing, which would give owners with top-quality dogs another meaningful title to strive for and, as Bo said, put emphasis back where it belongs: at the Best of Breed level. Hopefully it would also boost entries at shows when champions that might otherwise not pursue a specials career would be brought back out to complete the Grand Champion title. There are so many benefits to this, not the least of which that more people within a breed will have an opportunity to see top-quality dogs that would otherwise
finish their championships and never go to another show. Grand Champion titles are awarded in Canada and other countries around the world, and it’s gratifying to see that AKC is moving forward with this plan.
Another item of interest discussed at the delegates meeting was the proposed Group realignment, covered in this column in the August 2009 issue and fairly extensively elsewhere in the dog press. A vote was scheduled on this proposal that would split the current Sporting and Hound Groups, change the name of the Non-Sporting Group to the Companion Group, and establish a new Northern Group, so that the seven Groups we now have will expand to 10. Reportedly the AKC Board has heard recently from “several” parent clubs that they wish to make changes regarding their breeds’ placements in the proposed new Groups, so the amendment has gone back to the Board and is now set to be voted on in March 2010. Has reaction to the proposal been overwhelmingly negative? From what I’ve read and heard, yes. Certainly the day will come when the current seven AKC Groups are unwieldy, but in our opinion now is not the time to address this topic.
Another plus for the sport: the Breeder’s Showcase event sponsored by Purina and the Santa Barbara Kennel Club, which took place the last weekend of August. I predict this will be one of the highlights of the American dog show scene in a few years. We have full coverage in this issue.
Also in September, the 125th birthday of the American Kennel Club fell on the 17th of the month, and of course we will all officially celebrate at the AKC/Eukanuba show in Long Beach in December.
We appreciate each and every one of our readers and we are always pleased to hear from you.
Christi McDonald, Editor