Last week we talked about the “Miniature Goldens” we met. Our entire obedience class met them – the two four-month-old puppies got away from their foster dad and were running loose in the facility. This week we were talking about those puppies in class and one person asked “Well, if there are enough of them, won’t they become an official dog breed?”
Which made us realize that the mechanics of the dog fancy are pretty obscure to most people – even dog people. So we thought we’d explain why “doodles” and “mini-whatevers” will never become official breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
A bit more about AKC. It’s the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world. It’s also an advocate for all dogs, watching dog-related legislation. Additionally, the AKC is the parent of the Canine Health Foundation, which funds research and grants to understand and improve dogs’ health.
When a dog breed is not a breed
The AKC is not an overseer of dog breeding, nor does it decide what breeds exist. The AKC is a conglomeration of breed “Parent” clubs. Every single breed recognized by the AKC has its own parent club. Those breed parent clubs decide everything for their own breeds. For a breed club to become an AKC member club, it has to decide on the breed standard, show single-breed lineage for years, have a minimum number of dogs in the U.S., have representation in more than 20 states, etc. And even then, the breed club has to be part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, and then compete in the Miscellaneous Class in conformation.
You can see that there are quite a few hoops to jump through to have a breed become part of the AKC. Even so, there are 200 AKC-recognized breeds. But we’re pretty sure there will never be any “doodle” official breed.
Why no doodles?
There won’t be any AKC recognition for any “doodle” because the people producing them aren’t doing it for the love of the breed. They’ll never get together to form a parent club or set a breed standard. They talk about the Alpha-Numeric “generations,” but there’s no standard. What kind of coat? Curly like a Poodle, or fluffy like a Golden? What do the ears look like? How long should the muzzle be? How about the tail? How tall? What is the weight range? All these are defined by a breed’s standard.
A “standard” for a breed, written by the people who know and care about their breed, gives a guideline for the “ideal” specimen of that breed, both in looks (height, weight, build, etc.) and in personality/temperament. This standard is used by the judges in conformation dog shows. The judge’s job is to recognize the dogs that are closest to the breed standard.
The clubs even hold seminars for judges at dog shows to show live examples of good and not-so-good dogs of their breed.
For the love of the breed
Responsible breeders are never in it for the money. There isn’t any. In addition to the cost of keeping and showing dogs, there’s also extensive health testing, and veterinary care. Good breeders always chuckle ruefully at the dog-world joke: “Want to be a millionaire dog breeder? Start as a billionaire!”
There may be some cross-breed producers who care more about dogs than money. But so far, we’ve never found any. We’ve never heard of any who do health testing. Some may guarantee a puppy’s health for a year. Unfortunately, their solution when a problem is discovered is usually to offer another dog, not reimbursement or treatment. Which few would accept after falling in love with the puppy they have.
Official dog breeds
Most people have an idea of the kind of dog they like and what sort of dog would fit into their lives. A particular size, or type of coat, or even a color preference. With 200 recognized breeds to choose among, there’s one that will appeal to almost anyone. There’s no reason to enrich the puppy millers, scammers, and fall for their slick marketing.
There’s a step-by-step guide to finding the right dog for your family. We know – we wrote it. It covers both finding a responsible breeder or a trustworthy shelter/rescue. Share it with anyone looking for a dog. Just like every dog deserves a good and loving home, every family deserves the right dog for them.
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