The Dog Blog by Linda Labonte

What a beautiful world it would be if everyone had the heart of a Dog.

The Dog Blog by Linda Labonte - What a beautiful world it would be if everyone had the heart of a Dog.

What is the Solution to Enforce Breeder Ethics

As stated previously dog breeding should be regarded as many other professions. Professional associations have often worked to ensure ethics and add credibility in other professions and it should with breeders.

One thing that is for sure, what the AKC breed specific clubs are doing is not working.

Another thing that has been attempted in varying degrees of success is the USDA’s efforts to license breeders and inspect breeding kennels.  I am very skeptical about this working for two reasons

  1. It does little to educate breeders or the public of ethics and breeding best practices.
  2. It gives the public the perception that all breeders are being inspected and must be following some sort of ethics, when indeed this has proven not to be true with the current regulations.

What if we looked at the USDA’s license program and modified it to make sure breeders are educated and there is a method to educate the public through professional associations. The licensing procedure should follow:

  1. Complete a standard Fundamentals of Breeding (FB) written examination, which tests applicants on breadth of understanding of basic breeding principles
  2. Complete a written examination testing the applicants knowledge of breeding ethics.
  3. Require prior experience working with other accredited breeders for a given amount of time.

In addition to this the licensees are given the power by the USDA to say what the standards and best practices are for breeding as well as determining the ethics of breeding going forward.

This will inherently have licensees form professional breeders association(s) so they have more impact on the profession.

I believe this to be the best solution as if follows the models of other successful professional organizations such as professional engineering, legal and medical professions.



(as a result, we will have more of this – happy mom, happy babies, happy owners, happy breeders)






In conclusion, the atrocities that occur everyday to dogs, their caretakers and people like me in the business of breeding are truly not representative of the times we live in. We should know better, we need to do something about this now.

Why the AKC will not Act as a Definitive Professional Breeder Organization

As stated in my previous article, ethics are the forefront of many professions like engineer, medicine, mechanics, etc.. and they all have professional associations to ensure these ethics. There is a need for a professional breeder organization to sanction ethical breeders and reject those with bad practices.

One might think that the AKC is the obvious choice for this given their Mission Statement.

The American Kennel Club’s Mission Statement: 

  • Maintain a registry for purebred dogs and preserve its integrity.
  • Sanction dog events that promote interest in, and sustain the process of, breeding for type and function of purebred dogs.
  • Take whatever actions necessary to protect and assure the continuation of the sport of purebred dogs.

AKC ‘s Objective:

  • Advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs

There are three obvious problems preventing the AKC from being an authoritative body.

  1. The AKC has been given no authority judicially to solely maintain a registry of purebred dogs in the United states. Unlike many countries such as Canada where Canadians have the Animal Pedigree Act that protects animal registries and owners of animals, the AKC survives on reputation only.
  2. The AKC is accountable to no one but its own reputation. Most national breed registries are members of the International FCI which governs registries throughout the world and guarantees standards are followed so each country can trust the other countries registry. The AKC is not an FCI member and is not bound by the FCI standards. They often choose to create their own standards separate from those of the FCI.
  3. The AKC’s only recourse against a bad breeder is to disqualify its dogs from registration as a purebred animal. This is in conflict with their need to grow their membership base for their own survival.

So in short, although it is in the AKC missions to prevent bad breeding, they certainly will not survive if they become the police of the very people they depend on for survival. The growth of their membership base is a key focus for the club to the point the club has lost sight of its mission a bit. (for example they now allow mixed breeds to register and compete in their events).

For a definitive professional breeding organization to be successful, we have to look outside the AKC, or we need to look for an outside authority to help solve the AKC’s conflicts in achieving its mission.

I will give my idea’s on possible solutions in a future article.