This came from an evil crossbreeder.
The AKC’s now recognizes that its biggest threat are the intentionally bred crossbreeds, which are, unfortunately, called “designer dogs.”
Are these crosses being mass produced on puppy farms? Yes.
Are breeder making fantastic claims about them? Yes.
Are they inherently evil because they are crossbred? No.
Crossbreeding dogs is not inherently unethical, but it comes up against a fundamentalist religion in dogs. This is the religion of the fancy, which has as its number one command “Thou shalt not cross breeds. Breeds are like species.”
The AKC is very much threatened by these crosses, which are taking away a huge share of the market for them.
The American people have never really believed that these multi-breed registries really represent our values as country. And now that we are the only industrialized nation outside of South Africa, South Korea, and Japan with a non-Caucasian head of state (who was elected with majorities both times), I don’t think the average American accept the tenants of blood purity for people or for dogs.
People are questioning many things that were once believed to be true:
Should marijuana be illegal like cocaine and heroin?
Should marriage be allowed between people of the same sex?
Should women be paid equal to men?
These questions are running rampant in the body politic right now, and I can tell you it wasn’t so long ago–ten years to be precisely– that these issues were not discussed at all.
Now they are.
And if we’re questioning these values, it’s not really hard to see that Americans are question something as silly and oddly foreign as the institutionalized dog fancy.
These institutions were not created for a country with very strong democratic institutions. They were created largely by Tory elitists in England and then grafted onto the United States, which has never accepted truly accepted the dog fancy as most of Europe has. I don’t think such an institution could last long in a country that elected a Barack Obama.
The United States doesn’t have the strongest democratic institutions in the world, but it has always had a very strong egalitarian spirit that sometimes comes bubbling up when people least expect it. One of the great paradoxes of this country is that even though we have a lot of inequality, we are somewhat embarrassed by it, which is probably why we don’t talk about it very much.
The dog fancy that the AKC works for is not an egalitarian organization at all. It is openly elitist. At the major dog shows, the dogs that tend to win are those that are professionally handled, which means that their owners are rich enough to hire someone to show their dogs for them. How many breeder-owner-handlers do you see when Westminster is on television?
So the AKC is now reduced to talking points on “designer dogs” in much the same way anti-gay activists are on the issue of marriage equality.
The American people are rejecting the product the AKC is selling– not only because it is elitist and caught up in a faith-based position on blood purity– but because the dogs it is producing aren’t what people actually want.
People love Labradors.
But they also like Benji.
And they would like it if their Labradors didn’t shed so much.
Wait, there is a Benji-type Labrador cross that doesn’t shed as much as a pure Labrador?
Where do I get this amazing creature?!
Not the AKC, I can tell you that!
And that is why the AKC is in panic mode.
Now, I’m not a big fan of the doodles myself. The big reason is that I really don’t like the poodle coat, and as someone who keeps clean-shaven, I am not a big fan of beards.
If we were going to cross a Labrador with something, why not a golden retriever or a Chesapeake?
But one thing that that these doodles and other intentionally-bred crosses have done is that they have caused people to question the blood purity religion.
And yes, there are charlatans breeding doodles left and right.
But you really don’t have room to criticize these people when you keep bulldogs and Neapolitan mastiffs in your registry, and many of those dogs are being bred by absolute moonbats of the worst order.
A registry that would celebrate the rolling cushion of a dog known as the pekingese as the epitome of canine soundness has very little moral authority indeed.
The problems with all the “designer dogs” certainly do need to be corrected.
But I don’t reject them outright.
To reject them outright is to deny innovation in dogs. It is to accept on faith alone that blood purity is a virtue that must never be compromised.
And I don’t accept it.
I don’t think anyone with even a high school understanding of population genetics ever could– but you’d be surprised.
This is the big religion in dogs, and now it’s under assault.
It may be for very superficial reasons, but it is under assault.
And the AKC is totally caught flat-footed.
Talking points aren’t going to save it, and I must confess I’ve heard them all before.
They all amount to a dog fancy equivalent of a Gish Gallop, including misrepresenting a study on whether purebred dogs are healthier than mixes. (See Christopher Landauer’s (Border Wars) attack on this misrepresentation in the comments!).
The dog fancy is on its knees.
A country that now wants marijuana legalized is fine with Labradoodles.
And the AKC cannot handle it.