The AKC got shellacked in a piece on HBO RealSports last night.
Soledad O’Brien did a short, Pedigree Dogs Exposed-type segment for the series.
And the AKC proved just how inept it really is when it comes to public relations.
This is what the AKC is promoting as its response to the segment, which supposedly shows that Soledad O’Brien was unfair and deliberately cut out reasonable parts to make it look more sensationalist.
The piece was largely about bulldogs, which are the poster dogs for all that is wrong with the modern dog fancy.
So the questions are all about bulldogs.
And to say that these responses were twaddle is a bit of a stretch. It’s not even twaddle. It’s not even spin. It’s just mantras!
“Happy, healthy dogs” and “the breed standards is a blueprint” are the worst mantras ever.
“Happy, healthy dogs” are perhaps the three most meaningless words in the English language when they put in this particular syntax.
And breed standards are not blueprints. They are actually scripture. And like all scripture, they are up for interpretation, and the interpretation often depends upon how ignorant and/or evil the person doing the interpreting actually is.
The only thing they say that is true is that the bulldog has been bred to this standard for over a century, and this was certainly the first breed to be so severely deformed through competitive dog showing, that within 25 years of it entering the Kennel Club, the very “typey” bulldogs were having all sorts of trouble. And one winning specimen couldn’t even finish a walking race!
It is a circular argument to say that bulldogs have been bred this way for a long time, therefore the standard is good.
The fact is this breed is a monstrosity of canine flesh, and sadly, it has been that way for over a century. i
The AKC better hire some PR people. It is obvious there is now some blood in the water, and it’s just a mater of time before there is a Hollywood documentary in the same vein as Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
If the AKC handles this poorly, as it very likely will, then we will have animal rights legislation of the absolute worst sort shoved down our throats.
This is the real threat.
The AKC doesn’t understand that its values are behind the times when it comes to both science and ethics, and if it continues on, all dog breeders will soon be so regulated as to make dog breeding next to impossible.
I hope it doesn’t come to this. I hope that it eventually brings back innovative breeding experiments that once were common in domestic dogs– innovation that has been stymied through the closed registry system.
But that’s only the hope.
The reality is that there could be a major disaster in the offing.
I would love it if the AKC as an institution would disappear.
But not if it ends dog breeding as we know it.