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mCTCA Headline News Story 1



Proud NOT TO BE in the AKC!


Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D.,
Coton de Tulear Club of America President, 


(607) 693-2828

November 12, 2009.

This month the movers and shakers of a Eurocoton show fancy club, (the USACTC), issued a bold statement that they were actively seeking AKC recognition for their dogs.  What does this mean for us and for the breed?

First, it must be understood that the American Eurocoton, bred to the French FCI Standard since 1993, is a breed apart from the Coton de Tulear Club of America's Malagasy Cotons, who have been bred to the CTCA Standard since 1976.  Thus when the Eurocotons "go AKC" the CTCA's population will NOT be an AKC breed.  And that is, we think, a wonderful thing!

For more than three decades the CTCA has opposed AKC recognition.  What exactly is "recognition"?  It sounds benign enough, doesn't it?  In fact, it sounds as if a breed is not "recognized" by the AKC, then it simply isn't a real breed.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

AKC recognition means that a particular breed standard and its parent club registered population of dogs is now under the sole control of the AKC, its attorneys, and its professional, corporate management.  The parent club that formerly controlled the breed's registry is now relegated to taking their dogs to AKC shows, (hence the draw for show fancy people), and very little else.  The parent club can do nothing without an AKC attorney's approval and most importantly, has no say whatsoever in what dogs are registered as members of their breed.

So how onerous is AKC recognition anyway?  Very, as it turns out.  The corporate management of the AKC has long courted puppy mill and pet shop registration of dogs.  Indeed, the AKC management routinely schedules seminars and "breeder education" events with the Hunte Corporation of St. Louis Missouri, the world's largest broker of puppy mill raised puppies.  Parent clubs in the AKC have absolutely no say whatsoever about puppy mill and pet shop dogs, always of extremely dubious ancestry, populating their formerly pristine, pure breed registry.

Under AKC control, the formerly autonomous parent club can do nothing to prevent wholesale, unsound breeding practices such as rampant inbreeding, or even crossbreeding with other dog breeds.  The parent club's loss of supervision and control of its registry is a very big deal.

Ethical parent clubs such as the CTCA work hard to insure that their breeders properly place puppies into good, caring homes.  An ethical parent club enacts rules to govern how many times a female can be bred, at what age puppies can be sold, how healthy breeding dogs must be, how many dogs can be owned and bred in one home, under what conditions dogs can be kept, (in crates all their lives? NO), etc.  But once a breed is "AKC Recognized", all those safeguards are swept away and the dog breed's primary producers become unregulated puppy mills who wholesale poorly bred, poorly raised puppies to pet shops nationwide.  The AKC's corporate management is concerned with one thing only: how much revenue will come to the AKC?

To be sure there are amateur members of AKC parent clubs who take their own pampered pets to AKC dog shows to compete against professional dog handlers.  These amateurs often sponsor fund raising drives for breed rescues and write up nice brochures saying how one should treat their puppies and so forth.  But these nice folks are powerless to control the destiny of their breed once the AKC is given control of their breed's registry.  The AKC legally usurps the club's power to issue binding rules and regulations governing breeding, raising, housing and selling of the dogs of their breed.

Why would ANY parent club ever hand over their breed to the proven mismanagement of the AKC?  The answer is really a single word: "Westminster".

Virtually every rare breed club is ruled by show fancy people.  Many were people who used to breed and show an AKC dog, then they abandoned their former AKC breed to become "experts" with a new rare breed.  It is a "big fish in a small pond" syndrome that brings former AKC show people into a rare breed not yet "recognized" by the AKC.  Their goal has always been to show their dogs and win "championships".  But rare breed championships pale in significance to the glam of heading towards the blue ribbons of the Westminster dog show.

Hence the developmental pipeline: AKC breeder/show person --> rare breed breeder/show person --> rare breed taken to the AKC.  Interestingly, it is less a straight line than a circle.  After a few years with their formerly rare breed in the AKC, these show folks often complain that "my dog breed has been ruined" and they then abandon that breed and search once more for an as yet "unspoiled" rare breed.  And so the mandela of breed ruination continues.  It isNo AKC Header interesting to note that behind the scenes, AKC management has a joking epithet to refer to these show people who take up one breed, abandon it, then take up another.  They are called "Five Year Wonders".  Makes you seriously wonder how many show fancy people now taking their Eurocotons into the AKC will abandon them in five years.

There is not space enough in this single article to list how so many AKC breeds have been destroyed through bad breeding practices and show fancy excesses, but their ranks are legion.  AKC recognition almost assures the destruction of a breed's genome, (its gene pool), the loss of its sound behavioral attributes, (aggression increases; most AKC breeds have lost their previously desirable working traits, etc.).  Worse, AKC recognition virtually assures that the breed will populate pet shops and inevitably shelters, where countless abandoned, unwanted AKC pure breed dogs, many with behavioral issues, will be killed.

I am very pleased to tell you that the Coton de Tulear Club of America has steered our population of Malagasy Cotons de Tulear far, far away from the AKC.  We will continue to do so.  We fully realize that there will be an initial period of public confusion as the show fancy club takes their Eurocotons into the AKC.  But that, too, shall pass.

We will continue to educate the public about the AKC, the destructive show fancy, bad breeding practices, and more.  And we will continue to maintain the CTCA's registry, a true record of ancestry, apart from AKC control.  This illustration currently appears at the CTCA's web site, www.CotonClub.org Others will follow as time permits…


There is considerable information online about the AKC, the Hunte Corporation and its notorious pet store outlets such as PetLand, please see, for example:








The number of internet articles exposing the strong bonds between the AKC and puppy mills is huge, (more than 8,000).  Read a few, then ask the officers of the USACTC what were they thinking when they voted to take their Eurocotons into the AKC?  Their answers, if any, would be amusing.
copyright 2009 Dr. R. J. Russell & the CTCA