Delegate’s Report: May 2019
Overall, 2018 was a good year for the American Kennel Club: revenues were up, the numbers of both dog and litter registrations increased, the number of unique breeders registering litters with the AKC increased over the previous year and the number of combined event entries for all AKC events set a new record. Such improvements suggest that the American public is showing a greater interest, and placing greater value on purebred dogs
· In 2018, AKC’s Total Revenues were up 7% over 2017 (~52% of income derives from registration-related revenues).
· Entries at AKC events were up by 3% in 2018. The AKC Tricks program, Scent Work program, Fast CAT, Rally and the Canine Good Citizen programs enjoyed increases in event entries; Agility entries were essentially flat, and Field Events, Tracking Earth Dog, Obedience and Conformation all saw declines in entries (2018 was the 15th consecutive year of decline in Conformation entries).
· The number of unique breeders registering litters with the AKC was up by 6% in 2018. The number of dogs and litters registered increased by 4% and 5% respectively. This represents 5 consecutive years of increasing registration volumes.
· However, Keeshonden have NOT kept pace with the overall trend for purebred dogs. In 2018, Keeshonden were ranked as the 95th
most registered breed (of 193 total breeds, down from 87th place in 2017) with 510 dogs being registered (down from 598 registered in 2017, a 14.9% drop). Our litters registered were 174 (down to 100th place, from 176 litters and 97th place in 2017 – a 1.1% decrease) with a total litter complement of 931 puppies having been born (down from 938 in 2017 – a 0.7% decline). The average number of puppies in our litters is 5.35.
· The total number of litters of Keeshonden being whelped are down 22.7% when compared to 2008.
· Unfortunately, the total number of Keeshonden competing in Conformation continues to decline with only 16.5% of our puppies ever winding up in the show ring. The percentage of Keeshonden competing in Companion and Performance events is even more dismal and has continued to decline since 2008.
· These statistics suggest that, both as individuals and as a community, we should re-evaluate how well our current practices are promoting the interests of and ensuring the future of purebred Keeshonden. The numbers indicate that we are not producing Keeshonden at a pace with other purebreds, we are not doing enough to ensure the registration of the puppies that we do produce, and we are not effective at helping our dog buyers to become interested and involved in AKC events. Without registration and involvement in the dog community, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to encourage and train our puppy
buyers to eventually to become the next generation of responsible breeders of purebred Keeshonden.
· The AKC completed its move to 101 Park Avenue in the September of 2018 and opened the AKC Museum of the Dog and the AKC Library in March of this year. This museum is easily accessible to visitors to New York City – it is only a block away from Grand Central Station and is worth a place on your itinerary if you’re visiting the metro area.
· 2018 saw the introduction of a major new initiative: AKC.tv. AKC.tv is a dog-specific entertainment and information channel geared toward the purebred dog fancy, and is available on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire. The AKC.tv mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.
In short, the AKC is in improving financial shape. The monies it earns are being put into not only events, records and government relations, but into its various affiliates, such as the AKC Canine Health Fund, the AKC Reunite Program and the AKC Humane Fund. The activities of all of these groups benefit Keeshonden both directly and indirectly in myriad ways. Registration statistics indicate that the public is beginning to rediscover the importance of, and is placing greater value on owning purebred dogs. It’s is going to be up to us, the Keeshond Club of America, to help meet the increasing demand for quality, purebred dogs, to find new and more effective ways to promote the welfare of our own breed, and to increase our support for the sport of purebred dogs in America.