Cdr Salamander brings the smackdown to the American Kennel Club

Milblogger Cdr Salamander responded to a Congressman who objected to the USA importing its military working dogs.  Here’s an excerpt.

Here is the executive summary Congressman; we foreign source our dogs because on balance American breeders in general, and the AKC specifically, are the worst thing to happen to dogs since the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.

Our problem is twofold, vanity and greed.

Let me give you an example. The worse national election of the last year was not Clinton-v-Trump, it was the German Shepard Dog winning the Westminster Kennel Club following the equally horrid disgrace at Crufts last year where the Mother Country picked up our bad ideas. The American GSD is the poster child for systemic animal abuse in the guise of “love” of a breed.

As they have with so many breeds, the “Bench” conformation crowd created a crippled, unhealthy, and generally useless line of GSD that come from the USA. See that sloping back? You do not see that deformity in German, Dutch, and Belgian lines of those dogs. Untold hundreds of puppies are born each year in conformation kennels who spend their lives in pain and misery just to get that look from a few.

As all they are concerned with is superficial conformity to an artificial standard created by people with no care for what the dogs actually are designed to do, nothing else matters. Hips, EIC, cancer, allergies, intelligence, drive, instinct – non of these things matter to the Bench people in the USA – and increasingly elsewhere as our bad habits spread.

The poor puppers have had their purpose bred out of them. Herding dogs can’t herd, retrievers cannot retrieve, pointers can’t point, guards can’t guard, terriers can’t terrorize, and hounds are scared of their own shadows.

There’s much more at the link, including examples of specific breeds.  Recommended reading.

I’m no expert on the subject, but I’ve heard enough veterinary surgeons complain about inbreeding in dogs, and read enough articles about the same (for example, see here), to believe he’s probably right.  It’s yet another reason why, if Miss D. and I should get a dog, we’ll either look for a rescue animal, or buy a puppy from a breeder who doesn’t adhere to AKC standards, and breeds his or her dogs in a more natural, healthy way.



  1. TSA is not the military. I believe the US Army has their own breeding program.

    +1 on labs. My lab 's father was from Scotland and he looked like dear old pa. He would not have passed as a stubby bench dog or a manic field trailer but he was a joy to hunt with and only mildly crazy after 2 years of age.


  2. Been on this topic for years. First noticed it in Irish Setters. You never see one of the "Beautiful" AKC dogs in a field trial. They have had the brains bred out of them in search of "confirmation". GSDs just look wrong with that sloping back.

  3. My daughter bought a dog for protection. She got it at a kennel. "Willow" looks like a German Shepard, but she's of Czech lineage and my daughter told me the breed has another name. Can't remember it now. Most of the other young people in her apartment complex are getting pit bulls. The city government is putting "rent subsidized" people from Africa, Middle East, and the Inner city in what was once a nice place. Most of the young people living there have already bailed and my daughter and her dog are moving to Nashville.

  4. Thanks Peter. I was unaware of this and am getting ready to buy a pup for my family. I will now do so a little bit wiser.

  5. That comes surprising. Germany had huge problems with GSD being bred for show and suffering from HD for ages. It has gotten much better in the last 20 years.

    I always expected the US, with a more pragmatic approach to things in general, not to make the same mistake. The things you learn…

  6. Here in Africa we have the Canis Africanis… aka Pavement Special…
    The toughest, most loving defenders of the realm one can get. 😉

  7. I don't know if the AKC started this, but it's just as bad in Europe. What they've done to German Shephards is just a crime: if they have that sloping back, they are basically crippled. Other breeds can't breath properly, or their skulls don't grow right, or…

    I don't understand how anyone who actually likes dogs can breed them like this, or why anyone would buy a dog with such fundamental defects.

  8. It's funny. You go to the animal shelter to get a new dog, and you're a hero. But go to the women's shelter to find a new girlfriend, and you're an asshole.

  9. Why I much prefer a mixed breed mutt. My present dog's mother was mix of Great Pyrenees and Yellow Lab, his daddy was a Pit-bull. Over the years have had good results with Pit-bull Lab mixes.

  10. In the US, this is a longstanding problem. I can remember seeing, as least as far back as the early 1990s, field breeds that had to be fed from a bowl placed on a low bench because the poor doggy couldn't lower his muzzle to a bowl on the ground. The GSD has long been my favorite breed, but I wouldn't buy one (or any other breed) from an AKC breeder. These people who claim to love the breed could not do a better job of destroying it if they tried.

  11. My last dog, which will probably be my LAST dog, considering my age, was UKC registered–but then I'd probably not consider owning a dog other than an APBT (American Pit Bull Terrier). Bulldogs are lovely animals!
    –Tennessee Budd

  12. Let's hear it for mutts! My boy is half pit bull, half border collie, mom was full Pit. He's fiercely protective of the Pack,(us) and a 73 lb. lap dog otherwise. A love bug.

  13. We've had two kennel-bred Labs, and two Lab-mix mutts. All made good pets, but the pure-breds were more high-strung, had more problems, and never seemed to be quite right in the head. Love my dogs, but I think we've bought our last pure-bred.

  14. I remember finding out years ago about the cocker spaniel categories at the Westminster Kennel Club. Apparently, they were once popular with New York society matrons, so the awards were split to increase the number of such matrons who had bragging rights. There are three categories for cocker spaniels: Black (solid color), parti-colored (more than one color), and ASCOB (Any Solid Color Other than Black).

    Similarly, there are two beagle categories. One is for any dog less than X inches at the shoulder, the other is for taller dogs.

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