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Yo, USA Network: Drop the Dog Show, Already!

Written by PETA | January 5, 2009

Intentionally breeding dogs for their looks while millions are dying for lack of good homes in extremely crowded shelters? The American Kennel Club just doesn’t get it. And neither does the USA network, which broadcasts the AKC’s Westminster Dog Show every February.

That’s why we sent USA a letter asking for a little face time to discuss really important things like, oh, not airing the controversial pure-breed pup parade. Coming on the heels of the BBC’s announcement that it will no longer broadcast coverage of the Kennel Club’s Crufts dog show (the Brit equivalent of the Westminster monstrosity), the letter points out that breeding dogs in order to create a look that negatively affects their health, temperament, and quality of life is totally not cool. After all, one in four purebred dogs is plagued with a serious genetic problem.

So USA, how about being a good network? Sit. Listen. Roll over. And fetch a few reruns of Law and Order to replace that dastardly dog show …


Written by Amy Elizabeth

Commenting is closed.
  • mickey says:

    omg just leave the poor people alone. the people that show dogs love their dogs just as much as people that dont maybe even more. i have 13 purebred dogs in my home. 10 japanese chins and 3 dobermans Me and my children show in conformation and my children show in juniors. if u would like 2 state ur opinion you can email me at thank you

  • Sara says:

    Sadly the real problem are the irresponsible dog owners that let their mixed breed dogs continue to breed and then when they become a problem or too old they drop them off at the shelter where they have about a 30 to even be considered as adoptable by shelter staff. Close to 70 of shelter dog are unadoptable and are just being housed until they can euthanize or rescue. This will not change due to liability for aggression and the public not wanting to adopt senior animals. People who responsibly breed purebred dogs communicate about health issues fund research for more solutions guarantee their dogs for their lifetimes and insist they be returned to them if any problem arises microchip or identify their dogs teach their dogs good manners and love their dogs like their own children. Don’t be so convinced of what is right until you really know a responsible breeder and meet their dogs.

  • Bethanie O'Brien says:

    People choose breeders over shelters because you can have more certianity on what your getting. GOOD BREEDERS will go though many health tests temperment tests and instinct test before breeding a dog so that they know that the dogs puppies will not have a bad temperment and will not have bad health issues. Dogs with these problems are the ones who end up in the pound. It is NOT American Kennel Club’s fault that these dogs have ended up in shelters. It is IRRESPONSIBLE breeders fault. They are the ones who breed puppies for money. THEY are the ones who create puppy mills. THEY are the ones you need to be attacking. AKC breeders and other show breeders acutally CARE about the dogs they breed. If you did you research then you would know that many GOOD breeders and many that are associated with AKC have puppy contracts. Most of these contracts state that if the dog is not going to be shown they must get spayed or neutered and most contracts also state that if the owner cannot keep the dog they HAVE TO GIVE IT BACK TO THE BREEDER!!! AKC Breeders are working to keep dogs out of shelters keeping their puppies humane and healthy. And people like you are attacking us instead of the real enemy BAD BREEDERS. Think before you speak.

  • Wanda says:

    Whoever it is that is responsible for the PUPPY MILLS needs counseling mandatory time volunteering in rescues and shelters HUGE fines jail time and never be allowed to own any animal again. To breed a dog for cuteness and condemn that poor baby to a life time of health problems needs ……to stop doing the disgusting and cruel breeding…. Not to mention the heartache and sorrow you cause the family that loves him or her. If I was a dog I’d bite you!

  • Sarah says:

    I would just like to know where you get all your information…like “1 in 4 pure bred dogs is plagued with a serious genetic problem?” I just want some sources for this info…because if it’s not cited it’s not valid it’s just your opinion or just making up some statistic to make yourself sound smart and more credible. I would also like to say that there is no problem with breeding pure bred dogs to do what they were bred to do and there are great advantages to having purebred dogs. Now don’t get me wrong. I believe you shouldn’t breed unless you rescue but saying that dogs die in shelters just because of cosmetic surgeries…where do you get this stuff? Again…I’d like some sources. Like others have said you are more likely to get dogs with debilitating diseases from a pet store than you are from breeders at a dog show because that’s where you find irresponsible breeding. People need to do their research in breeding and buying and then there would not be the problems that there are today but seriously don’t ruin one of the most beloved of canine sports for those who really are responsible and care greatly for their animals.

  • Miranda M says:

    This program is so outdated and ridiculous! I’m glad we’re finally speaking out about it! Thanks PETA!!

  • Kathy says:

    With ALL due respect Kelly you really should research your facts more completely. Many of the things you said are half truths and there is more information that you haven’t posted which defeats your stand. Many of the “puppy mills” that you speak of do NOT register their puppies with AKC although they claim they are purebred I would bet they would shy away from a DNA test! because they fear inspection. Also breed clubs do not receive money from AKC for their events which I have to add are not just conformation there are performance events that a wide variety of people enjoy for the fun of just being with their dogs!. In fact each entry fee paid to a club must include a small fee approx. $.50 that is paid to AKC for paperwork etc. So while I support your right to voice your opinion I would like to ask that the facts you publicize be correct. Thank you!

  • Lauren says:

    There are very few if at all people that show dogs that actually abuse dogs or don’t like them. People show dogs to better the species and more specifically their particular breed. I show my dogs to create an even stronger bond. I love my dogs more than anything. They are my everything and I would NEVER put them in danger. I am appaled that people don’t read up on their facts before coming to conclusions. If anything purebreds have less health problems than muttsmixes. I myself have a mutt and he is one of the best dogs in the world. There are very good reasons to own a purebred dog. 1 You can compete in AKC sanctioned events to win titles and awards and just spend even more time with your dog. 2 Some people love dogs but are allergic like myself. These people in particular need to know exactly what they are getting. They will be getting a dog that they know won’t shed and is clear of health problems. If you get your dog from a RESPONSIBLE breeder they will provide health clearences on the dam and sire so that you know that there are no genetic problems. Breeders will also give you references. You can contact other people who have that person’s dogs and they can tell you if they have been pleased or not. 3 You can get a pedigree on your dog and check their lines to assure you that your dog isn’t inbred. Most health problems described are traits that will be given to a dog when they are inbred. USA should air Westminster Kennel Club dog show because we do NOT abuse our dogs. If we did do you think that the law would let us continue in this sport??!! You can’t force a dog to be a show dog. There is no way to do this!! If a dog doesn’t want to show it’s not going to show and that’s final! They have to be willing because most breed standards that judges judge by say that the breed should be “merry and full of energy”. This isn’t abuse at all! My pointer goes NUTS when you ask him if he wants to go to a dog show! His brother doesn’t have the same reaction so he isn’t a show dog. He started out loving it and he quickly got his Championship title and then soon after he started dreading the trip. He became very anxious and started becoming bored with the whole thing. I never have taken him to a dog show since then. He now is an obedience dog and we have started in Rally and Agility as well! He’s one of the happiest dogs out there!!! No 2 dogs are the same at all and not every dog is cut out for the dog show life. My english setter gets a bath almost every day with pleasure and I take him on bike rides every other day. It is his favorite thing in the world next to being in the show ring! As for Uno there is NO dog in the world that loves to be a show dog more than Uno. Aaron loved Uno more than anything!!!!! Uno was SO excited when I saw him in New York City last year before he won. He was jumping up and down and barking his little head off! He would do anything for Aaron and Aaron did everything with Uno. All of the dogs that you will see on TV on USA Network love this and please don’t think that we abuse our dogs because you aren’t any more wrong…

  • shelterdogsforlife says:

    Umm…it’s not the AKC that registers puppy mills. That’s the Continental Kennel Club. The CKC is the one you should be fighting against. They promote puppy mills and are the number one registry for them. I will say this however. Several standards that the AKC holds are detrimental to the dog’s health. However I ask you thiswhy would you fight AKC as a whole? Why not just try to get them to change the breed standards? Why just AKC? There are other registrations too like the UKC and ADBA. Why are they not even mentioned especially when the ADBA is the top registry for American Pit Bull Terriers? I ask you to respond to me these are answers I would seriously love to know.

  • Nancy K says:

    Why are you throwing the “baby out with the bath water”? Why not work with reputable Breed Clubs and help them overcome the AKC registering what you call “puppy mill” animals from disreputable money hungry breeders. Dog show’s on TV can be educational and with your help they could be more so and reach a lot more people than you can alone. Why not join with dog show and TV producers to make them more educational. You could bring a lot more of these issues to the forefront by doing so.

  • Janice says:

    Kelly I must say you are mistaken. I am on the board of a regional breed club and we DO NOT get any money from the AKC. We raise it all ourselves from fund raisers and a large portion of it goes to rescue.

  • BERNICE says:

    Why are you targeting only the USA network? Animal Planet broadcasts 2 or 3 dog shows each year. If you’re going to criticize one criticize all.

  • Tim says:

    Stop harrasing reputable breeders and dog lovers. Do the hard work and go after the puppy mills. Stopping the broadcasting of this dog show is grandstanding only and not doing anything to address the real problem puppy mills.

  • Jennifer Darcy says:

    I just booked my flight to go to the Westminster Dog Show. My friend who has been breeding dogs for 10 years has a dog entered. He is a wonderful representative of his breed and the result of a careful breeding program. She has never made a penny breeding dogs because she it costs so much to vaccinate deworm test hips eyes elbows etc. Don’t mislead the public into thinking that breeding purebred dogs is a bad thing. I have three AKC registered dogs. My kids and I show in AKC agility obedience and conformation and my kids show in Jr. Handlers. We will always buy a registered dog from a reputable breeder. We all need to work together to solve the problem of overpopulation of dogs and cats. It is not the fault of the purebred dog breeders that we have so many dogs in our shelters.

  • Thomas says:

    Excuse me what in the hell is this world comming too? It isn’t the quality breeders doing the harm it’s the “Designer Dog” Puppy mills who breed Mutts and the back room breeders who are in it just for the all mighty buck! The majority of people a these shows love thier dogs and have quality animals! The shows help to educate people about pure bred dogs and not these mutts that the crooks are trying to sell for hundreds of dollars in pet stores and in the paper! If ya want a mutt go to the shelter and save a life! I for one enjoy seeing the beautiful dogs at these shows and I own two purebred Cockers who were rescued! Because I saw the breed in a show and wanted them. One is an English Cocker one is an American as seen on the Cruft’s show and Westminster

  • roxanne says:

    I not watching USA anymore

  • Amber Falobas says:

    I’ll boycott USA! theres no good shows on there anyway….

  • Leigh says:

    I know someone with a one year old cocker spaniel who has been diagnosed with 4 heart conditions and hasn’t long to live. I also have a rescued SharPei with eye problems and sensitive skin. Breeders are producing unsound and inbred animals. Crossbreeds are generally healthier dogs. And even if you’re looking for something purebred Visit your local shelter there are so many wonderful dogs looking for good homes.

  • kelly says:

    Here is an AKC board member who not only works to get the AKC its puppy mill business she and her fellow AKC breeders across the country and their AKC breeder followers lobby FOR the puppy mills and AGAINST humane laws httpwww.sourcewatch.orgindex.php?titlePattiStrand This is what “reputable” breeding has come to

  • kelly says:

    YES the breed clubs DO get money from the AKC and they do get services and lobbying paid for by puppy mill registrations Yes the AKC breed clubs profit from AKC puppy mill suffering Most of the breed clubs are just as guilty as the AKC and either turn a blind eye to the puppy mill registration and suffering and keep accepting the $$ and services or LOBBY FOR THE MILLS just the way that AKC tells them to! Very few breed clubs have the guts to stand up to the pressure of AKC and other breeders and clubs. They just go right along with it. The world of “reputable” breeding is as disreputable as the mills.

  • Joanna says:

    to kelly the AKC is guilty enough of actual stupidity and puppy mill profiting that you do not need to make up additional crimes. The breed clubs are not funded by the AKC. If anything the breed clubs are working against the AKC just becuase of the very issues raised…puppy mills and bad breeding. Instead of boycotting why not ask for equal time and use the venue to discuss the issues.

  • kelly says:

    The number one source of income for the AKC is PUPPY MILL REGISTRATIONS httpwww.bogartsdaddy.comBouvierBouvPagesarticleinquirepuppymillsAKC.htm It’s gotten even worse!! The AKC has professional lobbyists lobbying FOR the mills! It is blood money from the dogs suffering in those puppy mills that pays for the dog shows the breed clubs and all the other AKC activities.

  • Anita50882 says:

    I say we boycott USA network for the month of January. Maybe without 2 million viewers they will get the picture.