December 2005

Inspections Maintain Registry Integrity and Educate Breeders

By Theresa Shea, editor

When long-time breeder and hunter Wayne Campbell received a call last July from AKC Executive Field Agent Marcus Bach, the two set up a meeting at Campbell's Chesterfield, Virginia, kennel the next day.

"When the inspector arrived, we went down and looked through the kennel," Campbell said. "Everything seemed up-to-par, and we came back here to look at records."

Bach DNA-tested a litter of nine Redbone Coonhounds and later used his laptop computer to see that Campbell's breeding and ownership records matched AKC records. Bach completed the inspections report on-site and left Campbell with a copy of the report. Campbell was in compliance with AKC record-keeping rules and care and condition policies and passed inspection. Read the full article.

Pick-of-the-Litter Question

When faced with a large litter, how do you determine when supplemental feeding is needed? Send us your answer!

Share your favorite tips, triumphs and trials about life as a purebred dog breeder. Send your answers, suggestions and stories that we may publish in a future issue. E-mail your answers to Please include your name, town and state and a means for us to contact you, if necessary. Thanks!

Enhancing Breeder Services: AKC's Current and Future Focus

By Dennis B. Sprung, AKC President and CEO

You, our breeders, are a top priority at the AKC. The evidence is in the myriad programs and services we have launched to make doing business with AKC easier and more efficient. Last year, the AKC's primary goal was to improve the registration process for both litter and dog registrants. We invested in a new registration system, and now registration processing takes only a day or two. This quick turnaround in litter registrations guarantees dog registration papers will be in your hands before owners pick up their new puppies. Read the full article.

First-Litter Rehearsal

By Catherine B. Nelson

No Broadway director would raise the curtain without rehearsals, but an astounding number of owners face their first litter without ever having witnessed a whelping. Granted, nature is wonderful, and the majority of new mothers instinctively know what to do, needing only the owner's comforting presence. However, statistically 30 percent of puppies delivered do not survive to 3 weeks of age. While this statistic may seem daunting, take heart. There are some extra steps each owner can take to maximize the chances that their first litter will be in the living 70 percent.

Becoming knowledgeable about the delivery process; arranging for veterinary help, if it should be needed; and understanding the correct care for the neonates are as important to a first-time breeder as memorizing the script is to an actor. Read the full article.

The First Seven Weeks: Raising Well-Adjusted Puppies

By Wendell J. Sammet

As breeders, we have the opportunity to start work early in producing our next generation of well-adjusted breeding and show stock as well as family pets. We can start when puppies are about 10 to 14 days old. Making the time to handle and talk to your puppies on a daily basis, socialize them and being aware of their early developmental needs will result in a tenfold return for the life of the dogs on the investment of time and care you put in during puppyhood. Read the full article.

AKC Canine Health Foundation:
A Decade of Research and Helping Dogs

By Jeff Sossamon

The AKC Canine Health Foundation was born out of the desire to help dogs. Since its formation in 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has become the world's largest funder of canine genetic research and a principal force in the advancement of health in our canine companions.

Founded by an initial American Kennel Club contribution of $1.6 million, the AKC Canine Health Foundation set out to "develop significant resources for basic and applied health programs with emphasis on canine genetics to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners," according to the Foundation's mission statement.

In little more than 10 years, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has awarded more than $13 million to fund non-invasive, canine genetic research. More than 275 studies in locations across the nation and world are helping breeders identify carriers of breed-specific ailments. Read the full article.

The Whelping Box: Some Things to Consider

By Stacy Mason, AKC Investigations Executive Field Agent and longtime Italian Greyhound breeder

An ideal whelping environment is warm, dry, quiet, draft-free and away from all other dogs when possible. Confinement and whelping location of your dam is relative to her breed and size. Always confine your dam to be by herself during whelping. The environment you choose will vary based on your breed's specific needs. Know the dates your bitches are due to whelp, and be prepared. At least 10 days prior to the due date, prepare your whelping equipment.

Be sure your whelping box is breed-appropriate for your bitch and her brood.

You will need a whelping box that is breed appropriate for your bitch and her brood. Make sure the box has high sides that will allow for nesting. Also make sure the box is made from a sturdy nonabsorbent material that does not have any small holes or areas in which a puppy can become stuck. Some dams have a tendency to lie on their puppies, make sure the box has appropriate roll bars inside the box. Roll bars are spacers about four inches above the box floor that provide the puppies living space between the mother and the box wall should they become trapped.

American Kennel Club President and CEO Dennis B. Sprung talks about breeder resources, such as online registration, litter certificates and breeder classifieds, in his message. We hope you find the AKC Breeder newsletter to be another valuable resource that you can count on for informative articles, continued education and vital information from the AKC about breeding purebred dogs.

After our first issue, we received many positive and supportive comments about this new publication. I invite continued feedback from you - the breeder - either as a letter to the editor, as a new idea for a column or as some constructive criticism about our content. Please feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear from you!

In this issue, we introduce the AKC Breeder "Pick of the Litter" question aimed at letting breeders speak out and share your favorite tips, triumphs and trials about life as a purebred dog breeder. This issue's question is: When faced with a large litter, how do you determine when supplemental feeding is needed? Please send your answers, suggestions and stories to be shared with our readers in a future issue. This idea exchange between breeders is a great way to hear how others come up with a variety of creative solutions when faced with similar problems.

Enjoy this issue filled with some great advice from long-time breeders as well as information geared toward the first-time breeder.

Ronald N. Rella
Director, Breeder Services
(212) 696-8303
  Inspections Maintain Registry Integrity and Educate Breeders
Pick-of-the-Litter Question
Enhancing Breeder Services: AKC's Current and Future Focus
First-Litter Rehearsal
The First Seven Weeks: Raising Well-Adjusted Puppies
AKC Canine Health Foundation: A Decade of Research and Helping Dogs
The Whelping Box: Some Things to Consider
Your Registration Dollars at Work
Have you ever wondered how the not-for-profit AKC uses registration fees?

AKC registration dollars support:
• Breeder education and compliance programs
• Efforts to stop breed-specific legislation and anti-breeding laws
• Public education programs including school outreach efforts
• Responsible dog ownership through programs like AKC Canine Good Citizen® and AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day
• AKC Canine Health Foundation-funded research to improve the lives of dogs
• AKC Companion Animal Recovery Canine Support and Relief Fund for disaster recovery efforts.

Over the last five years, the AKC has allocated more than $28 million to support these programs. In addition, registration helps support about 17,000 events with more than 2.5 million dogs entered each year.

Visit Why Register? for more information.
Maintain a registry for purebred dogs and preserve its integrity.

Sanction dog events that promote interest in, and sustain the process of, breeding for type and function of purebred dogs.

Take whatever actions necessary to protect and assure the continuation of the sport of purebred dogs.
  Ronald N. Rella, director, Breeder Services
Theresa Shea, editor | Email: | Joanne Beacon, designer
Customer Service | Phone: 919-233-9767 | Email:

© The American Kennel Club 2005

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