Summer 2005

Vaccinations: Know What You’re Using

By Theresa Shea, editor

As a dog breeder, imagine yourself sitting down in a “vaccine” restaurant.

Boston Terrier.
Credit: Isabelle Francais

When you open the menu to view your choices of vaccines, you might be surprised at the number of options before you. You could be further shocked by a list of ingredients included in each vaccine. When it comes time to order, which vaccines will you select for your dogs, and how often will you administer them?

At a recent American Kennel Club and AKC Canine Health Foundation Breeder Symposium at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Richard Ford asked dozens of dog breeders these questions and discussed canine vaccination protocols and what he considers a need to revise them. Read the full article.

Take a Few Minutes to Prevent an Identity Crisis

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

Labrador Retriever.
Credit: Christine Weisse
Preparing a new litter for AKC registration is a simple process breeders can follow that, when done accurately and effectively, will ensure the integrity of their breeding programs in perpetuity. An effective record-keeping and identification system should be set up so anyone, whether an AKC inspector or an estate executor, could look at a breeder's records and - without any help - correctly match each dog to its AKC papers and breeding history. Read the full article.

Considerations Before Breeding

By Mary M. Rodgers

True breeders represent a small portion of the dog world. Some say true breeders are born not made.

So many things must be experienced over and over rather than by simply reading a book, although there are wonderful books and publications from which to glean important information. Once you realize how important the consideration of the "whole dog" is, perhaps you could join the ranks of the successful breeders. Read the full article.

Frozen Semen's New First Lady

By Faye Strauss

After 30 years I tried it, and the results were stunning.

Credit: Leslie Newing
"Sweetie," my 6-year-old bitch, was in search of a sire for her final litter. Two years ago we drove 3,500 miles round trip from Seattle to Palm Springs to breed Sweetie to a top dog. This litter produced one of the best bitches we've ever bred. We turned down a substantial offer for her purchase. I knew the decision was a good one when her extraordinary potential breeding qualities began to manifest themselves. Her best qualities are her ideal, medium size, alert expression, dark eyes, clearly defined dark markings, parallel head planes and a wedge-shaped head that is in balance with her body. Depth of body is to the elbows and equal to the length of leg. Her topline is straight. She is poured into her skin, is sound coming and going and possesses a superb temperament. And Sweetie's story is just beginning. Read the full article.

AKC Offers Cutting-Edge DNA Technology

By Tom Sharp, AKC Assistant Vice President of Compliance

Kerry Blue Terrier
The AKC DNA Certification Program brings cutting-edge parentage testing technology to owners of AKC-registered dogs. A cheek swab brush is used to collect the DNA sample from the dog, and returned to the AKC. The sample is processed by AKC's DNA service provider, and the resulting genotype is entered into the AKC DNA Database. The information is used to verify parentage of AKC dogs and for genetic identity purposes. This technology allows breeders, dog owners, and the AKC to ensure that the AKC Registry is the most accurate in the world. Read the full article.

Make Informed Breeding Choices with CHIC

By Theresa Shea, editor

The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKCCHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). CHIC provides a source of health information for owners, breeders and scientists, that assists in breeding healthy dogs. The CHIC database, administered by OFA, collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. In order for data to be included in CHIC, test results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria.

For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable information source regarding dogs you may want to use in your breeding programs. Through CHIC, breeders can begin to analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and weaknesses. Read the full article.

Ovulation: Timing is Everything

By Katherine Settle, DVM

As breeders, many of us have been successfully breeding dogs for a long time. For the most part, we breed when the bitch "says" she's ready and the stud "says" she's ready. Ovulation timing is important because 75 percent of the missed breedings can be contributed to improper timing of the breeding. Since some of us are now in a new age of long-distance breeding, where the bitch and stud stay at home and the semen travels, timing the bitch's ovulation is critical.

By keeping accurate breeding history records, we can get an idea of future heat cycles. Always keep a record of the date, the day of the cycle the bitch was bred, the results of the 30-day pregnancy ultrasound or test results, the date of whelping, and the number of pups. Even if the bitch was not bred, you can get an idea if the cycle was long or very short and when she began flagging. Read the full article.

Whether you are a dedicated or novice fancier or are considering joining the world of purebred dogs as a breeder, the AKC welcomes you to the first issue of AKC Breeder.

As part of AKC Breeder Services, we hope this newsletter will become a valuable tool for enhanced communication between AKC and purebred dog breeders. We seek to provide educational and informational resources for the betterment of purebred dogs.

Our goal is to provide breeders – the backbone of the sport of purebred dogs – with articles from experts in their fields on basic husbandry, responsible breeding practices, the value of purebred dogs and science-based resources to enhance your role as breeders of AKC-registered dogs.

The AKC is here to help you meet your goals. Having this forum to exchange ideas, provide more resources, and develop a closer relationship with you can only improve your success as a breeder.

Our inaugural newsletter contains a variety of articles written by AKC staff members, veterinarians, and others who have devoted a lifetime to breeding.

I hope you enjoy this premier issue and encourage you to send me your comments and suggestions.

Ronald N. Rella
Director, Breeder Services
(212) 696-8303
  Vaccinations: Know What You’re Using
Take a Few Minutes to Prevent an Identity Crisis
Considerations Before Breeding
Frozen Semen’s New First Lady
AKC Offers Cutting -Edge DNA Technology
Make Informed Breeding Choices with CHIC
Ovulation: Timing is Everything
Each breed of dog recognized by the AKC has its own standard, which is written by the national breed club or “parent club.” The breed standard provides a blueprint or complete picture of what the ideal dog of a particular breed should be like in appearance and temperament. The standard may specify everything from the curvature of a dog’s tail to the color of its eyes. The breed standard is the official guide by which dogs are judged at dog shows.

Visit to view the breed standard for the Doberman Pinscher as well as for the other 152 breeds recognized by the AKC. You may order breed-specific educational videos from the AKC. Many parent clubs offer more detailed information on the standard, such as amplifications and illustrations. Visit the AKC web site for links to national parent clubs.
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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