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American Kennel Club AKC Breeder
Spring 2007

The Puppy Contract: Essential Groundwork
By Arliss Paddock

English Springer SpanielsA well-thought-out puppy sales contract is an important tool in ensuring the best future for the puppy you’ve so carefully bred. Whether you are creating a contract from scratch or improving an existing one, a good starting place is the advice of experienced breeders—in this case, three AKC Breeders of the Year—regarding some of the key issues.

Cathy Nelson, 2004 AKC Breeder of the Year, has been raising and showing Dandie Dinmont Terriers for more than 30 years. During that time, she’s learned the value of a good sales contract in starting a puppy and its new owner off right.

Read more.
Pick of the Litter QuestionPick-of-the-Litter Question
How do you identify your puppies in lookalike litters? Send us your answer!

Last issue’s question: What features do you look for in the ideal whelping box? See your answers here!

A Message from the Chairman
AKC Eukanuba National ChampionshipThe sport of purebred dogs relies on the passion of its breeders. Each year, we highlight their accomplishments at our premier televised event, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. We have developed two unique programs to honor the special relationship these longtime breeders have with their dogs as well as to educate the dog-loving viewing public about what it takes to earn the moniker “responsible breeder.”

Since 2002, the American Kennel Club has recognized and celebrated an outstanding purebred dog breeder with the AKC Breeder of the Year Award. The award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament, and quality of purebred dogs.

Read more.

AKC Foundation Stock Service:
From Rare to Recognized

By Mari-Beth O'Neill

What is the Foundation Stock Service®?
Cane CorsoJust that: a service, provided to those committed to the advancement of purebred dogs. It’s a listing program that ensures an organized progression for breeders and owners bringing new breeds into the AKC.

Launched in October 1995, FSS has provided both opportunity and challenges to breeders and owners. It is, without question, a premier example of the commitment shared by the AKC and individuals pursuing the establishment and improvement of rare breeds.

Read more.

Advice from the Breeder: Grand Dams
By Tom Coen
Tom CoenMy advice to others over the years has always been to look to the dams of the stud dogs. Tail-male charts are interesting, but they leave out a very important element of the story: the bitch.

It is the bitch who provides the complement to the sire and determines the distinction among his offspring, both in quality and producing ability.

Breeding dogs is a creative process that combines the eye of the artist with the laws of nature. Add to that a large measure of common sense. Breeding dogs is a process of building generation after generation, of constantly gaining in one area and losing in another. The breeder is like a juggler trying to keep the pins for correct type, stable temperament, and good health in the air at the same time.

Read more.

From the AKC
In our last issue of AKC Breeder we announced the names of the AKC’s 2006 Breeder of the Year group recipients. The award presentation took place on December 2 in Long Beach, California, at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, where Douglas and Michaelanne Johnson, Bugaboo Old English Sheepdogs, were named The American Kennel Club’s 2006 Breeders of the Year. Check page 3 of this issue for photographs.

We also have a message from the AKC Chairman of the Board on the passion of the successful breeder and all that is being done at the AKC to acknowledge and encourage these individuals. In addition, we have an informative article on puppy contracts; why they are important and what they should include. From Tom Coen, who along with his wife, Nioma, were AKC 2004 Breeder of the Year Herding Group recipients, is an article on the importance of the bitch in a strong, successful breeding program. And from “Inside the AKC,” we give you an article on our Foundation Stock Service. This service assists breeders and owners of rare breeds in the progression toward the goal of full AKC recognition.

Please don’t forget to read our breeders’ responses to last issue’s “Pick of the Litter” question, as well as send in your ideas for this issue’s new question.

Ronald N. Rella
Director, Breeder Services
(212) 696-8303


"Well-Bred" is one in a series of 26 print advertisements that appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The campaign focused on specific programs or initiatives of the AKC that protect the welfare and sport of dogs. Featuring the tagline "We're more than champion dogs. We're the dog's champion," the ad campaign created by Doner of Southfield, Michigan, is designed to clearly establish and reinforce the AKC as the "authority and advocate" of purebred dogs. Click for a full-page view.

AKC Mission Statement
The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, the AKC and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

  Ronald N. Rella, Director, Breeder Services
Email: AKCbreeder@akc.org

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