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AKC Senior Breeder Field Representative Stacy Mason has spent a lifetime breeding, showing, and training dogs. Here, she shares her plans for making 2020 a great year for her and her dogs.

We are already several weeks into 2020, and I am still wondering where 2019 went! Once again, I didn’t get my Christmas cards to the mailbox, and New Year’s Day is already a Facebook memory.

As we swiftly move into the new year, I would like to share resolutions I have made for 2020It is my hope that these resolutions will help to make a difference in dogs lives and the people’s lives they touch, while protecting and keeping our rights to own and breed dogs in the years to come.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

No matter my interest in dogs, be it breeding, owning, showing, field trialing, Agility, Rallylure coursingor other endeavors, I will always put my best foot forward and always keep the best interest of my dogs in mind. Know that what I do or do not do with them now will affect the rest of their lives! It will also reflect on my reputation and character as a dog breeder. 

Learn the Laws

Know the city, county, state, and federal dog laws to make certain my dogs, kennel, and/or business are compliant with all ordinances and laws. If I should be licensed, don’t be afraid of what others might say. Chances are, they too need a license of some type.

Health Testing

Get all health testing and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) screenings done for any dogs I may be planning on breeding.

Share Knowledge & Keep Learning

Share my dog and breed-specific information with all breeders and owners in a kind and caring way. Also, remember to take all suggestions and new information in a kind and caring way. After all, it is never too late to learn a new trick, and an old dog can learn something new.

Take Advantage of AKC Programs

I plan to use AKC programs and services created to help breeders and make our lives easier.

  • AKC Certified Pedigrees – The breeder’s roadmap telling us where we’ve been, and they can help guide us in the future.   
  • Online Certificate Transfers – Allow you to transfer your AKC registered dog to a new owner online rather than on paper.  You can also add additional or remove owner/s with faster processing and no mailing of payments 
  • Online Breeder Education Courses – Breeding comes with great responsibility, but preparing yourself with knowledge will ensure a rewarding experience. The AKC Education Portal offers courses covering a wide range of breeder education topics, such as breeding basics, genetics, selection, and anatomy.  
  • AKC Breeder Toolkit  Coming soon, the updated toolkit will replace the Online Record Keeping System (ORKS).  Breeder Toolkit will incorporate Litter and Dog Management, Litter Registration and Coupons, Breeding Records, Online Reports and much more into one convenient platform.

Help Out

Give a helping hand to a fellow dog owner or breeder if I see or suspect they are struggling during the new year.  Sometimes, a kind word and a little encouragement is all that is needed. Make friends with my local dog warden, animal control, or shelter staff and do something kind for them each month.  They can always use items like newspapers, trash bags, towels, food, baby bottles, cleaning supplies, soaps, sanitizers, laundry soap, bleach, paper towels, office supplies, latex gloves, and plastic shopping bags.

Create Seasonal To-Do Lists

Make todo lists that correspond with the changing of each season. Here is a starter for each season: 

  • Winter – Check all fences and gates to make sure they are secure while all the foliage is gone for the winter. 
  • Spring – Make sure there are not any holes or low spots in yards and kennel runs to eliminate mud and standing water. 
  • Summer – Clean the air conditioners and fans, making sure they are in proper working order. 
  • Fall – Clean the heaters and ductwork, and make sure no cords or lights are within reach of any dog.

German Shorthaired Pointer puppies running outdoors.

Establish Important Reminders

Set my reminders on the calendar, on my phone, and on my computer, so I don’t forget my very important dog care items for 2020: 

  • Heartworm and flea/tick preventatives At the first of each month remember to give each dog their monthly preventatives. 
  • Vet checks/vaccinations – Schedulannual veterinarian check-ups and/or vaccination dates for each dog. 
  • Grooming – Make dates to do a “complete grooming of each dog. 
  • Paperwork – Get caught up on my paperwork from 2019 before tax time!   

Lastly, have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year!  2021 will be here before you know it!
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