AKC's Breeder's Program
9/12/2006 9:09:48 AM
Journal entry for September 12, 2006
We are continually asked, "When will the AKC be introducing a Breeder’s Program?" Obviously coon hunters are interested in a program that will enhance interest in their stud dogs and increase puppy sales. Each of the other coonhound registries have programs and each has its merits and its short comings in my view.
Any successful program must be affordable. In other words there should be a reasonable expectation of return on the investment at each tier of the program; for the stud owner, for the breeder, and for the buyer of the pup. It goes without saying that the stud and the bitch should be capable of reproducing good pups and the buyer of the pup should be reasonably adept at finishing a right-bred pup into a hound that can win in competition.
Some programs today simply aren’t feasible. Most breeders want to raise one or two litters a year in order to produce a pup for their own use. There are very few high-volume breeders in the coonhound world these days. Stud owners balk at paying top dollar to enroll a stud when their only interest in the program is to breed a litter for themselves. The numbers of studs enrolled in the program that requires the most in terms of annual participation fees are in conntinual decline because of this factor.
Other programs are more accessible in terms of the initial expense of participation but the return on the investment is diminished. Breeders complain that even though the cost of participation may be less than in other programs, puppy purchasers don’t “pay up” the pup and thus the expectation of return from the breeder’s standpoint is dim. The program may be based on the time-worn concept of beating all the dogs in the hunt in order to earn “points” that are exchanged for cash at the end of the race. This system discourages participation once “leaders” are established and the race seems out of reach.
The program that the AKC will introduce in 2007 will address these issues. It will be feasible for the stud owner, the breeder, and the puppy buyer in terms of cost of participation. It will be based upon the concept that winning hounds will be expected to “beat the dogs they draw, that’s all,” and it will provide the kind of recognition that any competitive person looks for and deserves. With the national sponsorship that is coming aboard the AKC coonhound program for 2007 we believe the AKC Breeder’s Program will provide the answers that coon hunters have been looking for in existing programs. “Stay tuned.”