Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Question for the Peanut Gallery

What caused the sudden spike in AKC registrations in 1991 and 1992?

I cannot for the life of me think of anything that happened during those two years to account for it.

It seems too big -- and the sample far too large -- to write it off as a "blip."

By 1995 the spike had "corrected" to near 1990 levels.

Bueller? Anyone?


  1. According to, 1991 was the year that the AKC essentially annexed the ASCA registry (or, as quoted in the article, the year that "AKC raped the Aussie"). Would that account for the jump?

  2. Not unless all those dogs died between 1992 and 1993.

  3. Amy --

    I wouldn't have thought that a single, not terribly numerous breed could account for the jump, but I certainly could be wrong. I bet the ASCA people from yore have a pretty good idea.

    I don't think I have breed-by-breed stats here for that far back, but somebody probably does.

    Rob --

    The annual registration stats only reflect new registrations, not whether or not the dog is still living.

    So if a registry is registering, say, 1000 dogs a year, there are probably on the order of 9-10,000 living dogs who are registered with it at any given time.

    Some single breed registries do require or request notification when a dog has died. ESCR does our best to record this, because we are endeavoring to track longevity and cause of death in our dB, and also make the dB a useful tool for people to locate compatible mates, etc. But we still have no real idea of how many living dogs there are.

    You do get big blips in the individual breed stats when the AKC first takes one over, as everybody who is going to register does all at once before the studbook closes.

    If you look at the current "statistics" -- which are just relative rankings, no hard numbers -- you'll see some breeds in italics with asterisks. These are the ones that were "fully recognized" in 2009. These breeds will rank significantly lower in the 2010 horse race.

    Most of them will not become parents in the next year or two (or ever), and relatively few puppies are actually individually registered even out of registered litters nowadays.

    I was about to tell you to look at the litter registration stats to compare, but found an interesting thing.

    The rankings for litter registrations are exactly the same as those for individual registrations. It's the same list.

    Now, at the top of the rankings, with very numerous breeds, this is plausible. Except that the top three breeds are the Labrador, the GSD, and the Yorkshire terrier. Lab and GSD litters are much larger than Yorkie litters. (about 5-8 average vs. 1-2 average) If the numbers are at all close (and in the #2 and #3 positions, I believe they are), the number of Yorkie litters has just about got to be larger than the number of GSD litters.

    At the bottom of the rankings, when you get into your otterhounds and English foxhounds and Sussex spaniels -- just not gonna happen. These are breeds where individual registrations are safely in two figures annually. In any given year, the number of litters registered and the number of individuals registered is going to jigger around.

    And in "new" breeds, in which all the adult stock is being registered wholesale in one year as they migrate from the FSS, it is simply not possible.

    So either the AKC is trying to pull one over on everybody, or someone on the web team screwed up and reproduced the same rankings twice.

    Despite my general paranoia re: ACK, I think it's likely the latter.

  4. Here's a possibility, but I'm just recollectin' from memory, so you know how it goes ...

    Check to see if the registration "jump" was actually a rebound from a severe dip the year previous. Here's why: In 1989-90, there was a LOT of anti-puppy mill news, including bills in CA sponsored by then state rep (now Congressman) Sam Farr. Farr's extremely clever and media savvy aide (a friend of mine) got tons of media coverage nationwide ("20/20," "Today" show, etc.) with a CA Senate Office of Research report about sick puppies and fraudulent papers, and the taking of a truck full of pet chews to Kansas to tell the governor that California "had a bone to pick with Kansas." (The Kansas governor made the matter worse by not only slurring California (which is fine in Kansas) but by making a racial slur against the aide (who's Asian, and that didn't play well EVEN in Kansas)and defending puppy-mill practices as being "just the same as hogs" or some such that city people don't understand. As I recall, puppy-mill sales plummeted that Christmas season, at a time when millers were still registering their paperwork with the AKC.

  5. Both LAPL and OCPL have foiled me, either through failing to renew their subscriptions to Ebsco (OCPL) or by being broken (LAPL). That was going to be my next attack.

  6. According to my somewhat sketchy recollection of the "old timers" stories of the AKC raping the ASCA registry, due to the resistance from ASCA members AKC shut the books within a year (not the usual multiple yrs). People were scared they would be shut out of the gene pool, so they dual registered. (probably 1991 & 1992). AKC really put the screws to them.

    Guess the BC folks learned a lesson and thumbed their noses at AKC. Not only that but I believe THEY (ABCA & the other working registries) closed their books to AKC registered dogs! An AKC registered dog is DENIED registry in ABCA and cannot be dual registered.

    Being the owner of several rescue Aussies (unregisterable) over the years, I really could have cared less about AKC. Though, the ill effects it has bestowed on the Aussie is undeniable. My current (rescue) dog is probably out of the show lines or AKC-clone puppy mill/BYB. He's got the bone, heavy coat and domed head (a pronounced stop) currently showing up. A couple of the popular AKC Champion studs have been known to throw the domed heads.

    Of course, the numbers of blind/deaf double merles (sometimes billed as "rare white Aussie") b/c puppy millers & BYB'ers are going for the pretty Blue merle are increasing significantly.

    I miss those old time working Aussies. Was told by the owner/handler of some ranking Agility Aussies, that Max lacks athleticism and work ethic. An Aussie with no work ethic? HUH?

    Glad to have discovered my heart dog was a member of a real breed, and that breed has managed to dodge AKC recognition. Blue has the athleticism and work ethic for performance. If only the wizard would bestow some courage on the cowardly lioness :-)

    BTW, does anyone watch the Miss America pageant any more? I remember when it was shown in prime time on a major network.


  7. I think Janeen nailed it.

    I honestly had no idea the Hunte Corporation was that new.

    Someone on FB also pointed out that this was the same that the American Eskimo was "recognized." So between Hunte getting the puppymill paperwork in order and the two recently-acquired breeds, that could account for the jump.

    The missing data to verify or falsify are the individual breed registration stats -- which were published at the time, I just don't seem to be able to lay my hands on it -- and the number of puppies that had a supplemental transfer -- from miller to Hunte to pet store to ultimate buyer. I'm pretty sure AKC never published that kind of information. But they probably have an accounting breakdown of money coming in from supplemental transfers.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I dimly recall that in 1991 The AKC bought a coonhound registry.

    Donald McCaig

  10. I'm trying to see if I can find that coonhound registry.

    Until recently, the only coonhound that was AKC was the black-and-tan.

  11. Black and tans were AKC in 1945.

    The rest are recent conquests.

    Black and tan foxhounds still exist, but they are rare-- even where I live.

  12. @Jody: "I believe THEY (ABCA & the other working registries) closed their books to AKC registered dogs! An AKC registered dog is DENIED registry in ABCA and cannot be dual registered."

    This is incorrect. ABCA does allow dual-registration, although it's an unpopular policy with stockdog folks. The two main qualifiers are that the pup or dog's parents must also be registered with ABCA (or other stockdog registry), and that there are no dogs in the pedigree who have become conformation champions after Jan 2004. More details here:

  13. Sirius,
    I stand corrected you are right. I should have thought it thru - know many people who run both USDAA and AKC. Not having any BC's (or really caring about registrations), I was only going on my sketchy recollection of ringside chatter.

  14. @Sirius @Jody - Dual registration only goes ONE WAY. A dog won't be removed from the ABCA if it later is registered with the AKC. But no AKC only dog can be registered with the ABCA.

    If you read the minutes of the ABCA meetings, you'll also see that a major reason that dual registered dogs aren't kicked out of the ABCA is more a matter of effort and paperwork than a principled stand.

    Some ABCA membership did go on a witch hunt to out dual registered dogs who got their championships when the change was made.

  15. When the ABCA committee formed to evaluate dual registration recommended to the general membership that dual AKC/ABCA dogs be ABCA deregistered, the membership argued, successfully that that policy was too restrictive of one's right to do what one wishes with one's dogs. I was on the committee and at that meeting. Next year, the same committee recommended to the membership that as the ABCA is a working registry and that seeking a conformation title is antithetical to the ABCA's core purpose, dual registered dogs which had received a conformation championship - from any registry - would be deregistered by the ABCA. Approved without demur. Once again, I was on the committee and at the meeting. The policy has been, in my view, both non-controversial and successful.

  16. @Christopher, "But no AKC only dog can be registered with the ABCA."

    Yes, I've already said that was one of the qualifiers:

    "the pup or dog's parents must also be registered with ABCA (or other stockdog registry), "

    I think we are saying essentially the same thing, but it seems to me you are trying to make a point that I may be missing.

    :) It's not uncommon to hear it. It wouldn't be a bad thing if it were true, but as yet, it hasn't taken place.

    Please carry on with the rest of the discussion & comments; I didn't mean to start a Border Collie registration tangent, only to set a fact straight. Thanks.


I've enabled the comments for all users; if you are posting as "anonymous" you MUST sign your comment. Anonymous unsigned comments will be deleted. Trolls, spammers, and litigants will be shot.