Don James
LCA AKC Delegate

December 2017

First, a huge Leo thank you to David & Kim Mallory and all their many volunteers (both 2 and 4 footed) who made our Meet the Breed Booth in Orlando one of the most popular of the 150 breeds who were represented. Our Booth received a Group 3 award for the Working Group Booths and plans are afoot to improve on that ranking next year. Thanks again to all of our hard-working members.

Here are the highlights from the December meeting:
Rules & By Laws Changes:
The move to change the rules surrounding Limited Registration is off the table, maybe permanently.
Dr. Diane Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the AKC Canine Health Foundation announced the approved grants for 2018 during the Canine Health Committee meeting. I think you’ll all be pleased to hear that some of the largest grants were to researchers of diseases that directly affect the health of our Leonbergers.
$432,000 to Dr. Jaime F. Modiano University of Minnesota
“A Novel Approach for the Prevention of Canine Hemangiosarcoma”
$120,000 to Dr. Carlos Alvarez Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
“Identifying the Genes That Confer Risk for Osteosarcoma”
$150,000 to Dr. Heather M. Wilson-Robles Texas A&M Research Foundation
“Harnessing a Dog’s Own Immune System to Kill Lymphoma Tumor Cells”
If you’d like to read more about these and other grants and look as the many webinars offered by the Canine Health Foundation, use this URL:
Dr. Brown also alerted Delegates to spread the news the Canine Leptospirosis cases have taken a sharp turn upwards over the past 6 months. The reason for this troubling statistic is the influx of rescue dogs who are arriving in droves as a result of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. These dogs are coming up here unchecked and are causing difficult situations in many facilities along the East Coast. You can get more information at this website:

Did you know the Leonberger is considered a “low entry” breed by the AKC? Almost 50% of AKC recognized breeds now fall into the low entry category. AKC considers low entry to be fewer than 3500 entries in any given calendar year. We currently rank 117th among all 188 recognized AKC breeds in show entries over the past year. While I don’t believe we are in a serious situation here, there are other breeds who at risk of becoming “conformation extinct” if something isn’t changes over the next couple of years. Dr. Carmen Battaglia has done a detailed study of these 90 breeds and discusses Low Conversion rates (number of puppies who are never seen again and are not included in the breed’s stud book), Low Entry and Limited Registration as possible causes for this situation. I can provide the entire report if Interested but I will show you the statistics for Leonbergers below:
The study uses an average of the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
80 Litters were registered yielding 517 Puppies
Conversion Rate 79.4% – This is actually an excellent conversion rate
185 puppies sold on Limited Registration – 45.2% of all puppies registered
23 of these puppies were eventually bred – 5.7% of all puppies registered
93 of these puppies were entered in 1 or more AKC Conformation events – 22.6% of all puppies registered.
There were 3,056 Leonberger conformation entries for the study years.
There were an average of 67 entries at the breed National Specialty during the study years.
45.7% of all registered Leonberger puppies were sold on limited registration. That puts us in the Top 5 percentage-wise of all low entry breeds. We certainly cement our status as a low entry breed when nearly half of our puppies are sold on a limited registration when statistics show that only 4.5% – 5% of puppies produced within a breed are born with a disqualifying fault that was initially the basis for the establishment of the idea of limited registration.
One interesting adjunct to this discussion includes the number of dogs that are bred by AKC registered breeders vs. the total number of dogs that are placed in homes over that same year. Would it surprise you to learn that AKC breeders supply 1.5 million dogs to the public every year, but that the total demand for puppies in a given year is 6 million. That means AKC bred purebred dogs are only supplying 25% of dogs placed in homes in an average year.

The Legislative caucus meets at each Delegate meeting prior to the 2nd day General Meeting. At this meeting, we listened to an enlightening presentation from Bernadette Juarez, a Deputy Administrator of USDA/APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) in the Animal Care Division. She oversees all dog breeding, transport, imports and all other aspects involved with the Federal Animal Welfare Act. She also oversees 135 employees who are responsible for performing 11,000 kennel inspections and conducting compliance education for these breeders. These all involve only kennels which qualify as high volume (over 2800 currently listed).
Just as an FYI, APHIS recently changes their definitions of what constitutes a high-volume kennel and what they consider of breedable bitch.

What is a high-volume kennel?
Any kennel that had 5 or more breedable bitches is considers a high-volume kennel.

How does APHIS define a breedable bitch?
First, it’s important to note that none of this matters if you have 4 or fewer breedable bitches. But, if you do have more than 4, age is not a factor in making the breedable determination. HOWEVER, if you get a Vet to certify that the bitch in question is not breedable (for whatever reason), she will no longer be counted as part of your total of USDA defined breedable dogs.

The Animal Welfare Act only deals with breeders the USDA considers to be commercial (high volume) breeders. A commercial breeder is defined as one who sells its stock to pet stores or other commercial entities. So long as a breeder sells its puppies to individual buyers who visit that breeder to take possession of a puppy and so long as that breeder does not begin shipping multiple puppies to other area of the country (which requires you to obtain a USDA license and therefore come under all the other regulations we’ve discussed above), those breeders will never be defined as commercial breeders no matter how many breedable bitches they maintain on their property.

You can find more information about USDA, APHIS and their policy administration at:

Finally, AKC Staff has put together a very detailed breed by breed analysis of AKC registrations both dogs and litters for the years 2008 through 2016. What’s very nice is they’ve included, for each breed, a similar document for EVERY dog and litter registered with AKC for ALL BREEDS and an additional sheet that provides that same information for EVERY BREED WITHIN THE WORKING GROUP.

It includes information about
1) The total number of litters registered / total number of dogs registered
2) The total number of both dogs and bitches bred
3) How many AKC registrations accrued from the birth of those litters
4) Information about Limited Registration numbers on Limited Reg revocations

If you’re interested in having a look at this document, please email me privately. I think you’ll find it both very interesting and informative.

AKC will be moving their corporate offices from its current location to a new site at 100 Park Avenue in New York City. This will also result in the move of the Museum of the Dog from its current location in St. Louis to the new offices in Manhattan. Tentative date of the move will be February of 2019.
AKC will be launching a completely new website early in January. I attended an introductory training session in Orlando and have to say I was extremely impressed with what they’ve done. Not only is it attractive and easy to navigate, but the search engine, the biggest headache with the old website, has been completely trashed and is now using a brand-new engine reputed to be the best available on the market. They’ve also setup an email address where Delegates can easily request changes that need to be made to our breed pages on the website. A very remarkable effort, in my opinion.
Thanks for reading.

Don James
AKC Delegate
Leonberger Club of America


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