Delegate’s Corner
September 24-25, 2018
Don James AKC Delegate

Today was committee Election Day for those candidates (like myself) who had finished their 3-year term. I’m happy to report that I was reelected to a 2nd 3-year term on the Delegate Parent Club committee. I’ve worked hard as our Delegate participating on Parent Club sub committees and becoming the Delegate subject matter expert for electronic balloting in addition to convincing many fellow Delegates that the Leonberger is the indeed finest breed in the whole of AKC.

There were several important announcements and changes that should be of interest to most of you. Specifically, two items from the Parent Club meeting and a pair from the Health Committee.

I’ve been among a small group of Delegates who have voiced concerns about AKC’s signature puppy finder web application, The AKC Marketplace.

In AKC parlance, a breed is represented by its Parent Club. The term Parent Club is confusing to visitors to the AKC Marketplace. That tab on the Marketplace home page will be changed to National Breed Club, a much more understandable phrase.

More importantly, when Marketplace customers asked to see breeders listed for a particular breed, the order of presentation was:

Breeders of Merit
Bred with Heart Breeders
National Breed Club Member Breeders
Other Unaffiliated Breeders (non club member breeders)

Shortly, that order will be changed listing National Breed Club Breeders 2nd ahead of Bred with Heart breeders. A good change highlighting the importance of parent club member breeders. I also want to remind all of our LCA Breeders of Merit that their listings on Marketplace come FREE OF CHARGE. Even if you have no puppies available, you will more than likely be the first group a potential buyer would call giving you the chance to put these people on a future list, refer them to another LCA breeder who does have pups available or provide information as to why they should always purchase a puppy from a club affiliated breeder.

Marketplace will also be adding 3 club selected videos that will be linked to the breed page.

Most importantly (and this one I worked on personally), breeders who are Breeders of Merit for a breed other than the Leonberger will no longer have the Breeder of Merit badge listed when a buyer queries the Leonberger Marketplace page. It is entirely misleading when a BOM badge is shown on the Leonberger page when they are not Leonberger Breeder of Merit.

Six breeds have been chosen to test these new features. Once the testing has concluded, the changes will initiate for every AKC breed.

Canine College is a new initiative launched by Judging Operations which provides provisional judges the chance to learn about a breed through online education. Once completed, judges can take these courses for a $50 fee. These courses require significant participation from the Breed Club, its Board and a top tier LCA breeder who will participate in videos associated with the course. Understand, these courses are in no way designed to take the place of our LCA Judge’s Education efforts nor should they be seen as a substitute for solid hands on experience with a breed. In my opinion, this is a great way to begin improving the existing pathways a Judge might utilize to increase the number of breeds in their portfolio.

Lastly, I continue to monitor the Leonberger Marketplace Puppyfinder page to make sure breeders listed on the site are not making false claims about club affiliations or any other information required on the site.

There were two important discussions in Canine Health both initiated by CHF chief Operating Officer, Dr. Diane Brown.

Many of you have no doubt read the recent FDA report concerning the significant increase of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases that seems to be caused by feeding either grain free kibble or boutique brand raw diets. The problem appears to center around an inadequate amount of the amino acid Taurine being supplied through these types of food. I want to caution that no firm cause and effect has yet been developed. You can read plenty of op-ends from the high end kibble manufacturers which provide compelling arguments as to why this is not the cause. I know that many of you do feed raw or hybrid raw diets, so stay tuned on this one.

Have you used or considered using CBD Oil to help your dog deal with pain or other health issues? If you’re unfamiliar with CBD Oil, it’s basically marijuana plants distilled into oil that has removed all traces of THC (the hallucinogenic ingredient) we all discovered in college. I tried this on my boy Whisky to ease the pain he was experiencing in his rear legs without much success, but it has apparently worked wonders on many dogs. If you’re currently using this or considering doing so, be aware of the following. CBD Oil s completely unregulated. The manufacturers of these products are on their own without any FDA oversight whatsoever. That means there could be (emphasis could be) ingredients in that bottle that you really don’t want to put in your dog (like THC). There is no regulation of normally FDA mandated measurements of active ingredients. Use at your own risk.

That said, CHF is mounting a research trial into the use of CBD in treating canine epilepsy. There is some there there.

I’ll wind up by issuing an invitation to any of you planning a trip to New York that you be sure to include in your itinerary a stop at the brand new AKC Museum of the Dog which has relocated to the new AKC headquarters in NYC. The museum is scheduled to open around the staging of the annual Westminster Kennel Club dog shoe in mid February. We got a virtual tour of the new facility during the General Meeting today.

Believe me, a visit will be well worth your time.

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