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Four Factors Portend the Future of the Sport – Pt. 2

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100 – May, 2018



In my first article (Part 1), the analysis and discussion centered around the importance and impact of how de- clining litter and dog registrations are affecting the sport, and which breeds are at greatest risk for extinction in the show ring. This article extends that effort and focuses on the second factor influencing the sport and the breeds at greatest risk. In Part 1 the analysis showed that the number of puppies produced in lit- ters and those actually registered are significantly different for many breeds. This report looks at the importance of the low percentage of registrations and why they can be used to portend the future of many breeds and the sport.

This discussion begins with data from 2017 showing how declining litter and dog registrations, coupled with a low rate of puppy registrations, are good indicators of breed population size, show entries, breed clubs, breeders and exhibitors. One of the most troubling findings that points to this conclusion is the fact that only 40% of all puppies born are being registered, which means that 60% are lost to their breed and the stud book. In practical terms, low rates of registration have become the trend for most breeds. Data was not compiled to determine if this trend is impacting obedience, rally or other venues. In just the area of health, these data suggest that breeds unable to register a majority of their pups will not grow and may not be able to maintain their genetic diversity, which has serious health implications (Bell).


Most breeders and exhibitors at AKC dog shows are unaware of a term called the Conversion Rate (CR). It is a statistical tool used by statisticians and AKC staff to measure the percentage of puppies born that are actually registered for each breed. CR’s also serve as a barometer to estimate the size of a breed popu- lation, the direction of its growth and the potential for future health problems. The fact that more breeds are showing lower CR’s confirm the need to study registrations and the effect they are having on the stud book, the sport and the breeds at greatest risk. In an effort to better understand this growing problem, this study examined some of the reasons for low CR’s and the seriousness of this trend. Eight breeds were randomly selected to be studied. Data about each breed was compiled by taking a three year average (2013-15) of their registrations and other related data. Table 1 shows the Boxer breed and the preva- lence of the problem that was found throughout the stud book. Data for the Boxer breed shows that it averages 5,946 litters a year which produce 34,397 puppies but only 11,239 are reg- istered, which means that the CR for Boxers is 33% and that 67 % of all Boxer puppies born are lost to the Boxer breed and the stud book.

Click here to read the complete article
100 – May, 2018

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