The AKC Museum of the Dog: Worth the price of admission. Photo by David Woo, courtesy of the American Kennel Club.
Tue, 04/06/2021 - 10:56pm

Editorial: April 9, 2021

Memo to AKC: A little bit of PR never hurt ...


It Pays To Advertise


Let’s clear this up right away. We can all agree we all love dogs, whether they are purebred, crossbred or mixed breeds. We care about their well-being and hope that they find homes where they are loved and cared for by their owners. Those of us in the sport of purebred dogs, whether it be breeding and exhibiting or other disciplines like field trials, agility etc., exhibit that love more than the general public.

So why is it that dogs adopted from shelters are showered with praise, and dogs that are breed by reputable breeders are shunned? Advertising.

The business-minded people who run those successful moneymaking organizations advertise. They use well-known celebrities to push their case, and we – by that we mean the American Kennel Club – sit by and do nothing to promote purebred dogs. Sending out daily emails about their gift shop could be better spent on other worthwhile promotions.

It’s not a new idea, but one that is long overdue: a national advertising campaign done by an outside advertising company. Our community is a microcosm of the population, and we should be presented as that, not as some dilettantes who don't care about anything else besides our dogs. By not employing a national advertising firm, other very worthwhile purebred-dog-related organizations like the AKC Canine Health Foundation and the AKC Museum of the Dog suffer from this lack of exposure. The time is now: As dog shows lessen and cluster shows gain more momentum, the general public is not exposed to our sport. We need national exposure, and the American Kennel Club should be leading this cause.


It Pays To Visit


It has been a few years since the AKC Museum of the Dog moved to its new home in Manhattan, a wise and popular decision. Now times have changed, and this cornucopia of anything related to dogs with its world-class art collection, like every other museum in the country, has suffered financially due to the pandemic. There are few if any visitors, and museums depend on visitors who by word of mouth sing their praises. The recent virtual fund-raiser helped, but we as a community need to support the museum now to keep it from being a casualty of the times.

Now that many of us have been vaccinated and the weather is warming, a trip to the city to visit the museum is a great way to spend the day. If it’s still a bit too early for you to consider a visit, how about a virtual tour. You might want to become a museum member or consider a donation. The AKC Museum of the Dog is located at 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10178. The telephone is 212-696-8360 and the website is Remember, it’s a national treasure that is a depository of our sport and all things canine.



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