Let’s Keep America in AKC
I’d like to share an opinion that might be a bit controversial. It is regarding AKC’s licensing with Jakks Toys for producing AKC branded agility equipment for children, to be sold in Toys R Us stores. The last thing I want to do is criticize an organization that is not only doing so much for dogs, but also doing so much to keep the sport of agility the safe, organized, and popular sport that it is. I mean, my history of competing is in AKC, so who am I to complain? But hopefully they are open to their own members sharing their opinions and letting it be known when they are not happy with choices they make.
Which is why I want to share my recent disappointment when I saw this equipment being offered by the AKC for purposes of raising funds. First, the equipment is being made overseas, in China, a nation known for cruelty to animals and human rights violations. It is well known that they sell dogs on the open market, both dead and alive, for food and fur. Now, this is controversial I know, and it is with much trepidation that I mention it because there are some things that I just have to buy from China because I either can’t afford the American version, or more often than not, I don’t even have an option. This is life and it can’t be avoided. It’s just that I think it would have been more fitting for the AKC, a company with “American” in its name, to try and raise funds by first trying to court an American company to manufacture their products. Yes, those products might be more expensive, but they would be quality, and more in line with the standard industry pricing that is already out there for agility equipment. For example, if you look around online, a comparable Competition Tire Jump can range anywhere from $95 to $150. But when suddenly that item is manufactured in a foreign country and sold for $50 and marketed to large chain stores, a large majority of American agility manufacturers are affected. Surely every company like mine wants to offer the cheapest price on an obstacle. But I would lose some sleep if I knew that producing the most popular agility obstacles in a dog-hating country and drastically changing the industry standard for those items was hurting all my competitors.
So while I am happy the AKC is making some extra money through their clever marketing and branding, and that their equipment is being marketed to kids, I just think that there are other ways to do this that could possibly be a better support to the nation of which they are so named. That’s all. Thoughts? I am open to perpespectives that I haven’t considered.