Government Approved Organisations

Australian ShepherdAustralian ShepherdIn Melbourne Victoria in 1992, through my local Member of Parliament Mrs Margaret Ray (see letter below), I lobbied for breeders of purebred dogs who belonged to Dogs Victoria and complied with their rules, to be separated at government level from breeders whose dogs were not, technically what we call pure breeds. For the sake of the Government Legislation, we dreamed up the name 'Hobby Breeders'.

This journey, described in the letter, resulted in Dogs Victoria members receiving discounts on local government fees as well as being exempt from compulsory de-sexing requirements. Today, some municipal councils also give discounts to dogs registered with an organisation called the 'Master Dog Breeders Association(MDBA)'. This organisation also keeps a Canine Registry which registers any dog, purebred or not. This article intends to explain the difference.

What was a 'Hobby Breeder'

Margaret Ray LetterMargaret Ray Letter

When I attended a meeting of my local municipal Council's Animal Management Committee, I was asked to explain the difference between an ANKC purebred dog registered with Dogs Victoria as the 'Hobby Breeder' and dogs registered with the MDBA. While writing my new book, 'Australian Dogs Unveiled', I researched this extensively. However, I also could not find an adequate definition of what was an ANKC purebred dog.

To confuse this issue there are also groups of purebred dogs formed in Victoria for specific purposes like the Working Sheepdog Association and Greyhound Racing Association.

No wonder, according to their website, the MDBA states:

"the MDBA accepts pedigrees from dozens of international canine registries, and it is simply not possible nor practicable for the MDBA to poll every canine registry worldwide to ask what their rules are and volunteer to police them for them".

Does this mean the MDBA accepts as purebred dogs that are the product of two different ANKC recognised breeds? Traditionally those involved with ANKC registered dogs always called puppies that are the result of crossing two different purebreeds, mongrels.

My opinion is that Racial Characteristics define a purebred dog.

The Racial Characteristics that Define a Purebred Dog

'Racial characteristics' make purebred dogs predictable in both looks and temperament. That is because:

  1. The pure breed dog conforms to its Breed Standard and 'does not deflect from its racial characteristics' which defines what features are typical of the breed.
  2. The purebred dog must have an Official Pedigree issued and recorded in a Kennel Club or other official body
  3. This Official Pedigree, which is a record of the dog's parentage is recorded in a Stud Book.

The original idea behind judging dogs at dog shows was assessing how closely the dog complied with its particular Breed Standard. The Stud Books then became vital because they recorded the dogs and their parentage responsible for these 'racial characteristics'.