When is a Championship not Really a Championship? Buyers Beware!

by Joyce Johanson

It was bound to happen. For years people have been able to buy degrees from online "universities" to beef up their resumes and pass themselves off to unsuspecting employers as having an associate, bachelor, masters, or doctoral degree.

Now people can purchase a championship online! Simply send in your money and a few photos and you'll receive a "certificate of championship." While this might be a fun, cute thing to do for your spayed or neutered pet, misuse of the "championship" certificate may soon have the unsuspecting pet buying public confused. The large registries (e.g., AKC, UKC) grant championship titles to dogs who compete against others of their breed and are measured against the breed's standard of excellence by a knowledgeable judge whose education and past experiences have earned him/her the opportunity to judge an AKC or UKC show. The judges watch the dog move; they put their hands on the dog to feel his/her structure; they examine the dog's dentition and placement of teeth. Then they award points to the day's winner, points that eventually accumulate to the required number for that dog to earn his/her championship title. Competition is strong, making breeders who show their dogs constantly strive to produce better representatives of the breed, dogs that have the health, temperament, stamina, structure, and movement to do well in competitive events.

No way does sending in a couple of pictures, paying some money, and getting a certificate by return mail declaring a dog a "champion" compare with all that goes into earning an AKC or UKC title. It is what it is, but it is not the same.

But, you see, most people have no clue what goes into the making of a champion. They hear a breeder say "champion bloodlines" and assume that means a championship awarded by the American Kennel Club (AKC), which is the most common, most well-known, and most popular of the breed registries. Buyers beware! Make sure you are getting what you think you are getting. Even if you just want a puppy to love, find out if you are getting what you are paying for. From now on, don't "assume." Ask if those touted "championship bloodlines" are from AKC champions or if the title came from an online certification group. If you are told "a championship is a championship" and "one is as good as the other," run for the hills. The two certificates are definitely not equal! Understand what you are purchasing, get the facts, and then make your decision. Too many people in the world are willing to twist the rules, prey on trusting and unsuspecting puppy buyers, and lie by omitting the facts to make a fast buck.

You're smarter than that, aren't you?

Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!

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