National Purebred Dog Day was created in 2013 not only to celebrate the heritage, diversity and predictability of purebred dogs, but also to give a forum to the millions of people for whom these dogs are best friends, work mates, family companions, and service dogs.
These have been difficult times for purebred dog owners who have found their world shrinking. They’ve been financially penalized for owning an intact pet, impacted by legislation dictating the breed they can own where they live, or hampered by laws restricting their choices to rescue or shelter dogs. And more wounding, they’ve been vilified by friends and family for not having rescued a dog.
It is heritage breeders who create the next generation of sound, well-socialized puppies bred from health-tested parents in breeds both beloved and rare. Their puppies will become a child’s best friend, the companion to an elderly person fighting loneliness, a comrade in arms to a person serving in the military, and back up to a law enforcement officer. They will grow up to protect livestock, alert their owner to a medical condition, or serve as a buffer to the person fighting private demons. They will find the lost, the confused, and the very young; they’ll detect endangered species, or the diseases that threaten those species. They enrich our lives by becoming the adults their breed promises them to become even while they’re still youngsters. Their breed makes them predictable, a valued asset to a couple expecting a baby, a rancher needing to protect his livestock, or the medical community finding answers to human disease by studying generations of the same breed.
Purebred dogs are museum pieces with a pulse, each the legacy of a culture or individual that created them for a reason. Some breeds are in trouble in their land of origin. Several are outnumbered by Panda Bears, and alarmingly, only 800 Otterhounds remain in the world. Other breeds are in danger of losing the vibrancy and intensity of their bloodline as they’re bred with other breeds. In that view, heritage breeders are not only preserving their breeds, they’re saving them from vanishing in our lifetime, and that makes them equal to the conservationists who saved those Panda Bears.
National Purebred Dog Day seeks to bring balance to the conversation about responsible dog ownership, a dialogue that has largely ignored or mischaracterized the purebred dog owning community.
This May 1, we will have fun with photo contests (find them on National Purebred Dog Day’s Facebook page under “notes”), and share throughout social media the photographs of purebred dog owners posing with their dog and a “Happy National Purebred Dog Day” sign (have a print center make your own copy from this file (link to https://nationalpurebreddogday
Ultimately, National Purebred Dog Day is celebrated by a community bound together by a love of all dogs, whatever their ancestry, but especially an appreciation for purebreds dogs, “museum pieces with a pulse.” If we lose these breeds, we lose the legacy of the cultures that created them for a reason.
On May 1, we encourage purebred dog owners to take their dogs to work, celebrate their dog’s legacy at dog friendly pubs or restaurants, and encourage conversation about their dog’s heritage. We will be of good cheer because those of us who own these dogs have at our side a piece of history.