Click here to learn more.
In 2013, three new lovable breeds (Chinook, Rat Terrier and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno) became eligible to compete at the upcoming National Dog Show and next February's renowned Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This is not unusual. Each year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) determines the eligibility of newcomers who hope to contend for the blue ribbon.
In the United States, the AKC is responsible for acknowledging and substantiating the existence of breeds in general, usually making two to six official each year. Currently, they recognize 175 breeds. “The AKC has been recognizing breeds since it was founded in 1884,” says AKC spokeswoman Lisa Peterson. “The process has evolved with us.”
Though the organization’s verification system is clearly delineated, it differs in certain ways from the dictated tenets of parallel entities in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. As it turns out, what renders a breed official in the U.S. may not necessarily hold in the land of royals or maple leaves, and vice versa.
In the U.S., the first step in submitting a breed for recognition is to join the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS), a recordkeeping program for purebred breeders that aims to help support pedigree claims down the line. (This requires filling out a questionnaire, documenting the history of the breed and laying out standards for that breed that conform to specific guidelines, among other things — "rare" breeds from the combination of two AKC-recognized breeds are not considered.) Often these breeds are imported from other countries and must have proof of an acceptable registry.
Breeds are broken down into categories by group: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding and Miscellaneous Class. The next step in having a breed recognized is to have it admitted into that last category.
The AKC recommends various strategies for shepherding a breed into contention: You can form a national club — which can qualify once it includes roughly 100 active households — or a rescue or health committee that puts out a quarterly newsletter and maybe even its own shows. You should encourage fellow lovers of the breed to record their dogs with the FSS, as there must be 150 to 200 dogs registered with complete three-generation pedigrees to be approved.
Dogs generally remain in the Miscellaneous category for one to three years. Full registration depends on consistent enrollment of more dogs of that breed in FSS, unless there are already 1,000 or more dogs enrolled. In that case, the situation is reviewed within six months by the AKC board of directors.
It might sound like a lot, but it’s worth the work. “Once a breed is fully recognized, they’re eligible to earn AKC conformation championship titles, as well as being able to compete in group competition,” Peterson says.
While the uninitiated might associate Canada primarily with only Newfoundlands and sleigh dogs, the country has much going on in the canine realm. Like the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) — founded in 1888 thanks to the proliferation of Canadian purebred dog shows previously overseen by the AKC — currently recognizes 175 breeds, just like the AKC. Despite the obvious similarities, they go about that recognition slightly differently.
The first step is still to apply for a spot on their Miscellaneous List, which allows event participation and eventual recognition as a breed. That’s accomplished via a written application, a certificate of registration from another Animal Pedigree Act-approved kennel club, breed standards from the country of origin (in writing, with illustrations) and three-generation pedigree documentation, plus a fee. Once all that information is confirmed with the head office, the breed is presented to the board of directors for approval and for membership polling.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Donations are pouring in for Kenny, a
Husky-Shepherd who fractured his front
legs after falling over a 150-foot…
Photographer Maria Sharp’s beautiful
tribute to her 16-year-old dog, Chubby, is
touching hearts all over the…
From the Mastiff to the Great Dane, these
large dogs might look intimidating, but
they tend to be total softies.
Google Street View lets you see the land
where Jane Goodall began her
groundbreaking work with chimpanzees.
Dr. Marty Becker shares easy steps for
cleaning your feline’s ears and checking
for infections or mite infestations.
A frustrated reader asks for help with his
adopted dog, who hasn't made much
progress in his obedience skills.
No one wants to spend October 31 at the
vet ER. Here's what you can do to
prevent common Halloween hazards.
The Russian Blue won’t mind if you have to go to work (to earn money for cat toys), as long as you're back in time for…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.