AKC Board Policy Manual

AKC Club Policies

Accelerated New Club Sanctioned Match Programs (Adopted November 1991; amended March 1997 and November 2005)
Performance clubs, which meet the usual AKC accreditation requirements and are comprised of a large percentage of members with extensive background (ten or more years) in the performance event the club was formed to serve, can have their match programs accelerated (March, 1997). Those clubs will also be able to hold a license performance event on a probationary basis (November, 2005) provided a letter is received from the directors of a license club in an adjacent area or a parent club agreeing to mentor the new club. The new club's members will be entirely responsible for all facets of the trial and an AKC field representative will observe the event, or if an AKC field representative is not in attendance, AKC will designate an official from the mentoring club to submit a report on the event.

Breed Club Seminars (January 1994 Board meeting)
Designate breed seminars approved by Parent Clubs as "Sanctioned Seminars," and list them accordingly in the AKC Events Calendar.

Breed Standard Format (July 1994 Board meeting, amended November 2006)
As long as no words are added, deleted or changed, a format change in a breed standard, based upon a vote of the respective Parent Club's board, may be approved by the AKC Board.

Format to be used for writing breed standards is Guidelines for Writing Breed Standards .

Breed Standard Moratorium (February 1994 Board meeting)
The Board adopted a policy implementing a five-year moratorium on breed standard revisions to apply from effective date to effective date.

   Club Household Membership Requirements (April 2008 Board Meeting)
The Board reviewed the criteria used to accredit the various types of AKC clubs. Following a motion by Dr. Haines, seconded by Ms. Scully, the Board VOTED (affirmative: Dr. Haines, Ms. Scully, Mr. Menaker, Mr. Merriam, Mrs. Strand, Dr. Newman. Dr. Garvin, Dr. Davies, Mr. Marden, Mr. Gladstone; (abstaining: Mrs. Schaefer; absent: Dr. Battaglia and Mr. Goodman) to adopt the following policy, governing the basic membership criteria for applicants seeking member, licensed and sanctioned status, effective January 1, 2009:

Clubs applying for member, licensed or sanctioned status shall meet the following club membership requirements:

All-Breed, Group and Obedience Clubs 30 members /25 local
Specialty Clubs 20 members /12 local
Agility and Earth Dog 20 members /12 local
Field Trial Hunting, Coursing, Herding 20 members /12 local
Coonhound 15 members /8 local
Tracking 12 local members

Event Committee Legal Expenses (May 1985 Board Meeting)
It is the policy of the American Kennel Club to afford legal representation, upon request, to members of Bench Show, Obedience Trial, or Field Trial Committees who are sued for activity or actions within the scope of their duties on such committees.

Local Specialty Club Approval (July 2011 Board Meeting)

  1. Local specialty clubs will not be approved within a 100 miles of the territory of an existing specialty club of the same breed.
  2. Local specialty clubs will only be licensed to hold specialty shows in conjunction with another Specialty, Group show, All-Breed shows or cluster.
  3. Any newly forming or club ready for licensing will only be approved with the proviso they agree any future events must meet the adjacency and/or integrated specialty requirement as stated in (2).
  4. Any local specialty clubs licensed or formed during this period will be subject to any final policies that result from the moratorium study period.

Member Club Application Requirements (February 1949 Board meeting)

The club's Bylaws shall be in acceptable form.
• A non-profit membership type of organization.
• One type of membership in which all enjoy equal voting rights.
• Adequate protection of the individual against disciplinary measures.
• Assurance that club affairs cannot be arbitrarily managed by a few against the wishes of the members.
• Membership may be limited in number but membership limits shall not be set below fifty.

The club shall consist of a representative group... ( SEE April 2008 Policy )
• For an all-breed club, membership shall not be largely representative of one breed or one group.
• A membership roster of less than 25 (not including husbands and wives) would not be favorably considered. An application from a densely populated area and "doggy" community which is not served by other clubs would be expected to show more than 25 members.

...residing within the territory which the club serves...
• Not all members need to reside in the club's territory, but a preponderance of them should.
• Definitely, the club's not to be controlled by non-resident officials or influential members.

...who have come together because of their common interest in dogs and dog events...
• Not a promotion of a superintendent or club organization.
• Not a group of people who have only a casual interest and have been banded together by ambitious people and used as scenery.

...to satisfy an existing and indicated future need in the general area of the club's location.
• Would not approve a club for a territory in which there exists a member club, unless such member club had not held a show during the preceding years.
• Would look with disfavor on an application from a metropolitan area which is already crowded with member clubs which have a satisfactory record of events.


New conformation Club approval Criteria (July and November 2011 meeting)

Specialty Clubs (July 2011 Meeting)
Following a motion by Mr. Ashby, seconded by Dr. Davies, it was VOTED (unanimously) to lift the current hold on the licensing of Conformation Specialty clubs provided they meet the following territorial and event criteria:

  1. Local specialty clubs will not be approved within a 100 miles of the territory of an existing specialty club of the same breed.
  2. Local specialty clubs will only be licensed to hold specialties in conjunction with another specialty, Group or All-Breed shows or cluster.
  3. Any newly forming or club ready for licensing will only be approved with the proviso they agree any future events must meet the adjacency and/or integrated specialty requirement as stated in (2).
  4. Any local specialty clubs licensed or formed during this period will be subject to any final policies that result from the moratorium study period.

Licensing of Specialty Conformation Clubs (September, 2012 meeting)
Following a motion by Mr. Feeney, seconded by Ms. Scully, it was VOTED (affirmative: Mr. Feeney, Ms. Scully, Mr. Kalter, Dr. Smith, Dr. Battaglia, Mr. Powers, Ms. Cruz, Mr. Amen, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Ashby, Mr. Gladstone, Dr. Newman; opposed: Dr. Garvin) to approve the addition of the following criteria to the policy regarding the licensing of specialty clubs which was adopted in July 2011:

A new specialty clubs which had attained Plan A level status on or before the July 12, 2011 Board meeting may continue to license status even if the club is within one hundred miles of another specialty club for the same breed. This allows specialty clubs that were in process of becoming licensed, prior to the Board moratorium, the opportunity to complete the process and move to licensed status.

All-Breed Clubs (November, 2011 Board meeting)
The Board discussed the moratorium on new shows that was approved in order to further study the impact of the number of shows on the financial well-being of existing clubs. Staff recommended that the Board remove the moratorium on new All-Breed clubs with limitations:

Following a motion by Mr. Arnold, seconded by Ms. Scully, it was VOTED (Mr. Arnold, Ms. Scully, Mr. Kalter, Mr. Ashby, Mr. Menaker, Dr. Smith, Dr. Davies, Mr. Amen, Dr. Battaglia, Dr. Newman; opposed Dr. Garvin; absent Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Goodman) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the usual prior notice requirement.

Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Ashby, it was VOTED unanimously; absent Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Goodman) to remove the moratorium on new All-Breed clubs, with the following limitations:

  1. Availability of open weekends - approval of new All-Breed clubs requires at least four (4) open weekends within the calendar year in that AKC division and no shows within 300 miles of the territory of the new club on the show date. FINAL Bd. Pg. 15 November 7-8, 2011 However, no such restriction will apply to clubs in Divisions 10, 11, and 12 (Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.)
  2. New all-Breed clubs are encouraged to invite local Group or Specialty clubs to join with them to improve event attendance.

Limited Breed Clubs (November, 2011 meeting)
Sanctioned Limited Breed (Group) Clubs are currently restricted from advancing to licensed club status by the moratorium imposed by the Board of Directors. The Board reviewed a proposal to permit these clubs to advance to licensed status with restrictions similar to those approved by the Board for specialty clubs to advance.

Following a motion by Dr. Smith, seconded by Mr. Arnold, it was VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Goodman) to remove the moratorium on new Group clubs with the following limitations:

  1. Group clubs will not be approved within a 100 miles of the territory of another club of the same Group.
  2. Group clubs will only be licensed to hold Group shows in conjunction with another Group show, All-Breed shows or clusters.
  3. Any newly forming or club ready for licensing will only be approved with the proviso they agree any future events must meet the adjacency and/or integrated specialty requirement as stated in (2).
  4. Any local Group club licensed or formed during this period will be subject to any final policies that result from the moratorium study period.


Non-AKC Events (March 2004 Delegates Meeting)
Reported at March 2004 Delegates Meeting to implement ARTICLE XV, SECTION 4 of the AKC Bylaws

Any Board approval for non-AKC events would be general, covering specific activities sponsored by specific organizations. The list of approved activities would appear on the AKC web site policy manual, so that individual clubs would not be required to seek AKC approval on an event-by-event basis. In considering approval, the Board would apply criteria including, but not limited to:
  1. AKC has no comparable event in place.
  2. While AKC has a program in place, AKC clubs had held events under the aegis of the other organization for years before the AKC program was initiated.
  3. The type of event is not or would not be perceived as being contrary to the best interest of AKC and the sport of purebred dogs.
  4. The event is a breed or type of breed-specific performance activity.
No AKC approval is required for versatility or performance activities developed by AKC Parent Clubs and sponsored by such clubs, unless they are held as a special attraction at an AKC event.

Any non-AKC events the Board does approve clubs to hold, must be held separate and apart from an AKC event and should not be included in any AKC event documents. This requirement may only be waived if AKC grants written approval for a special attraction in accordance with Chapter 11, Section 10 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows.

An exception to the event documents policy is granted for those non-AKC performance events where AKC has no comparable events and where the Board has approved AKC’s acknowledgement of titles earned. For these events, a separate informational flyer and event application form may be included in the AKC event documents. The organization holding this event must be clearly stated. At this time non-AKC performance events that qualify for this exception are events held by approved schutzhund organizations and AKC parent club performance events that have been approved by the AKC Board.

AKC clubs that have been holding the following activities that meet the criteria explained in the two paragraphs above may continue to do so:
American Sighthound Field Association Coursing Events
American Working Terrier Association Earthdog Events
American Herding Breed Association Events
North American Versatility Dog Association Pointing Breed Hunting Tests
Large Gazehound Racing Association
American Field Pointing Breed Field Trials
United Kennel Club Coonhound Events
Professional Kennel Club Coonhound Events
American Rabbit Hound Association
Hunting Retriever Club Hunting Tests
Other activities could be added to the list as they are brought to AKC's attention and evaluated against the criteria.

Show Territory (May 2006 Board meeting)
The Board considered a request from the Texas Kennel Club to reaffirm its exclusivity to the show territory of the city of Dallas. The Texas Kennel Club refused to grant approval for the Greater Collin Kennel Club and the Trinity Valley Kennel Club to hold a show in Dallas. Those clubs appealed to AKC. While Texas Kennel Club has not held a show in Dallas for eight years, it has applied for a show in Dallas for the fall of 2006. David Keene abstained from participating in the discussion on this specific request. the question of exclusivity arose as the result of a 2002 Board action.
The discussion included in the August, 2002 Board minutes, as well as the Highlights released after the meeting, indicate that the Board intended to interpret the territorial exclusivity provisions of Chapter 2 in the Rules Applying to Dog Shows to only be binding if the member club held a show at least once every two consecutive years in its territory. However, the actual 2002 motion that was made at the meeting to implement this interpretation, as published, did not properly convey that intent.
Following a motion by Mr. Merriam, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (affirmative: Mr. Merriam, Mrs. Schaefer, Dr. Newman, Dr. Haines, Mr. Gladstone, Mrs. Strand, Mr. Menaker, Dr. Battaglia, Mr. Goodman; opposed: Dr. Garvin, Dr. Davies, Ms. Scully, Mr. Keene) to affirm that the Board’s belief that Chapter 2, Sections 3, 5 and 6. only require a member all-breed club to hold a show once every two years in order to maintain exclusivity in their area, regardless of where that show is held. Rule Change Referred to Delegate Committees