In 1999, The American Kennel Club took action to express its time-honored respect for the extraordinary canine-human bond, as well as its appreciation for the innumerable ways in which dogs meaningfully contribute to our lives. That initiative gave rise to The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE), which celebrated its first presentation year in 2000.
Breeder of the Year
Each year, The American Kennel Club recognizes and celebrates an outstanding purebred dog breeder with the Breeder of the Year Award. The award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs. At a special presentation held during the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, a breeder, or pair of breeders, is recognized in each of the seven Groups. At the conclusion of the presentation, one of the seven Group recipients is chosen as the Breeder of the Year.
Community Achievement Award
The Public Education and Government Relations Divisions grants this award four times per year to honor exemplary public education and government relations efforts. Honorees receive a certificate of recognition, and their club or federation receives $1,000 to further public education and strengthen Government Relations efforts within their community. Nominations are accepted throughout the entire year and awards are granted once every quarter.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
The American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Awards were established in 1998 to honor our Fancy’s best. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those individuals whose many years of dedication have led to significant contributions to our sport on a national level.
Outstanding Sportsmanship Award
This award honors those individuals who deserve special recognition that have made a difference in the sport of purebred dogs, embodied the AKC Code of Sportsmanship, and have been an active and valued member of an AKC member club.
Paw of Courage
The AKC Paw of Courage is an award to show appreciation for the many sacrifices that working dogs make while serving and protecting our country. This award specifically recognizes dogs who have been injured, fatally wounded or have performed an extraordinary act of heroism in the line of duty.