The American Kennel Club created the Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®) to answer the needs of today’s rare breed fanciers. The Foundation Stock Service® is an optional record-keeping service for all purebred breeds not currently registrable with the American Kennel Club.
Originally the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) program was used to bring in breeds such as American Eskimo, Border Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They entered directly into the Miscellaneous Class. These breeds were issued ILP numbers. ILP stands for Indefinite Listing Privilege. In October 1995 Foundation Stock Service (FSS) was developed for the rare breed community and developed into the program we know today.
Goals of the Foundation Stock Service®
The AKC is committed to taking the necessary action to ensure the continuation of purebred dogs. In accord with this objective, the AKC created the FSS® record-keeping service to allow rare breed fanciers to continue their commitment to the improvement of their breed.
One of the most serious concerns for any breed is the integrity of its pedigree and ownership records. For many fanciers, the ultimate goal is full AKC recognition. There are several criteria that must be met in order to achieve this plateau. Often, the biggest hurdle is creating and maintaining accurate records.
With the FSS®, the AKC staff of experts will maintain the pedigree and ownership records in addition to a stud book. The AKC has more than 100 years of experience protecting the integrity of registries for purebred dogs.
Fanciers who record their dogs with the FSS® can rest assured that the AKC will maintain quality stud books for their breeds.
The Benefits of Enrolling in FSS®
The Foundation Stock Service® allows purebred rare breeds to continue to develop while providing them with the security of a reliable and reputable avenue to maintain their records.
Foundation Stock Service® is a requirement for fanciers of a breed who want to achieve full AKC recognition.
FSS® breeds may now compete in Open Shows, Companion Events and Performance Events that AKC determines to be applicable. Breeds must have a breed standard in order to compete. Recording your dog in FSS® can help catapult your breed into AKC competition.
While the recording of a dog in FSS® does not guarantee eventual full AKC registration, it does provide the avenue to compete in the exciting world of Open Shows, Companion and Performance Events.
Eligibility for Performance Events (what the breed was bred to do) is subject to approval by the Performance Events Department upon review of the historical function of the breed or involvement in like events.
How Breeds Enter the FSS®
The American Kennel Club considers requests to enter FSS® from breed clubs or individual fanciers of a breed. The AKC only considers adding new breeds to the FSS® or its registry upon request.
- The breed must be recognized by an acceptable foreign or domestic registry for a period of 40 years with three generation dogs.
- If the breed was developed within the United States, there must be a documented history of a minimum of 40 years of a registry with three generation dogs.
- The name of the breed may not include the name of currently recognized AKC Breeds, if the breed has been under development since 2000.
- The AKC Parent Club(s) approve the acceptance of the breed if there is an association with a currently recognized AKC Breed
- Provide AKC with a letter requesting admission into FSS®
- Fill out a questionnaire for new breeds. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for questionnaire.
- Provide a written breed history documenting the distinct breed over a period of many decades (40 years) in which a registry has been maintained of three generation dogs of the breed. The source of the historical information must also be provided.
- Provide an official written breed standard, indicating the origin of that standard. If the standard differs from the official breed standard in the breed country of origin, please specify those differences.
- Provide photographs of the breed, including puppies and adults, as well as both dogs and bitches. If there are different accepted types in the breed, photographs of each type should be included and labeled as such.
The FSS® is not open to “rare” breeds that are a variation of an AKC-registrable breed or the result of a combination of two AKC-recognized breeds. This includes and is not limited to differences such as size (over and under), coat type, coat colors, and coat colors and/or types that are disqualifications from Conformation Events by AKC breed standards.
FSS® Recording and Certificates
When a dog is recorded in the Foundation Stock Service®, it is issued a numbered FSS® Certificate. This certificate indicates that the dog is the product of a purebred sire and dam of the same breed. In some cases, a breeder will determine that a dog should be recorded with “limited” status. A limited FSS® Certificate indicates that no offspring of the dog is eligible to be recorded in the FSS®.
Dogs with two-generation pedigrees, one-generation pedigrees or a certificate in their name that includes the names of the sire and dam, are eligible for enrollment in FSS® as the foundation stock of future generations. All certificates and pedigrees must come from an acceptable registry.
FSS® Certificates will be issued to all dogs enrolled in FSS®.
Note: Any dog that has less than three-generations documented with registration numbers from another registry, will not move into full AKC recognition.
What is next? Guidelines For Advancing a New Breed
If the goal for your breed is AKC recognition please consider the action items below after your breed is in the FSS®. The recognition process begins with admission of the breed to the Miscellaneous Class.
- Form a strong national breed club and encourage fanciers nationwide to join and get involved. A national breed club with representative membership of about 100 active members is expected for a breed to be placed in the Miscellaneous Class. The amount of active members needed can vary depending on the number of dogs recorded in the FSS®.
- A breed entering the Foundation Stock Service® based upon being an established breed in a foreign registry must have reached full FCI recognition to be eligible to request Miscellaneous Class status.
- Create a breed standard that conforms to the Guidelines for Writing Breed Standards. Final approval is made by the AKC Board at the time the breed is approved for full recognition.
- Form some active committees such as a membership committee or a health committee, put on Open shows, and publish a quarterly newsletter. A committed AKC liaison is also keeping AKC updated on the club’s various activities provides documentation of the fanciers’ dedication to full AKC recognition. Current officer and membership lists must be on file with the AKC.
- Encourage other fanciers to record their dogs with FSS®. A minimum of 150-200 dogs with complete three-generation pedigrees, owned by many different individuals residing in various parts of the nation, must be recorded as part of the criteria for approval to move to the Miscellaneous Class. A club representing the breed must be in existence to request eligibility for the Miscellaneous Class. The more dogs you record with the FSS®, the more committed AKC believes the fanciers are to achieving full recognition. If the breed club has not submitted its breed registry for entry into FSS®, the club is required to do so when moving to the Miscellaneous Class. If more than one club exists, the clubs must come to a conclusion amongst themselves to determine which club will represent the breed with the AKC. The determination of the Parent Club will occur prior to the breed being eligible for full recognition at which time the breed standard will be finalized.
- Stay in contact. The AKC moves forward with recognition of breeds whose fanciers want the breed to be recognized. The Parent Club must maintain a minimum of annual contact with the AKC providing updated membership lists, documentation of club business and activities. The breeders and exhibitors are to demonstrate ongoing interest and responsible breeding practices.
- Normally breeds remain in the Miscellaneous Class one to three years. Advancement to full registration will be contingent on growth in enrollment of dogs in FSS® and participation in AKC events. However, breeds with 1,000 or more dogs enrolled in FSS® may be evaluated after six months in Miscellaneous, these breeds will remain in the Miscellaneous Class a minimum of 18 months. Breeds with less than 1,000 dogs will be evaluated at the end of each year in Miscellaneous. When all criteria are met the information is presented to the AKC Board of Directors for approval to move to full AKC recognition and breed conformation competition.
Parent Club Designation for a Breed in the FSS and Progression to Full Recognition
Upon contact with AKC, the information on how to form a club, and sample bylaws/club policies applicable to Parent Clubs, are provided.
A Club seeking Parent Club status must submit the following:
- Club History
- Club membership list designating club member involvement
- Constitution and bylaws
- Minutes of annual meetings and board meetings for a minimum of two years, including financial information
- Confirmation that membership of club wishes to see AKC recognition
- List of events conducted or in which the breed has participated
Demonstration that members are actively involved as breeders, determined by increase in dogs and litters enrolled in AKC Foundation Stock Service.
Members are actively competing in the AKC Events in which the breed is eligible as well as participation at AKC Meet The Breeds, Responsible Dog Ownership Day Events or other opportunities to educate the public about the breed. Members are encouraged to join an All-Breed Club.
Upon review of all club materials and demonstration that the club is a viable entity a request may be submitted to the AKC Board Requesting Parent Club Status.
Once the Parent Club has been designated, staff will work with the Parent Club on the breed standard to comply with the AKC Breed Standard Guidelines. The Parent Club Delegate Sub-committee will provide mentoring to the club to gain full recognition and membership status with the AKC.
Eligibility to request Miscellaneous Class Status requires:
- A Parent Club designated to represent the breed.
- A breed entering the FSS® based upon being an established breed in a foreign registry must have reached full recognition status.
- The Club has balloted the membership to seek AKC Recognition, documentation to be submitted to FSS for the breed file.
- Breed Standard reviewed to meet AKC Breed Standard Guidelines.
- A minimum of 150 dogs with three generation pedigrees.
- Formal presentation for AKC club status is sent to Club Relations for review and bylaw commentary to follow, if necessary.
- Request to move into Miscellaneous Class submitted to AKC Board – date of entry January 1, or on or about July 1.
Eligibility to request full recognition:
While in the Miscellaneous Class the club will be working with a facilitator, a Delegate from the Parent Club Delegate Committee, to gain further understanding of the responsibilities of a Parent Club. The Parent Club self -study materials will be provided to the club to utilize as they develop.
- Club Business and Annual Meeting/Election to be conducted in accordance with constitution and bylaws.
- The Constitution and bylaws, to be reviewed by AKC Club Relations, revisions recommended to be made and approved by the club membership.
- Minutes of Board Meetings and Annual Meeting submitted and reviewed
- Club submits a certificate of good standing or its equivalent from its state of organization.
- Membership updated annually, including a separate electronic membership list uploaded using officer issued access code.
- Parent Club conducts minimum of two Open Shows for all Miscellaneous and FSS breeds (minimum of six months apart, geographically distributed).
- Confirmation of Board approved interest in applying for Member Club status.
- Membership growth to approximately 100 members, with reasonable geographic distribution
- Minimum of 10 dogs earning Certificate of Merit (CM) titles owned by Parent Club members.
- Growth in registration of litters and dogs to a minimum of 300 dogs with three-generation pedigrees
- A minimum of 20 litters bred and enrolled, within a current five-year period, while the breed is in Miscellaneous to ensure that the breed is established and sustainable.
- Minimum of three Judges Education Seminars conducted by the Parent Club while in the Miscellaneous Class.
- Judges Education course developed in collaboration with AKC Staff to be made available on the AKC Canine College for the purpose of providing educational opportunities for prospective judges of the breed.
- A minimum of one year has elapsed since entering the Miscellaneous Class.
- The Club is to establish a 5-year plan which will be submitted with the request for Full Recognition which includes:
- Encouraging the breeders to continue to breed which will increase the number of litters registered annually.
- Encouraging breeders to register dogs which will increase individual dog registrations annually.
- Encourage new owners of the breed to join the Parent Club, increasing the club membership.
- Breeders to encourage new dog owners to participate in AKC events with their dogs, increasing unique dogs participating annually.
- Encourage the establishment of local specialty clubs.
The American Kennel Club (AKC), is a not-for-profit organization established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting, and advancement of purebred dogs. In October of 1995, the AKC Foundation Stock Service became operational. The Foundation Stock Service is an optional record-keeping service. Recording of a dog in the Foundation Stock Service does not constitute AKC recognition.
Updated July 2022