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How to Form a Club

How to Form a Club

About the AKC

Established in 1884, the American Kennel Club® is a not-for-profit organization, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs. We protect and ensure the continuation of the sport of dogs, maintain a registry of almost 200 recognized breeds, and enforce rules and regulations governing dog shows and performance events.

We strongly encourage responsible dog ownership for all dogs through our public education and Canine Good Citizen® programs, and promote issues that benefit purebred dogs. The AKC also supports major scientific research and canine health programs.

The AKC is a “club of clubs”, with no individual members. Instead, we have over 600 independent member clubs who send delegates to AKC meetings to vote on rule changes and policy issues; and over 5,000 licensed and sanctioned clubs who conduct AKC-approved events. A 13-member Board of Directors oversees operations. The President and CEO directs a staff of over 300, including a professional field staff that attends events throughout the year and provides on-the-ground support for clubs and exhibitors to enjoy our sports.

Mission Statement

The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, the AKC and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and wellbeing, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

The American Kennel Club

  • Records the parentage of millions dogs
  • Sponsors more than 25,000 dog competitions each year held by licensed and member clubs.
  • Supports and promotes the sport of purebred dogs.

The AKC Club Relations Department handles the accreditation, licensing and member club approval process for all AKC clubs and administers the development of new clubs so they may qualify for the holding of sanctioned matches, mentored and licensed events.



General Information

Forming a new dog club? Thinking of establishing a new AKC-accredited purebred dog club in your area? Congratulations! Few activities provide greater fun and more satisfaction than the sport of purebred dogs. The American Kennel Club will be happy to help you get started.

Today’s AKC family of affiliated and member clubs offer something for every purebred dog enthusiast. Here’s a brief look at the types of clubs that serve the sport:

National specialty clubs (also called parent clubs) represent fanciers of a single breed. These clubs primarily hold dog shows, but many national specialty clubs also hold obedience trials, tracking tests and other performance events approved for their particular breed. The AKC approves only one national club for each breed. For information on a particular breed’s national club, please view the information on the AKC’s Web site ( or contact the Club Relations Department for the Secretary’s name and address.

Local specialty clubs serve the interests of a single breed on a local level. These clubs serve their breed by holding conformation shows, companion events and/or the performance events for which the breed is eligible.

All-breed clubs welcome purebred dog owners of every breed registered by the AKC, and hold dog shows evaluating a dog’s conformation to its particular breed standard. All-breed clubs may also be eligible to hold obedience trials, tracking tests, agility trials, herding events, lure coursing events and hunting tests.

Group clubs are open to owners of all breeds from one of the seven groups. Group clubs are eligible to hold shows, companion events and/or the performance events open to their particular group.

Obedience clubs are open to owners of all breeds. Members demonstrate the usefulness of purebred dogs as a companion and the ability to follow specified routines. In addition to obedience trials, obedience clubs offer classes and clinics on training. Many obedience clubs also offer agility and tracking.

Tracking clubs are open to owners of all breeds. Tracking demonstrates a dog’s ability to recognize and follow human scent. Tracking clubs may offer classes and clinics in addition to licensed tracking and variable surface tracking tests.

Agility clubs are open to owners of all dogs. Agility trials afford owners the opportunity to demonstrate a dog’s willingness to work with its handler under a variety of conditions.

Field Trial clubs offer owners of Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointing Breeds, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds and Beagles the opportunity to train and compete with their dogs through competition in the field. Field trial clubs may also be approved to hold hunting tests if they otherwise meet the requirements.

Hunting Test clubs are for owners of Pointing Breeds, Retrievers and Spaniels. Owners evaluate and grade the hunting abilities of their dogs against written hunting standards, under simulated but near-natural hunting conditions in noncompetitive hunting tests. Hunting clubs may also be approved to hold field trials if they otherwise meet the requirements.

Herding clubs offer both noncompetitive tests and competitive trials for owners of breeds eligible to compete. These events help measure a dog’s basic training as a herding dog and preserve and develop herding skills inherent in herding breeds.

Lure Coursing clubs are open to owners of Sighthounds. Lure coursing demonstrates a dog’s ability to follow a lure over a laid-out course.

Earthdog clubs are open to owners of small Terriers and Dachshunds. These clubs offer events that measure natural and working abilities of these breeds when exposed to hunting situations.

Scent Work clubs hold events that are based on the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. Scent Work is a positive, challenging activity that allows dogs the opportunity to use their strongest natural sense in a way that is fun, engaging, and that builds and strengthens a foundation of trust between the handler and dog.

Rally clubs hold events that demonstrate the dog has been trained to behave in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs in a manner that will reflect credit on the sport of Rally at all times and under all conditions.

Coonhound clubs hold events that demonstrate the natural abilities of purebred Coonhounds through competitive night hunts, field trials, and bench shows.

Is Your Club Eligible for Accreditation?

Whatever type of club you are considering, we’ve found that every effective dog club:

  1. Is composed of members who love purebred dogs and their sport and can work together to serve the best interests of the dogs and the sport.
  2. Operates under an acceptable Constitution and Bylaws document spelling out the orderly and democratic conduct of club business. Please see AKC’s Club Bylaw Services webpage for further information.
  3. Has members residing in a local geographic area and is able to hold events in their respective community to promote the sport of purebred dogs.

AKC’s Basic Club Policies

A word of caution: If you and your fellow enthusiasts seek to establish a new club where none currently exists, we will be happy to help you make it a reality. However, we cannot encourage the establishment of a new club if there is an existing club of the same type in the same area. This is referenced at times as a “Splinter or Dissident Group”. Dissatisfaction with an existing club should not be the reason to form a similar club.

Club Name: Your club’s name should identify a geographic locality of activity based on its membership. The best rule of thumb: Would it be easily recognizable to fanciers in other parts of the country? Please avoid unusual names that would be unfamiliar to other fanciers not in the club’s area. We suggest you receive written approval of the name from Club Relations before the club incorporates or prints letterhead.

For example, if a local specialty club, the club’s name must include the full name of the breed. If it’s a limited breed club (group), the specific group must be identified. If it is a multiple-breed club, such as agility, the club’s name must include “agility”.

Membership: The minimum membership household requirement is set for each type of club. Local membership must constitute the clear majority of club members. For more details, please see the AKC Club Household Membership Requirements.

Geographic Local Territory: There is no specified mileage; each club is evaluated on its own membership, applicable local geography and proximity to existing clubs of the same type. We recognize that in densely populated areas there may be a need for more clubs, while in sparsely populated areas more territory may be suitable.

Continuity: Prospective new clubs are expected to demonstrate ongoing viability by establishing a record of meetings, elections and activities before coming to the AKC for accreditation. If clubs have held fun matches or other activities, a brief description may be provided.

Event Sites: Every club must have a suitable site for its events in its local area before applying for accreditation.

Specialty Clubs: We recommend that persons interested in forming a new local specialty club contact the respective parent club for that breed during the early stages of the club’s development. Parent clubs often provide assistance and information of value to new clubs. For help in contacting the secretary of your parent club, please visit our National Club Search tool.

Parent Club and Local Specialty Club Collaboration Efforts

(August 2022 AKC Board Meeting)

AKC will continue to process prospective new club accreditation requests following current procedures. The AKC reviews all documentation submitted to determine if a prospective club meets the criteria for accreditation, including notifying the Parent Club in advance and reviewing their commentary if offered. To further enhance the collaboration between Parent Clubs and local Specialty Clubs, Parent Clubs will be sent a mailing when they become the AKC Parent Club designated to represent a breed, to encourage any clubs that the Parent Club recognized as “regional” clubs to apply for accreditation to become local specialty clubs. The AKC does not recognize regional clubs that may be designated as such by a Parent Club. The mailing to all Parent Club officers and Delegates will indicate the requirements for achieving AKC status as a local specialty club.”

Taking Responsibility

We believe all clubs should take responsibility for promoting purebred dogs and work with the AKC and other clubs on issues of general concern to fanciers. Therefore, besides electing officers, your club is encouraged to appoint a Junior Coordinator and/or a Public Educational Coordinator to help educate your community on purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership; an AKC Breeder Referral Contact to support efforts to encourage prospective dog owners to get their dog from a responsible breeder; and a Legislative Liaison to help keep members advised of current legislation affecting dog owners and breeders.

Part II


The first step is to hold an organizational meeting. Try to contact all fanciers in your proposed area who may want to become involved. You may want to advertise. The catalogs for all-breed shows list the exhibitors’ names and addresses. Ask your local all-breed clubs about announcements at their shows or meetings. At the first meeting we suggest you do the following: select temporary officers. For starters, all you really need is someone to chair meetings, and someone to take minutes. For general guidelines, you may review Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

  • Decide on a meeting schedule and location.
  • Choose someone to keep records of the club’s development. You may want to designate this person as AKC Liaison. (Note: Always keep copies of club records. Clubs have unfortunately lost valuable records due to floods, fires, individuals moving, etc.).
  • Set up a program of activities. These should reflect your efforts to assist fanciers and promote the sport and responsible dog ownership.
  • Code of Ethics. The AKC does not require or review a specific code of ethics, but does expect all clubs and members to behave ethically at all times. If your club adopts a code of ethics, it should be used as an educational tool, and should not be tied to the disciplinary section of the bylaws. It is our experience that when bylaws and codes of ethics are linked, clubs become needlessly involved in disputes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the welfare of the club or the sport. Please see AKC’s Code of Sportsmanship.

Part III

AKC Accreditation

After holding an organizational meeting, electing temporary officers, drafting a set of bylaws, a date for the first annual meeting should be considered. It is recommended to establish a schedule of meetings/events/activities until the first annual meeting. Your club will be eligible to apply for accreditation for consideration to hold sanctioned matches or mentored events, which may lead to the holding of licensed shows, trials and/or tests. A presentation may be submitted to the Club Relations Department, and should include the following information, as noted on either the Check Off List for Status Approval or New Club Profile Form:

  1. An overview of the club’s development and history, which may include a list of meetings, elections, activities, etc.
  2. If fun matches are held, please include dates, sites, and number of entries.
  3. A completed Membership Information Sheet including all voting members with names, postal and email addresses, with the following letter designations for each member: “B” (Breeder) — someone who has registered a litter within the past three years; “E” (Exhibitor) — someone who has handled a dog at an AKC-licensed event within the past two years, if you are applying for more than one type of competition the different types of exhibitors must be designated; “DO” (interested Dog Owner) — someone who, although not actively breeding or exhibiting, is a dog owner of an AKC registered dog and active in the club; or “J” (AKC-licensed judge). If there are non-voting members in the club, please list them separately. The breed of dog owned should also be indicated, as well as the year in which each person joined the club. Individual breeding and exhibiting records are not required. (Note: Performance clubs should refer to Part V of this brochure for more information.)

Based on current policies and the number of years of experience possessed by each member as provided on the Membership Information Sheet, the club may be eligible for one of the following programs: Sanctioned Match program, Reduced Sanctioned Match Program or Mentored Event program.

  1. A list of club officers with postal and email addresses and daytime telephone numbers.
  2. The New Club Profile Form for your type of club (if not previously submitted).
  3. A copy of the club’s constitution and bylaws. Please review AKC’s Club Bylaw Services webpage for the current Sample Constitution and Bylaws for a readily acceptable document, along with the date voted to adopt.
  4. Affirmation of Bylaw Review Form, which can be found on AKC’s Club Bylaw Services webpage.
  5. (For All-Breed Clubs only) Please list the four open weekends for holding shows within the required event mileage policy in your division. Please see AKC’s Board Administration Policy for New Conformation Club Approval Criteria.

The policies for the Reduced Sanctioned Match Program or Mentored Event program may also be found at the above link. Please contact Club Relations if you have questions.

Upon accreditation, the club will be sent match applications, helpful match application guidelines, and AKC web links for the applicable Rules and Regulations along with AKC’s Show Manual.

Please be advised that sanctioned match applications are not available online for newly sanctioned clubs.

Required Sanctioned Match Programs

Before AKC grants clubs a license and the authority to hold championship events, clubs are accredited to hold a series of sanctioned matches. These events help new members learn the details and mechanics of an event and give inexperienced dogs valuable ring experience. The rings at matches are the classrooms of tomorrow’s exhibitors and judges.

Generally, all-breed, group, specialty clubs are required to hold B (OB) matches and then A (OA) matches:

National (Parent Specialty) Clubs: Two (2) Open Shows held at least six months apart, east and west of the Mississippi River. Once the date for the breed to become eligible for full recognition has been determined, the club may submit a presentation for license status. Please contact the Foundation Stock Services Department (FSS) for detailed information.

All-Breed Clubs: two (2) Plan B level matches, held at least six months apart; then a presentation requesting advancement for the holding of two (2) “qualifying” Plan A level matches must be held before a presentation for license status may be submitted.

Specialty & Group Clubs: One Plan B level match and two (2) “qualifying” Plan A level matches must be held at least 6 months apart. If the specialty or group club meets the criteria for the Reduced Sanctioned Match Program, 1 Plan B match and 1 “qualifying” Plan A match are required to be held at least 6 months apart before a presentation for license status may be submitted.

Obedience: two (2) Plan B level obedience matches (OB) and one (1) “qualifying” Plan A level obedience match (OA) each held at least six months apart, before a presentation for license status may be submitted.

Companion and Performance event clubs: one (1) “qualifying” Plan A level match before a presentation for license status may be submitted.

Please contact AKC’s Performance Events Department for submitting Accreditation requests –

Supported Entries: A specialty club that is sanctioned by the AKC, and which has held at least one successful sanctioned event, may support the entry of its breed at an all breed or group club event. Supported entries are limited to one specialty club per breed. A group club that is sanctioned by the AKC, and which has held at least one successful sanctioned event, may support the entry of all the breeds/varieties in the group at an all breed event. Supported entries are limited to one club per breed. Clubs that are not licensed or sanctioned with the AKC can only provide the trophies for supported entries and cannot provide for any class that the hosting all-breed show is not holding. The only place that a club not licensed or sanctioned with the AKC can be listed is in the trophy section of the premium list. Please refer to the Show Manual for further information.

Reports on B (OB) Matches

Clubs should submit reports of Plan B (OB) matches within seven days of the event to Club Relations. Match report forms are sent to clubs upon approval of each event.

Advancement to A Status (For All-Breed Clubs)

The presentation should include updated items from the Accreditation requirements above (see # 3, 4, 6, 7, 8):

The New Clubs Committee will consider a number of factors in making its decision, including your club’s continuity and development of membership — for instance, has there been excessive turnover? Are members more active in the sport since joining? We also hope to see a core of members active in the sport. We generally feel that at least half the members should be active exhibitors in one facet of the sport or another. There is no minimum number of members who are required to be active breeders. Finally, we review the reports on activities and events, including sanctioned Plan B matches.

Please note: (For All-Breed Clubs – #8 from Accreditation requirements) The event mileage requirements set in the Board policy for holding shows once licensed must be met. Please see the applicable Board Administration Policy for New Conformation Club Approval Criteria.

Note: Your club should not submit an application for a sanctioned Plan A match until the club has been notified that eligibility to do so has been established.

Please do not schedule sanctioned matches in advance of hearing from Club Relations that your request has been approved. Every request must be reviewed by our committee. We do not want to see any club disappointed if its request is delayed and commitments have already been made to hold a sanctioned Plan A match.

Holding Plan A Matches

All clubs are required to hold at least one (1) “Qualifying” sanctioned Plan A match prior to requesting license status. Sanctioned Plan A level matches are more formal than sanctioned Plan B level matches. Clubs should follow the Match Regulations and the Rules Applying to Dog Shows carefully. Matches are evaluated on how closely the club adheres to the requirements outlined in the Match Regulations. If there are any questions concerning Match Regulations and Rules Applying to Dog Shows, please contact Club Relations. Matches are designed so that experienced members can work cohesively with each other and at the same time teach new members the mechanics of the events. It is easier for the club to contact Club Relations when a question arises before the need to remedy a situation occurs.

Reports on A (OA) Matches

Sanctioned Plan A (OA) Match Reports must be submitted to Club Relations within seven days of the date of the event. The Premium List should be sent to Club Relations at the same time it is made available to the public. The club must also submit all judges books, entry forms, and a marked and signed catalog. Please refer to the Match Regulations for additional details. The club will be advised when the match has been deemed “qualifying”.

Sanctioned Plan A Field Trials and Hunting Tests

Once your club has been notified it is eligible to conduct Sanctioned Plan A events, one (1) “qualifying” event will be required to satisfy the sanctioned Plan A program. A “qualifying” sanctioned Plan A event refers to an event held before a club is eligible to submit a license presentation to Club Relations for consideration of license status. A premium list and result recordings must be prepared. An AKC Field Representative may be scheduled to attend your club’s Plan A event in order to provide a report to AKC and deem it “qualifying”. The Field Representative will be evaluating how efficiently the club is able to conduct the sanctioned trial or test in accordance with applicable AKC Rules or Regulations. During the sanctioned event, the Field Representative will also help provide educational assistance to the club as needed. If in the opinion of the Field Representative, the event was successfully held by the club, it will be noted in a report that the event is “qualifying” and Club Relations will be notified by the Performance Events Department that a license presentation may be submitted by the club for AKC’s consideration.


Event results, including a copy of the premium list and result recordings, must be submitted to the AKC’s Performance Events Department within seven (7) days of the sanctioned event. The Field Trial or Hunting Test Secretary’s report should also include any problems encountered by the Field Trial/Hunt Test committee and how these problems were resolved. If you have any questions while preparing the report, contact the Performance Events Department at

When your club feels it meets the criteria for accreditation, please submit your presentation to the Club Relations Department. A staff committee will review the materials submitted and determine if the club can be placed on our records as an AKC club. Once a favorable decision is made, your club will be formally notified that it is eligible to apply to hold AKC-sanctioned trials or tests, or mentored events provided club member experience qualifies for application under the Mentored Event program.

Part IV

Advancement to License Status

After your club has successfully completed its sanctioned Plan B level and/or Plan A level programs, it may submit a presentation requesting license status. Mentored Event programs do not require a presentation for license status. Once the Mentored event is successfully held, the club will be advised of its license status.

License status presentations should include the following information:

The presentation should include an officer signed letter requesting license status, and updated items from the Accreditation requirements above (see # 3, 4, 6, 7) (For All-Breed Clubs, please also include #8).

The club will be notified of its status by the Club Relations Department. Please do not contract for grounds, services, etc., until you have been notified that the club’s request has been approved. This will avoid problems if the request is delayed for any reason. Once approved the club will be advised to visit AKC’s website for applicable event applications, and Rules and Regulations.

Part V

Information for Different Types of Field Trial Clubs

Beagle Clubs

Once a Beagle field trial club has been formally placed on the AKC’s records, it is required to obtain AKC sanction for any type of event which is held by the club where entries are accepted and solicited from the public (non-club members).

Beagle field trial clubs should study the current edition of the Beagle Field Trial Rules for Brace, Two Couple Pack, Small Pack, Small Pack Option and Large Pack particularly the sections “Sanctioned Beagle Field Trials” and “Information for New Beagle Clubs.”

Most newly accredited Beagle clubs are approved to hold mentored licensed events based on club members’ experience. If the club does not qualify for mentored events, based on member experience, one “qualifying” Plan A Trial is required before a license presentation is submitted. The club should not submit an application for a Plan A trial until it has been notified by the AKC that it is eligible to do so. When your application for a Plan A trial has been approved, you should be aware that there must be at least 6 hounds entered per stake. This presentation should include an updated membership list, any revisions to the bylaws, and a list of club activities. Plan A trials are trials where no championship titles are awarded. Clubs should maintain summaries and records of their events. The summaries should include the classes offered, the number of dogs in each class, and a description of any unusual occurrences (adverse weather, complaints, etc.), and how the field trial committee dealt with the problems.

Completion of a mentored program grants the club official license status to hold events with points and titles without submitting a license presentation.

Pointing Breed Field Trial Clubs

Pointing breed field trial clubs should be particularly aware of Chapter 14, Section 1 of the Pointing Breed Field Trial Rules, which provides that: Either specialty clubs formed for the improvement of any one pointing breed or Pointing Breed Field Trial Clubs formed for the improvement of all eligible pointing breeds, may be approved to hold field trials open to all eligible pointing breeds.

Retriever Field Trial Clubs

Retriever clubs should consider the following information to aid them in scheduling sanctioned Plan A field trials, mentored events and licensed trials:

  1. We must emphasize that it is each club’s responsibility to find a date in the retriever field trial schedule that would not have an adverse effect on any existing club. The AKC cannot entertain an application from a club for a date the approval of which may prove detrimental to another club that has established its licensed or member trial on that date.
  2. It is expected that a Retriever club, once it becomes eligible to submit an application for its first licensed trial, will undertake the holding of one or more stakes carrying championship points.

Basset Hound, Dachshund and Spaniel Field Trial clubs should notify their respective parent clubs at an early stage in their developmentPlease visit under Club Search for Parent Club contact information.

A single-breed (specialty) club representing an eligible breed, and multiple breed clubs can apply to hold hunting tests. Hunting dog clubs (i.e. gundog, bird dog clubs) are eligible to hold any of the three types of hunting tests: Pointing Breeds, Retrievers and Flushing Spaniels.

Additional Club Resources


Accreditation: Approval by the New Clubs Committee to conduct AKC-sanctioned and mentored events.

Bylaws (Constitution and Bylaws): The document by which the club is governed and conducts its business.

Catalog: A printed catalog containing the names of all dogs and their owners entered in an event. A catalog is mandatory for “A” level events, optional for “B” events.

Club Levels:

Inquiry: Clubs which have notified the AKC of their existence but are not yet AKC clubs approved to hold AKC-sanctioned or mentored events.

Sanctioned: Clubs which have been approved to hold sanctioned Plan “B” level, Plan “A” level or mentored events.

Licensed: Clubs which are officially approved to hold events at which championship points and/or titles may be earned.

Member: Only certain types of clubs are eligible to apply for member status in accordance with AKC’s Charter and Bylaws – Parent Clubs, All-Breed Clubs, Group Clubs, Obedience Clubs, Agility Clubs and Multiple Breed Field Trial Clubs. Member clubs select delegates who may attend the AKC’s quarterly meetings. Clubs are elected to member status by the sitting delegates.

Mentored Events: An event option available for eligible clubs wishing to hold conformation, performance events and/or companion events, provided the members of the club have sufficient experience in the sport. Points and titles can be earned at this event. An AKC Field Rep or AKC designated official from a mentoring club would be available to assist the club in planning and conducting the event. A report including details of the mentored event is submitted to Club Relations

Club Event Types:

Companion: Dogs perform a set of precision exercises or demonstrate their ability to navigate complex obstacle courses or recognize and follow human scent:

AG – Agility; OB – Obedience; RLY – Rally; TK – Tracking

Conformation: Dogs are judged on form and structure — may also be referred to as “breed” competition:

AB – All-Breed; LB – Limited Breed (Group); PS – Parent Specialty; S – Specialty

Performance Events: Dogs are evaluated according to how they perform tasks for which they were bred:

CH – Coonhound; ED – Earthdog; FT – Field Trial; HE – Herding;

HT – Hunting Test; LC – Lure Coursing; SCWK – Scent Work

Fun Matches/Events: An informal dog event that does not require American Kennel Club approval. AKC clubs are encouraged to hold fun matches open to the public in order to introduce new dog owners to their club and the sports. Fun matches may be held in conjunction with a licensed event (on the same day and location), or they may be an independent event. If held in conjunction with an event, the fun match must abide by the Regulations, policies and procedure that apply to that sport.

Parent Club: A specialty club representing one breed on a national basis. The AKC recognizes only one parent club for each breed.

Premium Lists: An advance notice brochure sent to prospective exhibitors, containing details of the forthcoming event. Premium lists are mandatory for Plan A level events, optional for Plan B events.

Sanctioned Matches: Plan B (OB): Informal AKC-approved events at which no championship titles or points are earned. Plan A (OA): More formal sanctioned events which are held in order to establish eligibility to hold licensed events.

AKC Code of Sportsmanship

PREFACE: The sport of purebred dog competitive events dates prior to 1884, the year of AKC’s birth. Shared values of those involved in the sport include principles of sportsmanship. They are practiced in all sectors of our sport: conformation, performance and companion. Many believe that these principles of sportsmanship are the prime reason why our sport has thrived for over one hundred years. With the belief that it is useful to periodically articulate the fundamentals of our sport, this code is presented.

  • Sportsmen respect the history, traditions and integrity of the sport of purebred dogs.
  • Sportsmen commit themselves to values of fair play, honesty, courtesy, and vigorous competition, as well as winning and losing with grace.
  • Sportsmen refuse to compromise their commitment and obligation to the sport of purebred dogs by injecting personal advantage or consideration into their decisions or behavior.
  • The sportsman judge judges only on the merits of the dogs and considers no other factors.
  • The sportsman judge or exhibitor accepts constructive criticism.
  • The sportsman exhibitor declines to enter or exhibit under a judge where it might reasonably appear that the judge’s placements could be based on something other than the merits of the dogs.
  • The sportsman exhibitor refuses to compromise the impartiality of a judge.
  • The sportsman respects the AKC bylaws, rules, regulations and policies governing the sport of purebred dogs.
  • Sportsmen find that vigorous competition and civility are not inconsistent and are able to appreciate the merit of their competition and the effort of competitors.
  • Sportsmen welcome, encourage and support newcomers to the sport.
  • Sportsmen will deal fairly with all those who trade with them.
  • Sportsmen are willing to share honest and open appraisals of both the strengths and weaknesses of their breeding stock.
  • Sportsmen spurn any opportunity to take personal advantage of positions offered or bestowed upon them.
  • Sportsmen always consider as paramount the welfare of their dog.
  • Sportsmen refuse to embarrass the sport, the American Kennel Club, or themselves while taking part in the sport.