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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), a not-for-profit organization, the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, wishes to acknowledge those individuals that have excelled at breeding dogs that have proven to be outstanding in AKC sports. The commitment to preserve, protect and improve a breed represents the very essence of the AKC. The AKC Breeder of the Year by Sport Award is given to those who have dedicated themselves to improving the health, temperament, and performance of dogs in a given sport.

The 2023 Breeder of the Year by Sport award recipients are:

Pointing Breed Field Events Dennis and Jennifer Hazel German Shorthaired Pointers
Retriever Field Events Jason Heffelmeier Labrador Retrievers
Spaniel Field Events Kim Hansen English Springer Spaniels
Hound Field Events Raymond Brantner & Robert Connell Beagles
Herding Deborah George Border Collies
Lure Coursing Liz Green Borzoi
Earthdog Peggy Metcalf Norfolk Terriers
Coonhounds Walter Carlee Black & Tan Coonhounds
Agility Julie Oakes Border Collies
Obedience Nancy Jablonski Border Collies
Rally Billy & Dee Dee Anderson Golden Retrievers
Tracking Thomas Woodward & Teresa Bradley Rottweilers


“Knowledgeable breeders are critical to the continued success of canine sports. These breeders have shown a long-term dedication to enhancing breed instincts and breeding sound dogs,” said Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President for Sports and Events, “Their accomplishments represent the highest level of commitment to their breeds and sports.”

Each recipient received a Breeder of the Year rosette mounted in a shadow box.

The American Kennel Club salutes these individuals for their dedication and success in breeding purpose-bred dogs.