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Club Policies

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.

  • Approval of Scent Works Clubs (February 2017 Board meeting) +

     The Board VOTED to approve a new sport called AKC Scent Work. Scent Work is a sport that mimics the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. This proposal responds to many requests that the American Kennel Club provide such an event. Significant research has been done in developing this program and it is believed it will meet the needs of many dog owners. Scent Work is a sport in which a dog-handler team must locate hidden scents within a defined search area. The dog uses their sense of smell to locate the target odor, which may be an essential oil or the scent of the handler. Any team who finds and calls all hidden odors within the designated time will qualify. Scent Work is a pass/fail sport, however placements will be awarded for the first through fourth place teams, based on fewest number of faults and then on time. Titles are earned when teams reach a certain number of qualifying legs. The event will be open to all breeds and Canine Partners. Dogs must be registered/listed with the AKC. Scent Work is a fun and engaging activity that taps into the dog’s strongest sense. Clubs may start applying to hold AKC Scent Work events on August 1, 2017. Events may be held starting October 1, 2017

  • 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

  • Change in Club Household Membership Requirements for Obedience Clubs (July 2017 Board meeting) +

     Obedience Club Membership Requirements
    The Board VOTED to modify the membership requirement for the formation of obedience clubs from 30 households/25 local, to 20 households/12 local. This makes the membership criteria for the formation of obedience clubs the same as that required for the formation of most other sport-based clubs. The change is consistent with the larger Sports and Events initiative to make it easier for clubs to join the AKC and hold AKC events. The change is effective August 1, 2017.

  • Criteria for Accrediting New Specialty Local Conformation Clubs Match (May 2017 Board meeting) +

    The Board reviewed a recommendation to modify the current Board policy pertaining to the accreditation of new local Specialty clubs seeking to become licensed for conformation. Current policy requires that a new local Specialty conformation club must be located more than 100 miles from an existing local Specialty club of the same breed. The criterion is distance based. The recommendation shifts the primary accreditation criteria from distance to new members. Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Dr. Davies the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent: Mr. Dok), that the AKC will accredit new local Specialty clubs that desire to become licensed for conformation provided that two-thirds (67%) of the new local Specialty club’s members are not members of another local Specialty conformation club of the same breed and the new club is not the result of a split from an existing club. This new Board policy is effective June 1, 2017.

  • Eliminating Requirement for New Clubs to Hold a Fun Match (February 2018 Board meeting) +

    The Board VOTED to approve a Staff recommendation to eliminate the requirement for New Clubs to hold a Fun Match prior to applying to the AKC to become an accredited club. This Policy change is effective March 1, 2018 and will remove one step in the process for clubs to be admitted to AKC.

  • 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.

  • Foundation Stock Service Procedures, Parent Club Designation, and Requirements for Breed Recognition (April 2017) +

     Foundation Stock Service Process and Procedures

    How Breeds Enter the FSS® Program

    The American Kennel Club considers requests to enter FSS® from breed clubs or individual fanciers of a breed. AKC considers adding new breeds to the FSS® or its registry only upon request. The breed must be recognized by an acceptable foreign or domestic registry. If the breed developed within the United States, there must be a documented history of a minimum of 40 years. Those wishing to pursue recording with FSS® must:

    •          Provide AKC with a letter requesting admission into FSS®.

    •          Fill out a questionnaire for new breeds.

    •          Provide a written breed history documenting the distinct breed over a period of many decades (40 years). 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 should be included.

    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 names of sire and dam only, are eligible for enrollment in FSS® as the foundation stock of future generations. 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.

    Parent Club Designation for a Breed in the Foundation Stock Service 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 the membership of the club wishes to seek 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 Subcommittee will provide mentoring to the club to gain full recognition and membership status with AKC.

    Eligibility to request Miscellaneous Class Status requires:

    ·         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

    ·         Breed Standard reviewed to meet AKC Breed Standard Guidelines

    ·         Minimum of 150 dogs enrolled 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
    • Constitution and bylaws, to be reviewed by Club Relations, revisions recommended to be made and approved by the club membership
    • Minutes of Board and Annual Meeting submitted and reviewed
    • Membership updated annually, including a separate electronic membership-list upload 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 ten 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 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.

  • 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 meetings) +

     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.

    Reducing Sanctioned Match Program for Local Specialty Clubs (November 2017 Board Meeting)

    The Board VOTED to approve a change to policy, which reduces the number of sanctioned matches new local specialty clubs or clubs currently in the accreditation process are required to hold before being considered for approval to hold a licensed show. The new policy requires one conformation Plan B match and one “qualifying” Plan A match held at least six months apart, based on individual member experience within the club. At least 25% of voting club members must have 10 years exhibiting and/or judging experience in the sport. If the club does not have 25% experienced members, then one Plan B match followed six months later by two “qualifying” Plan A matches held at least 6 months apart would be required. This is a change is effective December 1, 2017.

    New Mentored Conformation Event Option for Eligible Clubs (January 2018 Board Meeting)

    The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to change Board policy to allow for a new Mentored Conformation Event option for eligible clubs.

    Mentored events are an option available for eligible clubs wishing to hold performance events and companion events, provided the members of the club have sufficient experience in the sport. Staff feels there are certain situations where this option would benefit conformation events.

    The recommendation would allow the mentored event option to be available to clubs which have either stopped holding AKC conformation events after 5 years (inactive); and for new clubs trying to fill a void of a recently dissolved conformation club. These new clubs must have experienced members who have served in various official capacities on Show Committees holding Licensed and Member shows.

    Clubs in these situations should have the option of holding a mentored conformation event, which is run just like a licensed show with titles earned. The Club Relations Department will assist the club through the accreditation or reactivation process. The Club Development Department will assist the club in preparing for the event and an Executive Field Representative will attend the event as needed.

    Following a motion from Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent: Dr. Battaglia) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures.

    Following a motion by Ms. Biddle, seconded by Mrs. Wallin the Board Voted (unanimously; absent: Dr. Battaglia) to approve this Policy change effective immediately.

     

    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, amended April 2018 Board meeting) +

     Reported at March 2004 Delegates Meeting to implement ARTICLE XV, SECTION 4 of the AKC Bylaws.

    The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation from the Performance Events Department to amend the current Non-AKC Events policy by specifying that no AKC National Championship event may be dual-licensed with another organization except those that were dual-licensed as of January 1, 2018.

    The addition to the Non-AKC Events policy is as underlined below:

    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, NADD, Dock Diving, Barn Hunt and NAFA Flyball.

    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

    No AKC National Championship events may be dual-licensed with another organization except those that were dual-licensed immediately prior to January 1, 2018. Other activities could be added to the list as they are brought to AKC’s attention and evaluated against the criteria.

  • Rally Club Approval (October 2016 Board meeting) +

     The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow for the accreditation of clubs formed for the purpose of holding Rally trials provided they are not formed in the territory of an obedience club that is licensed to hold Rally. Upon accreditation, a new club seeking to hold Rally trials shall be required to hold one sanctioned A-match. There is no requirement to hold a fun practice event. If the A-match is held successfully, the club shall be licensed to hold Rally trials. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Kalter, the Board VOTED unanimously to amend the Rally Regulations Chapter 1, Section 1, as follows:
    Chapter 1. Section 1. Application to Hold a Rally Trial. Any existing AKC club may be licensed to hold Rally trials if, in the opinion of the AKC Board of Directors, it is qualified to do so, provided the club holds the event(s) for which it was originally formed at least once every two years. In addition, new clubs may be licensed to hold Rally trials provided they are not formed in the territory of an obedience club that is licensed to hold Rally. This change is effective January 1, 2017.

  • 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.