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 AKC Board Minutes,Chairman's Report

AKC Board Meeting Minutes

January 11th-12th, 2016 - published by AKC 1/20/16

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To search for specific subject, person, or word in the American Kennel Club minutes, use "find" command. Wording is exactly as presented in the Minutes provided by American Kennel Club Secretary James Crowley, with addition of bolded subject text.

The Board convened on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. All Directors were present, as were the Executive Secretary, the Assistant Executive Secretary, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel, as well as the Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer. The December 2015 Board minutes, copies of which were made available to all Directors, were discussed. Upon a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Arnold, the December 2015 minutes were approved as amended.


Organizational Changes - The President reported on organizational changes. Alexandra Aleskovsky, the Chief Growth Officer, and Jay Waks, the General Counsel were introduced to the Board. It was reported that Vice President Keith Frazier had been given the responsibility for the management of AKC’s North Carolina office facilities.


Preparation of the Board Agenda - The Board agreed that with returning to the traditional meeting schedule, receiving the agenda one week before the meeting was sufficient, giving the staff an additional week to finalize the Board book.


AKC Communications - Brandi Hunter, AKC Director of Communications, gave a report. In 2015, AKC had over 24.5 billion media impressions with a publicity value of over $152,000,000 for the year. Media impressions for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship’s were up 19% to 76,252,105 with a publicity value of $2,515,036.


Board Meeting Topics - It was agreed by the Board members that a portion of each meeting would be devoted to major issues facing the organization and the Sport. For February, the topic will be a discussion on the decline in conformation entries. This discussion will include a review of previous studies. A draft document identifying the major factors impacting participation will be provided as a starting point for a comprehensive review of the issue. The Board and staff will work together to refine this list, ultimately leading to an agreed upon direction guiding future initiatives.



Recognition of the Union Cytologists of Kazakhstan (UCK) - The Board reviewed a request for recognition from the Union Cytologists of Kazakhstan (UCK). The UCK was formed in 1993. It became a contract partner of FCI in 1998 and an Associate Member in 2005. It is scheduled to become a full FCI member in June 2016. It conducts shows, field trials and working trials. The UCK registers about 4,000 dogs a year. In 2015 it held 9 International shows, 43 National shows, 16 field trials and working trials. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Ashby, it was VOTED (unanimously) to add the UCK to the list of registries with pedigrees accepted for AKC registration.


Leonberger Breed Standard Proposed Revision - The Board reviewed proposed revisions to the breed standard for the Leonberger as submitted by the Leonberger Club of America (LCA). The current standard was approved by the AKC Board on October 19, 2009. In accordance with the procedures for a breed standard revision, the proposed revisions have been published on the Secretary’s Page for comment. Following a motion by Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Mr. Arnold, it was VOTED (unanimously) to permit the LCA to ballot its membership on the proposed revisions to its breed standard in accordance with its Constitution and Bylaws.


Dutch Shepherd - Recommendation to Advance to Miscellaneous - The Board reviewed a Sport Services department recommendation to approve the Dutch Shepherd to advance to Miscellaneous. The Board of Directors approved the Dutch Shepherd to be eligible for recording in the Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®) program with a Herding group designation in 2012. The American Dutch Shepherd Association has met the requirements of the Recognition of New Breeds Policy approved in January 2004 by the Board of Directors. Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (unanimously) to advance the Dutch Shepherd to the Miscellaneous Class effective January 1, 2017. The American Dutch Shepherd Association is designated as the Parent Club for the breed.


Bulldog Standard Proposed Breed Revision - The Board reviewed proposed revisions to the breed standard for the Bulldog as submitted by the Bulldog Club of America (BCA). Revisions are proposed to the following sections of the breed standard: HEAD and COLOR. The current standard was approved by the AKC Board on July 20, 1976. In accordance with the procedures for a breed standard revision, the proposed revisions will first be published on the Secretary’s page for comment. Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Dr. Davies, it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve the publication of the proposed revisions.


Canine Legislation Position Statements on Spaying and Neutering - The Board reviewed a recommendation to update the Canine Legislation Position Statements reference Spaying and Neutering. Two legislation position statements –the statement on Purebred Dog Rescue and the statement on Spaying and Neutering were cited as possible candidates for revision. A third legislative position statement, Canine Population Issues also touches on the issue of spaying and neutering. It is recommended that changes in language be made to each of three position statements to reflect and clarify:

  • AKC’s opposition to mandatory spay neuter policies for purebred dogs

  • AKC’s particular concern about juvenile spay/neuter in light of recent scientific
    studies finding long term detrimental impacts caused by the practice

  • Retain AKC’s position that surgical spay/neuter is an acceptable practice for pet
    owners wishing to avoid unwanted litters, but the decision to spay or neuter a
    dog should be reserved for the dog’s owner in conjunction with their veterinarian.
    This position is in line with positions of the American Veterinary Medical
    Association (AVMA) and the American College of Theriogenology (ACT) on this

This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting.


Hokkaido New Breed for Foundation Stock Service® - The Board was advised that the AKC Staff Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Committee recently approved a petition for the Hokkaido to be accepted into the FSS program. There was no objection to this approval by the Board.


Theriogenology Residencies - In 2015, the AKC Board approved the continued funding of the Theriogenology Residencies in cooperation with the Theriogenology Foundation (TF) and the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF). The TF has provided the process for the review and acceptance of the programs to be awarded. AKC CHF will administer the grants with AKC contributing $350K and AKC CHF contributing $50K to support the Companion Animal Residencies in Theriogenology. The grants will be provided to

  • Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

  • North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine

  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine


AKC Canine Officer Program - Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Dr. Garvin, it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve a new program called the AKC Canine Officer program which provides recognition for dogs that work for government agencies in a public service role. This includes dogs used by the police, military, border patrol, TSA, transit authorities, and the USDA. At the request of an AKC club that is supporting local working dogs, the AKC would provide a Certificate of Appreciation. The Certificate is to be awarded by the local club at an official ceremony of its choosing. The Certificate would look much like an AKC title certificate. The AKC would provide publicity through regional and local press releases and the development of a microsite for honorees. The program is a way for local clubs and the AKC to provide acknowledgement and appreciation for the public service provided by these working dogs. Clubs may start submitting requests for Certificates of Appreciation on February 1, 2016.


Beagle Field Trials - Allowing the Use of Tracking Collars - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow the use of tracking collars at Beagle field trials and two-couple pack events. Tracking collars provide a means for a dog handler to locate his dog when in the field. Most modern tracking collars use GPS tracking, with the collar then transmitting the dogs location to a hand held device which remains with the handler. Tracking collars are commonly used in Pointing Breed field trials and Beagle Large Pack trials where dogs range some distance away from the handler. There is currently no provision allowing their use in Beagle Small Pack Option (SPO) field trials or Beagle Two-Couple Pack events. While it is not common for dogs in these events to become lost, it is possible if the event is run in extremely heavy cover. The hand-held device must be turned off while the dogs are under judgment. Only if a dog has been eliminated by the judges or the brace is over, may the hand held device be used. This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting.


Retriever Master Amateur Invitational Hunting Test - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Performance Events staff to create a new event in the Retriever Hunting Test program called the Retriever Master Amateur Invitational Hunting Test. The purpose of this event is to provide a venue dedicated to and focused on allowing amateur handlers to showcase their hunting retrievers. The Master Amateur Test will be hosted by a new club, the Master Amateur Retriever Club (MARC), whose sole purpose will be to organize and host this once per year event. The event will be open to all breeds eligible to participate in AKC Retriever Hunting tests. Dogs qualify by passing the Master Hunter test at local events a given number of times as established by the MARC during the qualifying period, provided the dog was handled to its qualifying scores by an amateur. This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting


Allowing Obedience and/or Rally Trials to Co-Exist - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Event Operations staff to allow obedience and/or rally trials to co-exist within the conflict distance of 100 miles if the club obtains the written permission of the club with the established date. This makes the policy regarding obedience and rally consistent with the policies/regulations governing conformation, agility and all performance events. This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting.


Agility Single Breed Specialty Trial in Conjunction with All-Breed Trial - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Agility department to allow single breed specialty clubs to have a specialty trial within an all-breed trial being held by the specialty club. This is a change to the Regulations for Agility Trials. Currently the Regulations for Agility trials only allow a single breed specialty to be held within an all-breed trial if a different club is hosting the all-breed trial. This change will allow the single breed specialty club to embed their breed specialty within their all-breed agility trial. This allows for a potential increase in income to the specialty club which is very helpful when the specialty club does not have a large number of entries from their own breed. Several specialty clubs have made this request. This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting.


CLUBS - A written report was provided on Member Club Bylaws approved in November and December: Alaskan Malamute Club of America (1953) | Basenji Club of America (1957) | North Country Kennel Club – Watertown, NY (2013) | Tibetan Spaniel Club of America (1992) | West Highland White Terrier Club of America (1909)

     A written report was provided on a new clubs licensed in November and December: Clover Run Beagle Club of Halifax (FT/HT), VA, Halifax County, VA | Finnish Lapphund Club of America | German Shorthaired Pointer Club of Central Iowa (FT), greater Knoxville, IA | North Star Labrador Retriever Club, greater St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN | Stony Creek Beagle Club (Gun Dog Brace), greater Recovery, OH

     A written report was provided on a member club which dissolved: The San Francisco Dog Training Club, Inc., a member club of The American Kennel Club approved in March 1947 voted to dissolve on September 19, 2015.



AKC Canine College Progress Report - The Sports and Events Department provided the Board with a progress report on the AKC Canine College initiative. The use of on-line learning is considered an enterprise wide initiative and the Learning Management System must meet the needs of not only Judges Education but the balance of the organization as well. Staff was asked to assure all parties who will be using the software be part of the final decision to insure that all needs are met. A decision on the system to be used is expected in February.



Visiting Judges Allowed to Judge BPUP - The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to allow visiting judges to judge the Four-to-Six Month Beginner Puppy (BPUP) Competition. Following a motion by Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (unanimously) to modify the Four-to-Six Month (Beginner Puppy) Competition Regulations, Section 6 to allow visiting judges to judge the Four-to-Six Month Beginner Puppy (BPUP) Competition. This is effective April 1, 2016.


Reserve Best Junior Handler - The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to revise the Conformation Junior Showmanship Regulations and Guidelines for Judging Juniors in conformation to include the required awarding of Reserve Best Junior Handler. This will provide consistency at all Junior Handler conformation events. The Board agreed that this should be required for All-Breed/Group Shows but remain optional for Specialty Shows. This will be discussed further at the February Board meeting.


New Opportunity to Earn One Point for Best of Winners - The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to award one Championship point to the Best of Winners if the BOW did not earn any points and the combined number of regular class competitors of both sexes is enough to earn one point based on their breed/division/sex. This change would apply to all breeds. The Board did not think that there was sufficient benefit to the Sport to pursue this proposal at this time.


Change to Common Site Application (CSA) Processing - The Board reviewed a Staff recommendation to allow clubs to submit a Common Site Application (CSA) without the signature of each club in a cluster. This will allow clubs to provide the CSA information in the text of an email, without having to submit the form itself. This would be a change to the Board policy for clusters and back-to-back shows. Current Board policy requires a Common Site Application (CSA) form to be signed by a representative from each of the all-breed and group clubs participating in the cluster. This change is being recommended in order to simplify the application process. This will be discussed further at the February meeting.


Puppy of Distinction (POD) - The Board reviewed a modified proposal from the original Certificate of Merit proposal for puppies up to the age of 12 months. Staff recommended that the title be changed to Puppy of Distinction and that this suffix title require competition in all cases in order to earn a Puppy of Distinction point. The purpose of this new title is to incent exhibitors in the puppy classes to compete by providing a realistic goal while allowing puppies and new handlers to gain valuable ring experience. The Board felt that as proposed the Puppy of Distinction suffix title would not accomplish the goals for which it was originally proposed. Staff was asked to reconsider the proposal and gather additional data on actual participation rates, level of puppy completion, and the makeup of exhibitors in the puppy classes. When staff has completed their research the Board will consider their revised proposal.


Superintendent Entry Validation - The Board requested staff to promote data validation by the superintendents. To promote the validation of entries, on November 23, 2015, AKC offered the superintendents a “real time” AKC dog information tool which would allow access to dog information close to instantly. That information would include (if available): Breed, Variety, Sex, Name, Registration Number, Date of Birth, Breeder, Sire and Dam. Ownership information was not included in concurrence with the Board’s disclosure of information policy and because ownership information is not required to validate that the dog is eligible for entry. AKC is currently working with the superintendents to address any questions that they may have. Adoption of the verification of registration information against the AKC data base is a customer satisfaction issue and will significantly benefit the participants in the Sport.


REGISTRATION DEVELOPMENT - Mark Dunn, AKC staff, gave a report comparing 2014 with the increased 2015 registration statistics. Litters and dogs increased in 2015 for the first time in over 20 years. This was the result of a customer focused approach which has assisted in turning the corner on registrations. The Board complemented the entire staff on this milestone event.


CONSENT - Following discussion, there was a motion by Mr. Ashby, seconded by Mr. Arnold, it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve the following Consent Items: Delegate Approvals | National Specialty/Local Event Conflict Policy Change


National Specialty/Local Event Conflict Policy Change - The Board VOTED to extend the existing national specialty/local event conflict policy to include Performance and Companion events as well as conformation. The modified policy follows (line in/line out):

If an All-Breed/Limited Breed conformation, Performance, or Companion Event club refuses to grant permission to accommodate a Parent Club’s National Specialty or a Performance or Companion event (which is limited to the Parent Club breed) when held with the National Specialty, a Parent Club regional specialty show held in conjunction with a Parent Club national performance event, or a local specialty held in conjunction with the National Specialty show, the specialty club may appeal to an Event Review Committee consisting of the Show appropriate Event Staff. The committee will consider such factors as:

  • Has the AB club already given up breeds or agreed to coexist with other national
    specialty events on that date?

  • What entry does the breed club usually draw in the applicable event (i.e., how
    many entries might the AB club lose)?

  • Exactly how far apart would the events be (e.g., 150 miles would pose less of a
    problem than 10)?

  • Has the AB club been forced to coexist with other nationals because of an appeal
    in the same or previous year?

  • Has the same Parent Club sought to use the date of the same AB club in the
    past three years?

The revised policy will appear under both Dog Show Policies and Companion/Performance Events Policies on the on-line Board Policy Manual. The modified Board policy regarding national specialty/local event conflicts, as indicated above, is effective immediately.



Legal Status Report - Ms. McManus, Senior Attorney, presented a status report on pending litigation and other legal activities for the months of December 2015 and January 2016.



Club Development - There was a motion by Ms. Cruz to reduce the Event Service fee by $1.00 for one year to assist clubs. The motion was seconded, but after discussion the second was withdrawn. At the December meeting the Board began a discussion on Club Development. The goal of the on-going discussion is to identify ways that AKC can assist Clubs to both strengthen their financial position and grow their membership. The Board recognizes that our 5000 clubs are the backbone of the AKC and their vitality is vital to a strong AKC. The first project will focus on allbreed clubs and assisting clubs who wish assistance to actively interact with show chairs to provide ideas on how to improve the financial performance of their shows. The notion will include the use of a network of volunteer successful show chairs who are willing to work with Clubs, analyze their cost structure, and make recommendations. This would only apply to Clubs who seek assistance. It is hoped through this network when coupled with the Best Practices published by the All-Breed Delegate Committee many Clubs will benefit. It is anticipated this network will be established during the first half of 2016. The expenses of the committee would be covered by AKC.


Delegate Meetings - The past several meetings have been opened with a recording of the National Anthem. It was suggested that it would be more meaningful if the National Anthem was sung rather than to just have a recording played. The recommendation was made to contact the Delegates to determine if there were any volunteers to sing the National Anthem or to lead the Delegate Body in the singing of the National Anthem. The staff was directed to pursue this.


AKC Marketplace - Dr. Battaglia suggested that we look at ways to make the Club portion of Marketplace more accessible to the Clubs and enhance its overall benefit. The consensus was that the idea was good. Alexandra Aleskovsky shared that her organization is beginning to consider how the Club portion of Marketplace is functioning and if any changes should be made. Since this review is just underway, the Board decided to defer any action until this review is complete and recommendations made.


Adjunct Judge: Mrs. Janet Fink

Emeritus Judges: {2015} Mr. Gene Norman | Mrs. Diane O'Brien | Mrs. Adele Yunck | Mr. Michael Pumilia - {2016} Mrs. Jean Porter Lynch | Mr. Roger Ayres

Resigned Breed Judge: Ms. Karen Ann Fuss | Ms. Nancy A. Elliott

Deceased Judges: Mr. C. Z. Pat Alvarez | Mr. Jon Mett | Mr. Don R. Duerksen | Mr. Robert H. McKowen | Mrs. Camilla M. Thorne


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