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 AKC Board Minutes,Chairman's Report

AKC Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting held May 8th-9th, 2017

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There was of course, an Executive Session but Board Action highlights were Coton Club Election, Age at Mating, Media Coverage, Discipline, Penalties and Compliance changes.


To search for specific subject, person, or word in the American Kennel Club minutes, use (Ctrl F) "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, May 8, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. All Directors were present, except for Mr. Dok. Mr. Dok participated in the entire meeting by telephone conference, but could not vote by Board policy. Also present were the Executive Secretary, the Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, the Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, and the Vice President Sports and Events.


The April 2017 Board minutes, copies of which were made available to all Directors, were discussed. Upon a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Ms. Cruz, the April 2017 minutes were unanimously approved; absent Mr. Dok.


EXECUTIVE SESSION There was an Executive Session at the beginning of the meeting to discuss sensitive business matters. There was nothing reported out of this session.


Board Action Items - Mr. Sprung reviewed Action Items, and reported on staff initiatives


Legal Status Report - Ms. McManus, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, presented a status report on pending litigation and other Legal activities for the month of April 2017


FINANCE Joseph Baffuto, CFO, presented unaudited financial results for the four months ended April 30, 2017. Total revenues of $23.5 million were 2% below budget and 9.3% greater than 2016. Registration revenues were less than 1% under budget, but continue to outperform last year by 4.7%. Other items that outperformed year over year include Digital Advertising, Recording and Event Fees, along with Ecommerce. Total operating expenses of $20.4 million were 11.6% below budget, but 9.4% higher than 2016 predominately due to increased headcount reflected in Payroll and Benefits costs. YTD Operating income of $3.1 million significantly exceeded both the budget of $959,000 for the period, as well as the previous year’s actuals of $2.9 million.


Cocker Spaniel Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board reviewed the proposed changes to the Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard as submitted by the American Spaniel Club, Inc. The proposed revisions include a disqualification for blue eye color; adding the color Sable in the description of ASCOB under the section Color and Markings; and the addition of “or undocked” in the description of the tail. The Cocker Spaniel Standard was previously revised with an effective date of June 30, 1992. Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Dok), to approve the proposed breed standard for publication on the AKC Secretary’s Page for comment.


Nominating Committee - The Nominating Committee for the March 2018 election must be appointed by August 15, and its report must be received no later than October 15, 2017. The Board was reminded that the appointment must be made no later than at the August 2017 meeting to meet the requirements of the AKC Bylaws. In the recent past, the appointment has been made at the July meeting, so the committee may interview candidates in September.


United States of America Coton de Tulear Club’s Election - The Board reviewed a memo detailing the election of Board members for The United States of America Coton de Tulear Club. The United States of America Coton de Tulear Club has held two separate elections for the club’s 2017/2018 Board of Directors (held on December 15, 2016 and January 25, 2017). The consensus of the Board was that they agreed with staff’s handling of the issue. The Board instructed the staff to process the event application that has been submitted by the January 2017 Parent Club Board.


New Breed for Foundation Stock Service® - Mountain Cur - The Board was advised that the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Committee has approved a petition for the Mountain Cur to be accepted into the FSS program.


New Breed for Foundation Stock Service® - Taiwan Dog - The Board was advised that the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Committee has approved a petition for the Taiwan Dog to be accepted into the FSS program.


Government Relations Quarterly Update - Sheila Goffe, Vice President of Government Relations, participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference. Ms. Goffe provided the Board with an update on the very successful Mid- Atlantic Legislative Conference which was held in Alexandria, Virginia and Washington DC on April 30 – May 1. The event culminated in a well-attended reception at the Federal Capitol Building’s Visitor’s Center on the evening of May 1, to celebrate National Purebred Dog Day. Over 35 members of Congress were in attendance. The Board reviewed the 2017 first quarter update from the Government Relations Department. The memo provided a status update on current department activity, major projects, significant legislative issues and accomplishments.


YEAR TO DATE 2017 UPDATE (AS OF APRIL 18, 2017) - Legislative/Regulatory Tracking: As of April 18, 2017, Congress, 41 states and Puerto Rico are in session. The AKC GR team is currently monitoring approximately 1,700 pieces of legislation that could impact responsible dog ownership, the health and wellbeing of dogs, the rights of dog owners, and/or the interests of the American Kennel Club. The Department is also monitoring approximately 300 proposed regulation changes at the state and federal level.


Communications and Public Relations Quarterly Update Brandi Hunter, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations, participated in this portion of the meeting. A report was provided to the Board showing media coverage that the Communications department generated on behalf of the AKC in the first quarter of 2017.


BUSINESS UPDATE - Alexandra Aleskovsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer gave the Board a business update as follows.


Clips Evaluated in Q1: 11,125

Q1 Audience Reached: 12,568,709,829

Publicity Value for Q1: $1,555,377,841.34


Select Media Coverage:

Date Media Outlet Subject Audience
3/21 Fox & Friends Most Popular Dogs 1,358,128
3/21 NBC New York Most Popular Dogs 1,099,738
3/27 Time Most Most Popular Dogs 13,195,278
2/15 New York Times Meet the Breeds 41,508,250


Dam Age at Mating - Based on a request from the Board, staff presented a recommendation that the AKC Board of Directors modify Chapter 3, Section 5, of AKC’s Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline in such a manner as to mitigate the potential adverse impact to a dam’s health and well-being from the mating of dams nine years old and older, requiring a letter from the attending veterinarian attesting to the dam’s soundness and fit for whelp in such situations. The staff does not recommend changes to the current rules regarding sire age. The Board requested that the staff seek out opinions on the proposal from theriogenologists and report back their findings at the August meeting.


AKC Canine College Update - The Staff provided the Board of Directors with a quarterly update on the usage of the AKC Canine College during the time period of January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017. The AKC Canine College had a total of 13,721 unique visitors. Sixty-two percent (62%) of users accessed the AKC Canine College using a computer, twenty-nine percent (29%) using a mobile phone, and nine percent (9%) using a tablet. Two thousand seven hundred eighty-three (2,783; 20.3%) of the 13,721 unique visitors have enrolled in a total of 5,278 courses or exams.


AKC Detection Dog Feasibility Study Committee Report - A memo from the AKC Board created committee known as the AKC Detection Dog Feasibility Study Committee (ADDFS) was reviewed. It provided background information, some previously shared, about the state of detection dog demand and supply in the U.S., reviews the work to date of the committee, and outlines the next steps, both in-progress and envisioned. The committee reported that AKC can best impact the U.S. domestic supply of detection dogs through the following actions:

Vendor Research: Continue to meet with companies that train detection dogs in the US to better understand the barriers to establishing domestic sources and to better understand how AKC can bridge the gap between our American breeders and the vendors who specialize in selling detection dogs and/or providing detection dog services in the US.

Government Relations (GR): Continue to drive legislator awareness and policy change aiming to ensure that qualified domestically-bred dogs have at least the same opportunity as foreign-sourced dogs to become part of the canine detection teams serving America’s national security needs.

Education: Leverage academic and government subject matter experts in conjunction with the AKC’s multimedia educational resource development assets to create impactful introductory and advanced breeder resources regarding detection dogs.

Facilitation: Facilitate the necessary conversation to help solve this national issue, including an annual US Detection Dog Conference.

Funding: Explore the potential for U.S. Government grants and/or corporate sponsorships to help pay for the breeder education necessary to rapidly increase the available pool of appropriately bred, socialized and trained dogs for use in detection work.


COMPLIANCE - Heather McManus, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, participated in this portion of the meeting. Wanda Forlines, Director of Compliance, and Marcus Bach, Director of Investigations and Inspections, participated by teleconference.


AKC Discipline Guidelines/Trial Board Review of Penalties - The Board requested that staff review the current procedures that are in place for the review of penalties by the AKC Board. Staff currently must seek permission from the Board to impose a penalty outside the published AKC Disciplinary Guidelines. The Board would like to consider an option that preserves the finality of its determinations in the penalty setting process. Staff is recommending that the Board amend the aggravated penalty in the Guidelines for all offenses involving Inappropriate Treatment of Animals to provide: “Up to Life and a $10,000 fine”. In doing so, the Staff Event Committee (“SEC”) and the Management Disciplinary Committee (“MDC”) would not have to request the Board to set a penalty outside the Guidelines with respect to these offenses. The SEC and MDC would not be making a recommendation to the Board to set a penalty outside the Guidelines; the penalty would not have to be set by the Board in a particular instance; and the accused would not be asking for a review of a Board action. This will discussed further in July.


CONFORMATION - Mari-Beth O’Neill, Vice President Sport Services, Glenn Lycan, Director Operation Support, Alan Slay, Director Event Programs, and Bri Tesarz, Manager Dog Show Rules, participated in this portion of the meeting via teleconference.


Breeder of Merit Levels of Recognition - The Board reviewed a recommendation for tiered levels of recognition in the Breeder of Merit (BOM) Program based on titles earned by dogs bred. The purpose for this enhancement is:

(1) provide an incentive for breeders to encourage their puppy buyers to become involved in AKC sports since accomplishments will reflect back on their breeding program, and

(2) provide recognition to those long-term successful breeders that have produced numerous titled dogs.

Following a motion by Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Dr. Davies, it was VOTED (affirmative: Dr. Battaglia; Ms. Biddle; Mr. Carota; Ms. Cruz; Dr. Davies; Mr. Feeney; Mr. Gladstone; Dr. Garvin; Ms. McAteer; Mr. Menaker, Mr. Powers; opposed: Mr. Wooding absent: Mr. Dok), to approve the new levels of recognition effective on October 1, 2017.


The criteria at each level requires a minimum number of dogs to have earned titles with a minimum number required to be prefix titles.



Breeder of Merit (Current)

Minimum of 4 dogs earning titles.

Breeder of Merit - Bronze

Minimum of 10 dogs earning titles with at least 5 earning prefix titles.

Breeder of Merit - Silver

Minimum of 25 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 15 being prefix titles.

Breeder of Merit - Gold

Minimum of 50 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 30 dogs having earned prefix titles.

Breeder of Merit – Platinum

Minimum of 100 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 60 having earned prefix titles.


Criteria for Accrediting New Specialty Local Conformation Clubs - 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.

     The current policy requiring newly licensed local Specialty conformation clubs to hold their specialties in conjunction with another specialty, Group or All-Breed show will remain unchanged.


Three Opportunities to Compete on a Single Day - Staff was asked to review and present the pros and cons of offering dogs three opportunities to compete for points on a single day in order to help structure a Board discussion. Current Board policy limits the number of point shows for an individual breed to two per day. Those policies are the Multiple All-Breed or Limited Breed Shows in One Day Program, Concurrent Specialty Shows, and Same Day Specialty Shows. There was discussion surrounding the pros and cons presented by staff. It was the consensus of the Board that there was no interest in pursuing the topic further and that there was no advantage to having three opportunities to compete in a single day.


Monitoring All-Breed Events Offering the NOHS - Staff presented an update on the number of all-breed events offering the AKC National Owner- Handled Series (NOHS). Event Operations uses an internal report that tracks, by event month and year, the percentage of approved events that are offering the NOHS. Through the first five months of 2017, the number of All-Breed shows offering NOHS increased by 7%.


COMPANION & PERFORMANCE - Pamela Manaton, Director of Obedience, Rally and Tracking, Caroline Murphy, Director of Performance Events, and Carrie DeYoung, Director of Agility by teleconference.


Elimination of the 26-inch Jump Height - The Board reviewed a recommendation to eliminate the 26-inch jump height and substitute the “24 Inch Choice” jump height classification at AKC agility trials. Changes within the United States agility community and internationally will see the elimination of a 26” jump height within the next 6 months across all organizations worldwide. To stay current, the AKC Agility staff recommends the elimination of the AKC’s top height class of 26 inches to a “24 Inch Choice” class. The “24 Inch Choice” class will be a jump height for dogs that are not required to compete at 24 inches whose handlers choose to compete at this higher height.

     This change is designed to keep dogs in the AKC Agility program by making AKC consistent with trends that are occurring in the sport. The “24 Inch Choice” height change also helps those handlers who want to prepare for international competitions. Without this change those handlers would move to other organizations to compete to gain the experience they and their dogs need. This jump height will allow the true 24 inch dogs (the ones required to jump 24 inches) to not have to compete with dogs that are typically smaller and lighter whose handler opts into the 24- inch height.

     This is a change to the Regulations for Agility Trials which may be approved by a vote of the Board. If approved, the change will become effective January 2, 2018. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.


Allow Protective Footwear for Dogs in AKC Tracking Tests - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow protective footwear for dogs in AKC Tracking tests. On occasion, sites used for AKC Tracking tests have been found to have dangerous foxtail and thorny plants in them, as well as a potential to have lawn chemicals and broken glass. Because this change is a safety issue, the staff requested that the Board consider implementing the regulation change immediately. Following a motion by Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Dr. Battaglia the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent: Mr. Dok), to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the usual notice requirements.


Following a motion from Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Mr. Powers, it was VOTED (unanimously; absent: Mr. Dok), to amend Chapter 2, Section 4, of the Tracking Regulations (changes underlined) effective immediately.


Chapter 2. Regulations for Performance and Judging

Section 24. Protective Clothing. Dogs may wear a protective coat and/or footwear. If worn the coat, tracking harness and footwear must be put on in the presence of both judges.


Obedience Club Membership Requirements - The Board reviewed a recommendation 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 recommendation is consistent with the larger Sports & Events initiative to make it easier for clubs to join the AKC and hold AKC events. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.


Spaniel Field Trials – Two Technical Changes - The Board reviewed two recommended changes to the Spaniel Field Trial Rules. (1) Remove the current mileage restriction between English Springer Spaniel (ESS) field trials that limits where an individual may judge. (2) Modify the restriction on how long it takes an individual to regain amateur status after they have stopped being a professional trainer. Change #2 applies to both English Springer Spaniel and Cocker Spaniel field trials. These changes were recommended by the field committees of the Parent Clubs.

     The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Rules currently restrict an individual from judging within 400 miles of the location where they had previously judged in the current year. This restriction was meant to limit the frequency of an individual judging in a given area. The restriction has proven to be burdensome on clubs and the request is to remove the mileage restriction. The restriction that an individual cannot judge more than three trials per year would remain unchanged.

     Currently, in Spaniel field trials (both ESS and Cocker), once an individual becomes a professional trainer, the individual may never return to being an amateur handler and compete in amateur stakes. The recommended change is that a professional trainer may regain amateur status two years after the individual has stopped acting as a professional trainer. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.


Additional Barn Hunt Titles—Crazy 8s AKC has been associated with Barn Hunt, a sport where dogs search and find live rats protected in PVC tubes, since 2013. Competitors who earn titles with the Barn Hunt Association may apply to add these titles to their dogs’ AKC records for a fee. In the four years since its creation, Barn Hunt has grown into a very popular sport.

     The Board reviewed a recommendation for AKC to acknowledge titles earned in the new Barn Hunt “Crazy 8s” class which was instituted as new titling class at the end of 2016. The Crazy 8s class has four titles, based on how many points a dog has earned in the class: Crazy 8s Bronze (CZ8B), Crazy 8s Silver (CZ8S), Crazy 8s Gold (CZ8G) and Crazy 8s Platinum (CZ8P). After the Platinum title, participants can earn Platinum 2, Platinum 3, and on into infinity. Consistent with other titles in the Title Recognition Program, owners must apply and pay a $20 fee to add the title on their dogs’ AKC records. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.


Basset Hound Club of America - Hunting Performance Test Titles - The Board viewed a request from the Basset Hound Club of America (BHCA). The BHCA is requesting that AKC recognize the four titles offered in their program called the Hunting Performance Test (HPT) which allows hounds to demonstrate their natural ability to hunt rabbit by scent in a non-competitive setting. Unlike field trials, dogs are judged individually against a standard for each skill within the different stakes - Solo, Brace, or 2 Couple Pack. Whether they are working in braces, packs, or alone, they have 30 minutes to find a rabbit. The maximum test entry is 15 per day.

     There are 4 suffix titles, with each requiring 3 qualifying scores except MHE which also requires at least one conformation point. Higher level titles supersede lower on a dog’s record.

• Hunting Hound = HH

• Senior Hound = SHH

• Master Hunting Hound = MHH

• Master Hunting Excellent = MHE


     Dogs are scored on a scale of 0-10 and must receive a minimum score of 5 in each of the 5 categories of hunting abilities and must pass the Gun Shyness Test.

• Ability to Find

• Use of Voice

• Line Ability

• Adaptability

• Determination

• Gun Shyness Test (Pass/Fail)


     Dogs must be AKC/FSS registered or PAL listed and be at least 6 months old. Spayed/neutered, or limited registered dogs are eligible to participate. The manner in which these tests are held and conducted are very consistent with existing AKC licensed hunts - i.e., Premiums, draws, handling of misconduct issues, etc. This will be discussed further at the July meeting.


AKC Scent Work Marketing Plan - Staff presented to the Board its year-long Marketing plan developed in collaboration with the Sports and Events team to support the launch of AKC Scent Work. The Pre-Launch phase will be focused on driving awareness and interest among Clubs. Launch and Post-Launch initiatives will primarily target high-potential exhibitors. All phases will include integrated support across all Marketing and Communications channels including PR, website, email and social media. Information on Scent Work will be featured across all of our digital touch points which will allow us to reach approximately 3.6 million on Facebook and generate over 500K targeted impressions on AKC.org. There will be ongoing assessment of performance and adjustments as necessary.


CONSENT - Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, it was VOTED (unanimously, absent: Mr. Dok.) to approve the following Consent Items:

Delegate Approvals

Request to Retire Registered Kennel Name "Brookhollow"

Black & Tan Coonhounds Studbook

FSS Open Show Judging Conflict

Bred-By-Exhibitor Class at FSS Open Shows

Puppy of Achievement (POA) Pilot Program

Achiever Dog Pilot Program

Obedience & Rally - Transfer of Entries After Closing Date

Recognizing Stunt Dog Titles


Request to Retire Registered Kennel Name "Brookhollow" - The Board VOTED to approve the request from the Bulldog Club of America to retire the kennel name “Brookhollow” for the Bulldog breed. The kennel name has been used by Ernest and Ann Hubbard and Marianne Ayres The kennel name Brookhollow has been continuously registered since 1959.


Black & Tan Coonhounds Studbook - The Board VOTED to keep the Black and Tan Coonhound Stud Book open until May 31, 2022. It was scheduled to close May 31, 2017.


FSS Open Show Judging Conflict The Board VOTED to change Chapter 2, Section 6 of the FSS Open Show Regulations so that the same individual may not be assigned these classes within 30 days or 100 miles. This change is effective July 1, 2017 and creates a 30 day or 100 mile judging conflict criteria for FSS Open Shows and events with breed(s) that overlap.


Chapter 2 - SECTION 6. Judges

Judges will not be approved to judge the same FSS breed at events within 30 days and 100 straight-line miles of each other.

The remainder of this section will be unchanged.


Bred-By-Exhibitor Class at FSS Open Shows The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation to add the Bred-By-Exhibitor (BBE) class to FSS Open Show Regulations, Chapter 2, Section 2. This change is effective July 1, 2017.

     Classes offered at FSS Open Shows will be: 4-6 Month Puppy; 6-9 Month Puppy; 9-12 Month Puppy; Bred-By-Exhibitor; and Open. This change is effective July 1, 2017. Chapter 2, Section 2


SECTION 2. Classes The following breed classes will be offered at all FSS Open Shows:

• 4-6 Month Puppy Class

• 6-9 Month Puppy Class

• 9-12 Month Puppy Class

Bred-By-Exhibitor Class

• Open Class


     Clubs may elect to divide or combine classes by sex. Division of sexes will be uniformly applied to all breeds and shall be published in the premium list.

• Miscellaneous breeds will be considered equivalent to a Group.

• The Miscellaneous Class winner will compete with the Group winners for Best in Show.

• FSS breeds will be considered equivalent to a Group.

• The Best FSS winner will compete with the Group winners for Best in Show.


     Clubs may offer Junior Showmanship classes for exhibition only but must notify AKC.


Puppy of Achievement (POA) Pilot Program - The Board VOTED to create an introductory conformation certificate called Puppy of Achievement (POA) on a pilot basis. A certificate would require a dog to earn 10 POA points from the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy Competition (BPUP) and/or the regular Puppy classes. The purpose of this new certificate is to encourage exhibitors to compete by providing a realistic goal for puppies while they gain ring experience. During the pilot period the AKC would issue a certificate; it will not be considered an AKC title. At the end of one year, all owners who have received the certificate will be surveyed to determine the success of the program. The future of the program will depend on the results of the survey. The Puppy of Achievement certificate is earned based on the following requirements:


• 10 points (no major point requirement).

• Points for this certificate are earned at BPUP events and in the Puppy classes at regular events.

• The POA schedule of points would be the same for all breeds/varieties regardless of division or sex:

Dogs Competing Points
1-2 1
3-4 2
5 or more 3


At regular shows, points would be awarded based on the number of dogs in competition in that class/sex (6-9, 9-12 or 6-12 Month Puppy). No points would be awarded beyond the class level at regular shows. Points can be earned with no competition. Staff feels this is appropriate given that this is not a titling program and the large number of low entry breeds that have very few entries in the puppy classes.

     At BPUP events, since competition is not divided by sex, dogs awarded BOB would receive POA points based on all dogs in the breed/variety competing and the dog awarded BOS would receive POA points based on the number of dogs competing in their sex. A dog awarded Group 1 in BPUP would receive the highest number of POA points awarded to any puppy in their group. A dog is awarded BIS would receive the highest number of POA points awarded to any puppy at that event.

     The changes to the Four-to-Six Month (Beginner Puppy) Competition Regulations will be effective September 1, 2017.


Achiever Dog Pilot Program - The Board VOTED to implement an AKC Achiever Dog program. Any dog that has been awarded a placement or earned a qualifying score in three different sports would receive an AKC Achiever Dog certificate. The purpose is to encourage owners to participate in a variety of sports, hopefully finding those in which they enjoy and achieve success. The desired result for AKC is to keep owners engaged and increase entries across all sports. The program will be implemented on a pilot basis. During the pilot period, the AKC would issue a certificate that would not be considered an AKC title. At the end of one year, all owners who have received the certificate will be surveyed to determine the program’s impact on entries. The future of the program would depend on the results of the survey. The pilot program will be implemented starting December 1, 2017.


Obedience and Rally - Transfer of Entries After Closing Date - The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation to remove restrictions on when an exhibitor is allowed to transfer from one class to another at obedience and rally trials. A dog will be allowed to transfer from one class to another, if the handler and dog are eligible, at the request of the exhibitor after the closing date for entries, regardless of when the dog earned the title, provided the club allows transfers, and only if the class and judge are available. This applies to both Obedience and Rally. This change to the Regulations is effective July 1, 2017.


Recognizing Stunt Dog Titles - The Board VOTED to expand AKC’s new Trick Dog titling program by recognizing four Stunt Dog titles created by Do More With Your Dog (DMWYD). These Stunt Dog titles will start to be recognized by the AKC on March 15, 2018, to coincide with the DMWYD National Trick Dog Championship.


Retriever Field Trials - Honoring - The Board reviewed a recommendation to require dogs competing in Retriever Field Trials to honor another dog’s work during a marked retrieve except in Derby stakes. An honor in Retriever field trials is when a dog, after it has finished making its retrieves, steps to the side, sits down and calmly watches (honors) as the next dog make its first retrieve of a marked fall. It is a test of control since an overly excited dog may break its honor and attempt to make the retrieve itself.

     Honoring is a common occurrence during duck hunting when there are multiple hunters with dogs. It has always been the intent in RFTs that dogs should honor. However, the current RFT Standard Procedures use the word “should”. Over time, and particularly in recent years, judges are interpreting this to mean that honoring is an option. The dropping of honoring has reached the point where the RFT Advisory Committee has made the request that the word “should” be changed to “shall”. This will make it clear that dogs must honor and will result in greater consistency in the required performance of dog competing in Retriever field trials.

     After discussion, the was a motion from Ms. McAteer, seconded by Dr. Davies it was VOTED (unanimously; absent: Mr. Dok), to amend as follows (changes underlined)


     Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures For Retrievers, STANDARD PROCEDURE FOR NON-SLIP RETRIEVER TRIALS Basic Principles #5.

Judges shall in their discretion determine the number of dogs that shall be worked or kept on line simultaneously. In at least one test involving the retrieve of a marked fall in all stakes, except Derby, every dog shall be kept on line off leash while another dog works. If a dog has failed the test and is asked to remain on line to honor the work of the next running dog, the Judges may direct that the dog honor on lead or off lead as they deem appropriate. This change is effective June 1, 2017.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss a business opportunity with nothing being reported out of the session.


NEW BUSINESS - EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss Staff Actions in a recent disciplinary matter. It was reported out of this session that AKC staff members Heather McManus and Tim Thomas were to be commended on their excellent judgment in handling this matter.


New Conformation Class – Bred-by-Exhibitor Puppy Ms. Cruz brought forward a proposal to create a new Bred-by-Exhibitor Puppy class. Ms. Cruz discussed the fact that the Bred-by-Exhibitor (BBE) medallion is a coveted award by our breeders and can only be won from the BBE class at all breed shows and specialties. She proposed an addition to Chapter 3, Section 3, of Rules Applying to Dog Shows to add a new class “Puppy Bred-by-Exhibitor” to the list of regular classes of The American Kennel Club. The rationale behind the proposal is that all championship points enroute to the BBE medallion must be earned from the BBE class. Points won from the puppy class make a dog ineligible to earn the BBE medallion. Breeders of slower-maturing breeds have a disadvantage when competing in the BBE class with a young puppy. Her proposal is to add the BBE Puppy class and then to allow wins from that class to count toward earning a BBE medallion. The proposal would allow a division of the puppy class by 6-9 and 9-12 months at national or regional specialties. She also proposes the elimination of the Amateur Owner Handler Class from Section 3. Staff will bring forward a memo in July that addresses these proposed rule changes.


Badges and Pins in the Ring - Mr. Gladstone suggested that the wearing of badges and pins by professional handlers in the conformation ring, that identify them as members of such professional handling organizations, was unfair to the owner-handler. He asked the Board to consider changing the current Board Policy to prohibit the wearing of such pins in the ring.

     The current board policy (1968) reads; “The rule prohibiting badges and pins in the ring is designed to prevent an exhibitor from wearing badges or other symbols which identify that person as a particular individual and the rule should not be construed to include the wearing of a lapel button by an exhibitor identifying him as a member of a particular club, AKC RHP, PHA, the Guild or any group.”

     There was a sense of the Board that this was not a problem and they did not wish to go forward with further review of the topic.


Scheduling of Conformation Dog Show Judging Schedules - Dr. Davies brought up the topic of the length of all-breed dog shows. It is taking far too long for judging to be completed at all-breed shows. This is due to a number of factors that include number of rings, number of judges and the way breed and group times are assigned. He stressed that the Show Chairperson should be working with the Superintendents to do whatever is possible in scheduling the show to make the show-day shorter. Staff was asked to review the issue and bring back a memo in July that contained ideas that should be used by Superintendents in scheduling the day to accomplish this.


All Directors were present except for Mr. Dok, who participated in the entire meeting by telephone conference, but could not vote by Board policy. Also present were the Executive Secretary, the Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, the Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, and the Vice President Sports and Events.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION for a presentation from SmartPet Technologies. There was nothing reported out of this meeting.


Deceased Judges: Patricia R. Krause, Mrs. Maralyn K. Busse, Mr. Gary R. Carr, Ms. P. Jane Gray, Mrs. Mary M. Klein, Mr. Norman Patton, Mr. Richard E. Rupert, Mrs. Lois A. Sanford

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