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 AKC Board Minutes,Chairman's Report

AKC Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting held August 13th-14th, 2018 (AKC Published 8/23/2018)

 

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American Kennel Club Board Actions in their entirety below

 

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, August 13, 2018 at 8:01 a.m. All Directors were present, except for Mr. Wooding. Mr. Wooding participated in the meeting by telephone conference, but could not vote by Board policy. Also present was the Executive Secretary.  The July 2018 Board minutes, copies of which had been provided to all Directors, were discussed. Upon a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Feeney, the July 2018 minutes were approved unanimously (Mr. Wooding not voting).

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT - 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.

 

Historical Video Interviews - Mr. Sprung presented a list of potential interviews of individuals that will be filmed for a historical perspective. These interviews will be filmed by AKC Multimedia specialists and facilitated by our employees. They will capture each individuals’ beginning in the sport, their advice on breeding, exhibiting, judging, etc. These videos will allow audiences to learn about the AKC’s history, our sports, and purebred dogs. Once completed, interviews could be available on AKC.org, AKC.TV, and through the AKC Museum of the Dog.

 

AKC TV Update - Gina DiNardo, Executive Secretary and Russell Quy, CEO of B Live Productions, gave an update on the status of AKC TV. Brandi Hunter and Ron Furman, AKC Staff were also present for this portion of the meeting. Initial launch goals have all been achieved including:

1) AKC.TV hub up and running

2) Staff on board

3) Create programming ideas and start developing that content such as In the Dog House, Canine Heroes, Ask the Vet and Ask the Groomer

4) Development of a new PR campaign to engage the fancy

5) Launch a weekly live show to highlight AKC and purebred dogs

• As of August 12, AKCTV has just eclipsed 2,100,000 million views across all AKC TV Platforms.

• The networks, fourth platform, Amazon Fire, will be available by the end of August.

• AKC events of various sport types including, all-breed dog shows, national specialties, and Agility, Rally and Obedience Championships have been covered.

 

AKC Pet Care Update - Jim Tysseling, COO of AKC Pet Care provided an update to the Board.

Rebranding - A comprehensive rebranding effort of each of the six stores is almost complete. Five (5) out of Six (6) stores are now branded as Canine Retreat by AKC. The last store, on the Upper West Side will have an open house on September 13, 2018.

Training & Development Program - Training and development practices were recently updated. A new digital training program was implemented to onboard associates. This enables CR to follow a standard process and positions the organization to scale training for each store. This new method of training delivery will provide consistent training to newly-hired dog handlers and customer-facing staff.

 

Legal Status Report - Jay Waks, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, and Heather McManus, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, presented a status report on pending litigation and other Legal activities for the months of June and July 2018.

 

FINANCE - Joseph Baffuto, CFO, presented AKC’s unaudited financial results through July 31, 2018. Total revenues year to date of $43.0 million were 1.9% below budget, but 3.3% greater than July 31, 2017. Dog Registrations’ volume of 351,246 were 1% below budget, but 5% higher than 2017. The quantity of Total Litters processed of 148,209 was nearly equivalent to budget and 6% above last year’s level. Total operating expenses of $41.2 million were 4.2% below budget, but 11.9% higher than 2017. YTD Operating income of $1.8 million exceeds budget by $1.0 million but is below 2017’s operating income of $4.7 million. Additionally, our investment portfolio reflected unrealized gains during the month of July amounting to $1.6 million, resulting in the year to date total increasing to $2.2 million dollars.

 

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY - Nominating Committee - The Executive Secretary informed the AKC Board of Directors, that the Nominating Committee select candidates for vacancies on the Board of Directors which are to be filled at the March 2019 meeting. There are three vacancies for the Class of 2023. Under the Bylaws of The American Kennel Club, the Nominating Committee must report its nominations to AKC before October 15, 2018. After the Nominating Committee slate is received, the Delegates will immediately be notified. Petition candidates, per the Bylaws, then have until November 15, 2018 to submit petitions containing the signatures of at least 50 Delegates. The nominating Committee is as follows: Dr. Michael Knight, Chair, Texas Kennel Club, Inc. |  Pamela Beale, Westchester Kennel Club | Ross Jones, Rio Grande Kennel Club | Louise Leone, Colorado Kennel Club | Sylvia Thomas, Kennel Club of Riverside ~ Alternates: Nance Skoglund, Gordon Setter Club of America | Marilyn Vinson, Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club

 

American Service Dog Access Coalition - Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations, was present for this portion of the meeting. Ms. Goffe presented a proposal to the Board for working with leading national service dog organizations and the travel industry access providers to develop a voluntary, authoritative and verifiable service dog registry that would establish a certification for dogs that meet specific behavioral standards. With buy-in from major access providers such as airlines and hospitality providers, participants would benefit from improved ease of access, while weeding out dogs that were being fraudulently misrepresented as service dogs and/or were unable to meet specific behavioral standards. Extensive work on this project with multiple partners has been ongoing. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the continuing collaboration with key stakeholders to develop a voluntary, efficient and authoritative credentialing and listing program that can be used to verify that individual dog/handler teams have passed baseline behavioral standards and tests.

ARTICLE VIII, Section 1 of the AKC Bylaws - Board of Directors Nominating Committee The Board reviewed a proposal submitted by the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Club of Illinois, through its Delegate David Hopkins. The proposal seeks to amend ARTICLE VIII, Section 1 of the AKC Bylaws and offers a subsequent Standing Rule amendment effective only if the Bylaws amendment is adopted. This proposed Bylaws amendment would change the procedures for the appointment of the Nominating Committee. If adopted, the AKC Board’s responsibility for choosing the members of the Nominating Committee would be shared with a segment of the Delegate Committees. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Ms. Biddle, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) NOT to approve the proposed changes. The Board noted that they are awaiting and look forward to receiving feedback from the Chairman’s Committee on the Board Election Process on this proposal and any other suggestions which they may offer.

 

Parent Club Request to Retire Irish Wolfhound Kennel Names - The Board reviewed a request from the Irish Wolfhound Club of America to retire several historically significant kennel names. The Irish Wolfhound Club of America considers the list of kennel names submitted as significant to the history and foundations of the breed. Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Menaker, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the Irish Wolfhound Club of America request to retire the following kennel names: o Kilfane o Ballytobin o Dromore o Felixstowe o Cotswold o Coolafin o Hindhead o Ifold o Grevel o Sulhamstead o Oubourough o Boroughbury o Rippington o Eaglescrag o Ballykelly o Cragwood o Ambleside o Kihone o Killybracken

 

Basenji Stud Book - The Board reviewed the ballot results of the Basenji Club of America membership on extending the open registration period for Basenji imports from Africa beyond December 31, 2020 to December 31, 2030. A 2/3 majority vote approving the proposal was received when the membership was balloted. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Ms. Biddle, the Board VOTED (affirmative: Dr. Battaglia, Ms. Biddle, Mr. Carota, Ms. Cruz, Dr. Davies, Mr. Feeney, Ms. McAteer, Mr. Menaker, Mr. Powers, Mr. Sweetwood, Mrs. Wallin, against: Mr. Tatro; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Feeney, the Board VOTED (affirmative: Dr. Battaglia, Ms. Biddle, Mr. Carota, Ms. Cruz, Dr. Davies, Mr. Feeney, Ms. McAteer, Mr. Menaker, Mr. Powers, Mr. Sweetwood, Mrs. Wallin, against: Mr. Tatro; absent Mr. Wooding) to extend the open registration period for Basenji imports from Africa to December 31, 2030.

 

Acceptance of Pedigrees from the Egyptian Kennel Club - The Board reviewed a request from the Egyptian Kennel Federation (EKF) to be added to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to add the Egyptian Kennel Federation (EKF) to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

 

Communications Report Second Quarter 2018 - The Board reviewed a report on media coverage totals and activities highlights for the second quarter of 2018. TOTAL Media numbers and values earned as reported by media monitoring platform Cision:

Clips Evaluated in Q2: 4,079

Q2 Audience Reached: 4,796,446,783

Publicity Value for Q2: $5,859,811.47

Select Media Highlights for the Quarter include:

Date Media Outlet Subject Audience
4/3 FOX & Friends Registration Statistics 1,797,051
4/5 NY Daily News NYC Most Popular Breed 26,099,210
4/12 People Pets AKC TV Launch 43,500,570
5/21 NY Post AKC Canine Retreat 23,913,072

 

Government Relations Report Second Quarter 2018 - The Board reviewed a memo that is part of a series of regular informational updates on the Government Relations Department. The memo provided an update for the second quarter of 2018 and a status update on current department activity, major projects, significant legislative issues and accomplishments. To date this year, the AKC GR team has been monitoring approximately 2,100 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 AKC GR team is also currently monitoring 343 proposed regulation changes at the state and federal level. National alerts and a list of current legislation and status updated daily is available on the AKC GR Legislative Action Center microsite at www.akcgr.org.

Highlights from the second quarter include:

AKC GR Mountain/West Legislative: AKC Staff prepared the extensive logistics for a national legislative conference, which took place on July 14-15 outside Denver Colorado. The goal of this two-day conference is to provide participants with information, insight and advocacy assistance on specific legislation and policy trends currently impacting or expected to impact the nation and western states in 2018.

Maryland Federation: AKC continues to assist fanciers in Maryland to establish a new state federation, Responsible Dog Owners of Maryland.

AKC Law School Writing Contest: The AKC law school writing contest, designed as an educational tool for outreach about animal issues to law students concluded in April. This second contest garnered twice the number of applicants as the inaugural competition. First and second place finishers received cash prizes and their articles were published. Plans are underway to prepare for a third annual conference to be launched later this year.

Economic Impact: In April, AKC GR released updated information on the economic impact of dog shows for all 50 states. One-page flyers providing specialized information for each state are available in the GR toolbox.

Fox News Online published an AKC GR Op Ed, written by Sheila Goffe in June. The item was published in conjunction with joint efforts by AKC and NAIA to advance our Amendment to the 2018 House and Senate Farm Bills to require new reporting protocols along with additional health checks for dogs being imported into the United States. The United States Has Become a Dumping Ground for Foreign ‘Puppy Mill’ and ‘Rescue’ Dogs: Here’s What Needs to Change, Fox News, 6/30/18.

 

Report on AKC Conformation Education Summit and AKC Education Webinar Series - The Board reviewed a follow-up report on the AKC Conformation Education Summit (Summit) and the AKC Education Webinar Series (Webinar Series). The Summit was a full-day conference held on June 10, 2018 at the DoubleTree Newark Airport Hotel. A Summit Web Page was developed (https://www.akc.org/public-education/education-summit/) and provides ongoing information about the Summit, presenters’ and panelists’ biographies, and helpful resources. The Summit was filmed and is available on AKC.TV in its entirety and as individual sessions. There were 279 attendees at the Summit representing 312 Clubs (178 All-Breed, 134 Parent Club). The Webinar Series was announced at the Summit. Presidents, Secretaries, and Delegates of all clubs were emailed an announcement of the Webinar Series. Information was also sent in the AKC Communicates newsletter. A Webinar Series Web Page: (https://www.akc.org/public-education/akc-education-webinar-series/) was developed to provide topic details, a schedule and links to register. The last Wednesday of every month will bring a new topic covering misconduct, making your show an event, social media and marketing, tax laws to name a few. The first webinar was held on June 27, 2018, on the topic of Club Development and had over 145 attendees. Registration for webinars through January 2019 is currently available. There are already over 75 registrants for advertised topics.

 

Vet Outreach Update - The Sport Services Department provided an update to the Board on the current initiatives being conducted to provide positive information about the AKC and purebred dogs to Veterinarians, Veterinary Students and staff at the Veterinary Schools, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Theriogenology Residents funded by the AKC and AKC Canine Health foundation. Sport Services administers the awarding of the AKC Veterinary Scholarships.

 

Conference Attendance - AKC has had a booth at AVMA annually and two additional conferences to enroll practioners in the AKC Vet Net Program and provide information about AKC and AKC affiliates to attendees. In 2017, AKC Vet Out Reach co-sponsored with OFA the attendance of 26 Veterinary Students at the AKC/CHF Parent Club Conference. The attendance of students from almost every Veterinary School provides positive information about AKC, the breeders they meet, and the knowledge gained about AKC/CHF and the research that is funded. Each student is requested to give a presentation on their attendance at the conference to a group at their school, these presentations average 100 in attendance. Sport Services will be including the funding request to support this initiative in the 2019 budget.

 

Lunch N Learns - To date, fourteen (14) AKC Lunch N Learns have been offered at U.S. Veterinary Schools. A presentation is provided by a local AKC Ambassador to a group during a lunch meeting of a student organization. Staff coordinates Theriogenologists, Veterinarians, Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC Chief Veterinary Officer, and Breeders of Merit to give presentations at the Vet Schools. These programs have been well received with attendance averaging 90 students.

 

AKC Veterinary Scholarships - Sport Services has continued successfully administering the awarding of the AKC Veterinary Scholarships. The criteria include involvement in AKC Events or purebred dogs. Scholarships were awarded to 11 students totaling $26,000 in 2018.

 

DOGNY Dog Installed at 9/11 Museum - The Board was advised that in late 2017, the 9/11 Museum reached out to the AKC about including one of the dogs from the DOGNY project in their forthcoming exhibit. After a visit to our NY office and viewing images of the statues located in the Raleigh office, they decided on “Let Freedom Ring.” The dog has been safely loaned to them and transported to New York City. As of Monday July 20th, it is on display in the 9/11 Museum’s Education Center as part of the Dogs of 9/11 exhibit. The exhibit runs through October 20th, 2018.

 

MARKETING Kirsten Bahlke, Vice President Consumer Demand, and Ron Furman, Director of Media Sales were present. Staff presented an update on Digital Ad sales and revenues. Business metrics were shared covering AKC.org, AKC Marketplace, email marketing, and social media.

     AKC PuppyFinder Order of Breeders in Search Results - The Board was advised that the order in which breeders and litters appear in the AKC Marketplace: AKC PuppyFinder search results would change as below: Breeder of Merit, Parent Club Member, Bred with H.E.A.R.T., Other Club Members, Other Breeders. There was no objection to this change.

     Digital Marketing Update - Digital revenue YTD is $3,091,890

     AKC.org

     • Year to date (YTD) pageviews and users are both up versus year ago (YAG), +10% and +13% respectively

     • Successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts post re-launch continue to ensure that our breed pages come up as the first listing when someone searches for a specific breedof dog.

     Email: Email open rates and click through rates for all AKC emails continued to meet or exceed industry benchmarks.

 

CONFORMATION - Golden Retriever Certification of Conformation Assessment Title Recognition - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Sports and Events Department to recognize the Certificate of Conformation Assessment title (CCA) granted by the Golden Retriever Club of America. In the CCA test, dogs are individually evaluated against the breed standard. This provides an assessment of the dogs plus an educational opportunity for owners and breeders. Dogs that pass the evaluation under three different judges are awarded the CCA title. The purpose of the program is to encourage interest in breed type and structure. Individuals who have achieved the CCA would need to fill out and submit a title application, a copy of the GRCA certificate, and a processing fee to have the title put on their AKC record. The CCA suffix title would appear on a dog’s pedigree. Following a motion by Mr. Feeney, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to recognize the Certificate of Conformation Assessment title (CCA) granted by the Golden Retriever Club of America. The processing of CCA titles will begin October 1, 2018, and the AKC will grandfather titles earned as far back as January 1, 2010.

 

CONFORMATION - Changes to Show Conflict Distance Policy and Number of Events Policy - The Board reviewed recommended changes to the Show Conflict Distance Board Policy and Number of Events Board Policy. The purpose of these recommendations is to

(1) prevent additional All-breed shows in regions that are well served, and

(2) update the current isolated definition to allow existing clubs in underserved areas the option of holding a third show.

     Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the following policy changes effective January 1, 2019. Clubs will be allowed to apply for a third 2019 AB event prior to the effective date. Show Conflict Distance Policy (February 2006 Board meeting, Amended at the April 2009, February 2014 and August 2018 Board meetings)

     • Conformation clubs are limited to 125 straight line miles from their territory.

     • Specialty clubs joining another specialty club of the same breed are limited to 200 miles from their territory.

     • Specialty clubs joining the designated National Specialty are limited to 500 miles from their territory.

     • Parent Clubs are encouraged to review distances involved and impact on other specialty clubs prior to approval of their member club approval considerations.

     • Clubs may request an exception from Event Operations through their Parent Clubs if distance limitations cause undue hardship on the club and no other specialty club, of the same breed, is bypassed without their concurrence.

Event Type Protected Distance
All-breed/limited breed clubs accredited after 1/1/2019 300 miles on any day of the cluster or circuit
All-breed/limited breed clubs accredited prior to 1/1/2019 200 miles on the day of the event
Specialty clubs 200 miles on the day of the event

     Limited Number of Events Board Policy (April 2009 Board meeting, Amended March 2015, July 2016, January 2017, January 2018 and August 2018 Board meetings)

• All-breed or limited-breed clubs have the option to hold two shows in a calendar year.

• Local specialty clubs have the option to hold shows on two days per year or two shows per year, at their option.

• Local specialty clubs have the option to hold one additional show in conjunction with their breed’s national specialty. There is no limit on national clubs.

• All-breed and limited-breed clubs in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, have the option to hold up to four shows in a calendar year.

• Show or obedience clubs have the option to hold any number of obedience trials. No conformation events will be approved to be held on or between Dec 24th and Dec 31st.

• Clubs in the continental U.S. granted isolated status prior to January 1, 2019 will retain their isolated status and will be allowed to hold up to 4 shows per year.

• All-breed or limited-breed club may, at their option hold a third show provided the following criteria are met:

1) All of a club’s shows must be held within 50 miles of the club’s territory.

2) All-breed clubs must have 20 or more open weekends (no All-breed show) within 400 miles from the club’s show site.

3) Limited Breed clubs must have 20 or more open weekends (no All-breed shows/Limited breed of same group shows) within 400 miles from the club’s show site.

4) All-breed clubs may hold a third All-breed event in a calendar year if there are no All-breed shows within 400 miles on the day of third show or any of the shows being held on the week/weekend of their third show.

5) Limited-breed clubs may hold a third Limited breed event in a calendar year if there are no All-breed or Limited breed of the same group shows within 400 miles on the day of their third show or any of the shows being held on the week/weekend of their third show.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Show, Chapter 11, Section 8 - The Board reviewed recommendation from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee to change four paragraphs of italics in Chapter 11, Section 8 (paragraphs regarding the change in appearance by artificial means) to become part of the rule; and adds a clarification to the Sweepstakes judge’s abilities when these conditions are present. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (affirmative: Dr. Battaglia, Ms. Biddle, Mr. Carota, Ms. Cruz, Dr. Davies, Ms. McAteer, Mr. Menaker, Mr. Sweetwood, Mr. Tatro, Mrs. Wallin, against: Mr. Powers, Mr. Feeney; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Mr. Carota, seconded by Ms. Biddle, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the proposed changes. The proposal will be read at the September Delegate’s meeting and voted at the December 2018 Delegate’s meeting. If approved, the effective date will be January 1, 2019.

 

Multiple Shows in One Day Policy - The Board reviewed a recommendation to add additional structure to the Multiple Shows in One Day policy to enhance the success of these events and promote efficiency for the benefit of clubs and exhibitors. This will be discussed further at the October Board meeting.

 

Scheduling Conformation Events - Based on a Board request, Staff developed recommendations which would allow events to run more efficiently (reduce down time) and shorten the day. Staff provided several ideas for discussion including:

• Establishing Board policy that specifies a scheduled group start time depending on the size of the show.

• Establishing Board policy that allows the final block of a judge’s assignment to be increased to 35 dogs per hour.

• Establish a Board Policy that prohibits judges assigned to regular groups from judging special attraction groups (excluding NOHS).

Staff will develop Board policy recommendations or conduct additional research based on the Board discussion.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 9, Section 12 & Chapter 10, new Section 8 - Eligibility of Superintendent & Show Veterinarian Clarification - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee (DSRC) to add clarification regarding a person’s eligibility to serve as a show secretary/superintendent or veterinarian. The DSRC is suggesting adding a sentence to Chapter 9, Section 12 and a new Section 8 to Chapter 10 which requires those fulfilling the roles of show secretary/superintendent and veterinarian to abide by the eligibility requirements described in Chapter 11, Section 12. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Carota, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve adding a clarification regarding a person’s eligibility to enter an event when acting as the show secretary/superintendent or veterinarian. The proposal will be read at the September Delegate’s meeting and voted at the December 2018 Delegate’s Meeting. If approved, the effective date will be January 1, 2019.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Show, Chapter 11, Section 2 - The Board reviewed recommendation from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee (DSRC) to change paragraphs regarding the event service fee in Chapter 11, Section 2 from italics to part of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. The DSRC is recommending the italicized text become part of the rule as well as reordering the sentences in the second paragraph. Staff has reviewed and agrees with part of the changes. Staff agrees that the italics portion that describes the administrative matters in regards to collection and remittance of fees to the AKC can become part of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. However, the second paragraph discusses the amount of the event service fees. This is outlined as a power of the Board in the Charter and Bylaws of the American Kennel Club. The Charter and Bylaws of the American Kennel Club places the establishment and amount of fees within the Board’s purview. Article IX: Board of Directors General Powers “The Board of Directors shall have the general management of the business and affairs of the AKC…” and Article X: Board of Directors Specific Powers, Section 15 “The Board shall have power to determine and fix and from time to time change the amount of all fees to be charged by the AKC…” This will be discussed further at the October meeting.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Show, Chapter 5, Section 2 - The Board reviewed separate recommendations from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee (DSRC) and the All Breeds Club Committee to change the requirements for all ribbons/rosettes used at conformation events in Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. Each ribbon/rosette must meet the requirements outlined in the section including specific size and information to be included on the face of the ribbon/rosette. There is no difference in requirements for a class placement vs. Best in Show ribbons. The All-Breed Club Committee has proposed two options, both of which allow the date and location of the event to be placed on the ribbon’s face, back tab or a label affixed to the ribbon. One option is to allow this for all ribbons while the second option limits the ribbons to those below the Group level. The Dog Show Rules Committee has proposed that ribbons or rosettes for regular and non-regular class placements are not required to have the date or location of the event. Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to change Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 5, Section 2 to allow clubs the option of printing the date and location of the event on class placement ribbons. The proposal will be read at the September Delegate’s meeting and voted at the December 2018 Delegate’s meeting. If approved, the effective date will be January 1, 2019.

 

Superintendent and Show Secretary Eligibility & Responsibilities - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee (DSRC) to change Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 9, Sections 2 & 4 to clarify the eligibility & responsibilities of the Superintendent and Show Secretary. The change in Section 2, changes italicized Board interpretation and makes it part of the rules. Additionally, it clarifies that an individual can only provide services for one all-breed or one group club in a calendar year. The change in Section 4 broadens the requirements regarding which forms the Superintendent/Show Secretary must have available at events. All necessary forms are available on the AKC website or sent to the Superintendent/Show Secretary prior to the event. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Tatro, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Carota, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to change Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 9, Sections 2 & 4 regarding the eligibility and responsibilities of the Superintendents and Show Secretaries. The proposal will be read at the September Delegate’s meeting and voted at the December 2018 Delegate’s meeting. If approved, the effective date will be January 1, 2019.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Show, Chapter 3, Section 13 - Winners Clarification - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee (DSRC) that was amended by Staff to add a clarification to Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 3, Section 13 regarding a Winners Dog/Bitch that is defeated in a non-regular class. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mrs. Wallin, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Mr. Carota, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to amend the Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 3, Sections 13 to clarify if a Winners Dog and/or Winners Bitch is defeated in a non-regular class, it may only compete for Best of Winners. The proposal will be read at the September Delegate’s meeting and voted at the December 2018 Delegate’s meeting If approved, the effective date will be January 1, 2019.

 

B-Match Status Report - The Board reviewed a memo that presented action that has be taken to grow participation in conformation B matches. Actions taken to grow participation in conformation B matches:

1. Sports & Events begins sending promotional email blasts in support of B-matches (February 2016).

2. The Email blast was enhanced to allow clubs to customize their message (October 2016).

3. Board Policy was changed to allow B-matches to be held in conjunction with licensed shows (April 2017).

4. Board Policy was changed to allow 4-6-month-old puppy competition be held in conjunction with B-matches (September 2017).

5. Club Development begins promoting the holding of B-matches to clubs (January 2018).

Through June 2018 the number of B-matches has increased by 2% from the same period in 2017. 57% of the matches in 2018 have reported increases in entries.

 

Review of “4-3 Event” Conformation Pilot Program - Staff presented a review of the “4-3 Event” pilot program for two shows over two days. Staff recommended the elimination of the pilot program. There was no objection to this recommendation and, effective immediately, AKC Staff will not approve future AB shows that apply to use this type of 4-3 structure for combining two events.

 

Encouraging the Formation of Local Specialty Clubs - Staff presented recommendations to Encourage the Formation of Local Specialty Clubs. Staff believes that Local Specialty clubs are important for the development of the breeds. They provide the structure for holding events, the social framework for breed owners to gather, and a welcoming starting point for new breed owners wishing to engage with the AKC. Currently there are 69 breeds (36%) with no local Specialty clubs. Staff proposed changes to the Club Relations Department’s standard practice regarding territory size that will allow territories that are statewide or even multiple states, depending on the density of the breed, in order to meet the usual household requirements. Club Relations will inform clubs with large territories that AKC reserves the right to reduce their territory should the breed become more popular in the future and another club in the area is justified. All other policies and standard practices will remain unchanged. These changes will make it easier for the accreditation of local Specialty clubs for the less common breeds. If a club’s territory is statewide, the word State will be included in the name. Other more flexible references which identify areas of the country will be considered as part of the approval process for multi-state local specialty clubs. There was no objection to these changes.

 

AKC Event and Awards Search on AKC.org - Staff presented a status report on the new AKC Event Search & Results that was launched in January 2018 and enhanced in May 2018 with the addition of the map-based search feature. Goals of the new AKC Event Search & Results included increasing the daily usage of the search, improving the experience for users of mobile devices, and providing access to important event documents. Our metrics indicate that we have been successful in achieving all three goals. In June, usage of the event search feature increased by 32% compared to the prior year. Of the searches executed in June 2018, 27% of the searches were from a mobile device, more than double the usage over the same month the prior year. In June 2018, an average of 404 documents (premium lists, judging program, etc.) per day were accessed through the AKC Event Search & Results. We have been successful in making the AKC Event Search & Results an attractive option for our customers to obtain information about AKC events. We have monitored user feedback to identify enhancements that would make the search more useful for our customers.

The Board adjourned at 5:23 p.m. - The Board Meeting reconvened on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 8:01 am.

 

Specialty Email Campaign Status Report - The Staff presented a status report on the effect that the specialty email blasts have had on specialty entries. As part of Sports & Events continued effort to promote conformation events, a specialty email blast was implemented on January 3, 2018 for independent specialties. The goal of this campaign was to increase entries. To meet that goal, the email criteria focused on registered owners who have participated in any type of AKC activity. At this point the data is inconclusive whether the email blasts have meaningfully increased entries in corresponding specialty events. Staff feels the specialty email campaign is in its infancy and will continue the program. It will be reassessed in early 2019.

 

Fundraising Update - Robert Holcomb, AKC Executive Director of Development, gave an update on fundraising initiatives for AKC affiliates in the second quarter. Last fall, we launched an AKC Humane Fund crowdfunding and mailing campaign which resulted in 381 gifts, with over 100 of these from individuals who had never supported the Humane Fund. In total we raised just under $80,000 from this initiative. In addition, we created and executed a 2017 Giving Tuesday Campaign featuring all four AKC nonprofit affiliates raising just under $5,000 with most of that going to the Canine Health Foundation. The focus has been on designing and implementing a strategy for the Museum of the Dog Capitol Campaign. In March 2018, at the Delegates’ meeting, Board member Dominic Carota gave a presentation that was followed up with an overview of Capital Campaign structure and timing. In May, we officially launched our Club Campaign seeking gifts for the AKC Clubs Wall of Fame sponsorships. To date we have received 18 gifts pledges for a total of $118,000 in committed funds so far. On July 18th, Alan Fausel sent an email solicitation to club members and exhibitors inviting them to support the Museum’s capital campaign.

 

COMPANION AND PERFORMANCE - Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Participation in Spaniel Hunt Tests - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (NSDTR) to participate in the Spaniel Hunting Test program. The NSDTR Club – USA, the AKC Parent Club, has requested their participation. The Performance Events Department has reviewed the history of the breed and concluded that upland bird hunting was one of its historic functions. The department also attended a field demonstration and concluded the breed has the necessary skills to succeed. All other retrieving breeds are already allowed to participate in Spaniel Hunting Tests. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Davies, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Mr. Carota, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to allow the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (NSDTR) to participate in the Spaniel Hunting Test Program. This change will become effective, February 1, 2019.

 

Pointing Breed Field Trials – Changes regarding Walking Handlers The Board reviewed two recommended changes to the Pointing Breed Field Trial Standard Procedures regarding walking handlers in Pointing Breed Field Trials.

(1) All-age stakes must allow both horseback handers and walking handlers.

(2) Walking handlers shall be braced together in horseback stakes.

Both these recommendations are being made as a result of a survey conducted by the Performance Events Department. This proposal will be sent to the Delegate Field Trial and Hunting Test Committee for their review and will be discussed further by the AKC Board at their October meeting. If approved, the changes would become effective December 1, 2018.

 

Special Event Agility Trial Increases - The Board reviewed a recommendation from the Sport and Events Agility Staff to allow clubs to hold 2 Special Event Agility Trials per year. Clubs licensed for AKC Agility Trials may currently hold one Special Event Agility Trial per year. A Special Event Agility Trial is defined as one where the club proposes a unique mix of regular AKC classes or a unique eligibility criterion. Over time we find that clubs have come up with new ideas for Special Event Agility Trials that would have better attendance if they could make these events a “weekend” event. This proposal will be sent to the Delegate Companion Events Committee for their review and will be discussed further by the AKC Board at their October meeting. If approved, the changes would become effective January 1, 2019.

 

Aspire Mentorship Program - The Board was provided with a status report on the Aspire Mentorship Pilot Program. In the Spring of 2018 Sports & Events began the Aspire Mentorship Pilot Program, an attempt to get new AKC dog owners involved in the world of dog sports and activities. A list of two hundred owners who had registered a new puppy in the specified time frame, and who had no prior experience in AKC events with any other dog was compiled. These individuals were contacted to determine their goals and what activities they were interested in pursuing with their dogs and based on that feedback were to be assigned a “coach.” The coach would help with specific questions and walk them through the process of finding trainers and local clubs to achieve their goals, whether they be as simple as a CGC or as complex as a Conformation or field championship. The individuals who have accepted the invitation to Aspire will be coached according to their interests, and their participation in AKC activities will be assessed as previously planned. Participation in the program was very low (2%). This low level of participation does not justify the expansion of the program.

 

AKC Fit Dog Program - The Board received information about a new Sports & Events initiative called AKC FIT DOG. The program is intended to provide an incentive for owners to get regular exercise by walking their dogs. AKC FIT DOG is consistent with the Family Dog department’s ongoing efforts to develop activities for companion dogs and introduce their owners to the AKC. AKC FIT DOG will begin as an introductory level program that will offer dog owners who reach a specified fitness goal a free gift featuring the AKC FIT DOG logo. Participation in AKC FIT DOG will bring health benefits to both dogs and their owners. The process to obtain the AKC FIT DOG award is:

     Dog owners who meet the criteria will sign an online order form attesting that they have met the initial criteria for AKC FIT DOG (i.e., walked with their dog at least 150 minutes per week for three months).

     Dog owners will complete an online AKC FIT DOG questionnaire. This will provide interesting personal stories and information that might be used to develop more advanced levels for the program.

 

JUDGING OPERATIONS - Conformation Judging Approval Process - The Board reviewed a memorandum with recommendations to modify aspects of the Board’s Judging Approval Process related to areas not addressed in its original report which was presented to the Board at its November 2017 meeting. The direction for its review, as provided by the Chair, was not to author a new Judging Approval Process, rather to work within the structure and framework of the current and identify areas that require modification in the best interest of the sport and the AKC, hence evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. Cruz, the Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding) to approve all proposed modifications to the Conformation Judging Approval Process to be effective January 1, 2019. Modifications are:

• All initial breed judging applicants must successfully complete the ABC’s of Dog Breeding Anatomy Part 1 and Part II courses available at no cost in the AKC Canine College.

• A modification to the Best in Show requirements which will now require a judge to have judged the group at least 5 times on regular status.

• A modification to policy for Visiting Judge Policy that the club must provide an interpreter if a Visiting Judge does not speak and read English AND is unable to provide an interpreter themselves.

• The inclusion of an additional statement to further emphasize a Visiting Judge’s obligation to judge in accordance to AKC Rules, Regulations, and Polices, and AKC approved breed standards.

• A modification to the policy which allows Visiting Judges to be approved to judge up to eight (8) all-breed shows per year, such that Visiting Judges may be approved to judge up to eight (8) days at All-Breed and/or Limited Breed events in one calendar year.

• Exempts the AKC National Championship from counting against a Visiting Judge’s annual assignment limit.

• Re-establishes that Visiting Judges may be observed on Procedure and breed specific judging, the same as AKC judges.

 

Conformation Judging Guidelines for Non-Resident Judges at AKC Events - The Board reviewed a draft copy of the Conformation Judging Guidelines for Non-Resident (Visiting) Judges at AKC Events booklet. The booklet was designed to assist Visiting Judges in comprehending AKC’s expectations. This booklet, is essentially an abridged version of the Rules, Policies, and Guidelines for Conformation Dogs Shows and should those invited to judge AKC events who may not be familiar with AKC Conformation Dogs Shows. Increased comprehension of AKC judging procedures and policies by Visiting Judges will result in a more pleasant and satisfactory experience for exhibitors.

 

Occupational Eligibility Addendum - The Board Approved Judging Approval Process provides parent clubs the option to request for a non-approved individual be approved to judge a specialty show in its breed. This aspect requires that the individuals requested must be occupationally eligible, except that professional handlers may be approved under this policy. Recently, Judging Operations has been contacted seeking clarification on the application of this policy, related to item #4, defining “Persons who are professional superintendents or employees of superintendents” as occupational ineligible to judge. Specifically, an individual was included on a ballot for a parent club who is under the employ of a company which is owned by a superintendent, but the context of the employment is unrelated to the superintending business. The Board interpreted this to clarify that a person under the employ of a company which is owned by a superintendent, but the context of the employment is unrelated to the superintending business may judge.

 

CLUBS - The Board reviewed a report on the prospective Delegate credentials to be published in two issues of the AKC Gazette, applications for AKC Membership and newly licensed clubs.

Report on Member Clubs Bylaws Approved in June and July 2018

▪ Chintimini Kennel Club, Corvallis, OR (2005)

▪ LEAP Agility Club of Central Massachusetts, Sturbridge, MA (2015)

▪ Upper Potomac Valley Kennel Club, Alleghany County, MD (2001)

Report on Newly Licensed Clubs Approved in June and July 2018

▪ Central Florida Agility Club, greater Deland, FL (including communities west to US Route 17, no further north than Palm Coast and no further south than Deltona); 25 total households, 18 local.

▪ Dixieland Chihuahua Club of Greater Memphis, Memphis, TN; 45 total households, 18 local.

▪ Keystone Labrador Retriever Club, greater Malvern, PA (including communities in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties).

▪ Lower Michigan Kerry Blue Terrier Club, greater Jackson, MI (including communities north to Mason, Lake, Osceola, Clark, Baldwin and Arenac Counties; south to IN/OH state-line); 31 total households, 31 local.

▪ Star of the North English Cocker Spaniel Fanciers, Minneapolis, MN (including communities north to St. Cloud, east to Mississippi River, southwest to Glencoe and southeast to Hastings); 21 total households, 18 local.

 

Compliance Status Report - Second Quarter 2018 - Jay Waks, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel and 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 & Inspections, participated by videoconference. The Compliance Department and Investigations & Inspections Department reported its statistics for the Second Quarter of 2018.

 

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

• Delegate and Club Approvals

• Spinone Italiano Proposed Breed Standard Revisions: The Board VOTED (unanimously; absent Mr. Wooding, Mr. Sweetwood abstained) to approve proposed amendments to the Spinone Italiano Breed Standard as the Breed Standard as submitted by the Spinone Club of America, Inc. The approved breed standard will be effective January 1, 2019.

     Proposed Standard for the Spinone Italiano

General Appearance: The Spinone has a distinctive profile and soft, almost-human expression. The breed is constructed for endurance. Muscular, vigorous and with powerful bone, the Spinone has a robust build that makes him resistant to fatigue and able to work on almost any terrain; big feet and a two-piece topline give the dog stability on rough ground. The Spinone covers ground efficiently, combining a purposeful, easy trot with an intermittent gallop. A harsh, single coat and thick skin enable the Spinone to negotiate underbrush and endure cold water that would punish any dog not so naturally armored. This versatile pointer is a proficient swimmer and an excellent retriever by nature. The Spinone is patient, methodical and cooperative in the field, and has a gentle demeanor.

Size, Proportion, Substance: The height at the withers is 23 to 27 inches for males and 22 to 25 inches for females. Weight: In direct proportion to size and structure of a dog in working condition. Proportion: His build tends to fit into a square. The length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks, is equal to or slightly greater than the height at the withers. Substance: The Spinone is a solidly built dog with powerful bone.

Head: Long, with muzzle length equal to that of the backskull. The length of the head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers; its width measured at the zygomatic arch is less than half of its total length. The profile of the Spinone is unusual. The occipital protuberance is well developed, and the upper longitudinal profiles of the skull and muzzle are divergent, downfaced, i.e., if extended, the top line of the muzzle emerges in front of or tangential to the occipital protuberance. A dish-faced muzzle is to be faulted so severely as to eliminate from further competition. The skull is oval, with sides gently sloping from the sagittal suture in a curve to the zygomatic arch. Cheeks are lean. The medial-frontal furrow is very pronounced. Muzzle: Stop is barely perceptible. Bridge of the muzzle is straight or slightly Roman. Square when viewed from the front. The width of the nasal bridge measured at its midpoint is a third of its length. The upper lips are rather soft and are rounded in front. The lower profile of the muzzle is created by the lower line of the upper lip.

Eyes: A soft sweet expression is of paramount importance to the breed. It shall denote intelligence and gentleness. Ochre (a soft golden brown) in color, darker eyes with darker colored dogs, lighter eyes with lighter colored dogs. The eyes are large, almost round, well opened, and set well apart on the frontal plane. The lid fits the eye closely. The eye is neither protruding nor deep set. Eye rim is clearly visible and will vary in color from flesh colored to brown depending on the color of the dog. Loose eyelids must be faulted. Disqualification: Walleye (an eye with a whitish iris; a blue eye, fisheye, pearl eye).

Nose: Large, bulbous and spongy in appearance with a rounded upper edge. Nostrils are large and well opened. In profile, the nose protrudes past the forward line of the lips. Pigment is a rosy flesh color in white-and-orange dogs, brown in brown-and-white or brown-roan dogs; in solid-white dogs, it can range from flesh colored to brown. Disqualification: Any pigment other than described or total depigmentation of the nose.

Teeth: Jaw is powerful; at mid-length, the sides of the mandible are very lightly curved. Teeth are positioned in a scissors or level bite. Disqualification: Overshot or undershot bite.

Ears: Almost triangular (in shape) with a slightly rounded tip, they are set on a level with the eye; long, but not more than 2 inches below the line of the throat; pendulous, carried close to the head and with little erectile power. The leather is fine, covered with short, thick hair mixed with longer sparser hair, which becomes thicker along the edges. The forward edge is adherent to the cheek, not curled, but turned back on itself.

Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - Strong, thick, and muscular, clearly defined from the nape, blending into the shoulders in a harmonious line. The length of the neck shall not be less than two-thirds of the length of the head. The throat is moderate in skin with a double dewlap.

Chest: Broad, deep, well-muscled and well rounded; extending at least to the elbow. The ribs are well sprung. The distance from ground to the elbow is equal to the height at the withers. Back - The topline consists of two segments. The first slopes slightly downward in a nearly straight line from the withers to the eleventh thoracic vertebra. The second rises gradually and continues into a solid and slightly convex loin without rising above the withers. The underline is solid. It is almost horizontal in the sternal region, then ascends only slightly towards the belly; there is minimal tuck-up.

Croup: Wide, well-muscled, long. The hipbones fall away from the spinal column at an angle of about 30 to 35 degrees, producing a lightly rounded, well filled-out croup. Tail- Follows the line of the croup, thick, with no fringes. The tail is carried horizontally or down, flicking from side to side while trotting. The tail is customarily docked to a length of 6 to 10 inches. The structure and carriage of an undocked tail are consistent with those of a docked tail.

Forequarters: Shoulders - The shoulders are strong, well-muscled, long and well laid back; they are capable of moving freely and form an angle with the upper arm of approximately 105 degrees. The tops of the shoulder blades are not close together. The upper arm is of equal length to the shoulder blade. Angulation of shoulder is in balance with angulation in the rear. Forelegs: The forelegs are straight when viewed from the front, with strong, oval bone, well-developed muscles and well-defined tendons; elbows are set under the withers and close to the body. Pasterns are long, lean and flexible, following the vertical line of the forearm. In profile, they are slightly slanted. Feet- Front feet are large, compact, rounded, with well-arched toes which are close together, covered with short, dense hair, including between the toes. Pads are lean and hard with strong nails curving toward the ground, well pigmented, but never black. Dewclaws may be present.

Hindquarters: Thighs are strong and well-muscled, stifles show good functional angulation, lower thigh to be well developed and muscled with good breadth. The distance from the point of the hock to the ground is about one-third of the height at the withers, and the rear pastern is strong, lean and perpendicular to the ground. Feet- The rear foot is slightly more oval than the forefoot, with the same characteristics. Dewclaws may be present on the inner side of the rear pastern.

Skin: The skin must be very thick, closely fitting the body. The skin is thinner on the head, throat, groin, under the legs and in the folds of the elbows, where it is soft to the touch. Pigmentation is dependent upon the color or markings of the coat. Disqualification: Any black pigmentation.

Coat: A Spinone must have a correct, harsh, single coat to be of correct type. There is no undercoat. The ideal coat length is 1 to 2 inches on the body. The hair is shorter on the head, ears, and along the top of the muzzle and front sides of legs and feet. The hair on the backsides of the legs forms a rough brush, but there are never any fringes. The eyes and lips are framed by long, stiff hair forming eyebrows, mustache and beard. The coat is coarse, dense and rather flat. The Spinone is exhibited in a natural state, in accordance with his function as a field dog.

Color: The accepted colors are: Solid white, white and orange; orange roan with or without orange markings; white with brown markings, and brown roan with or without brown markings. The most desired color of brown is a chestnut, "monk’s habit" brown, however, other shades of brown are acceptable. Disqualification: Any black in the coat, tri-color in any combination, tan points or any color other than accepted colors.

Gait: He has a free, relaxed trot, geared for endurance. This trot, with intermittent gallop, allows the Spinone to cover maximum ground with the least amount of effort. Profile of the topline is kept as the dog trots.

Temperament: Sociable, docile, affectionate and patient.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and extent. Any characteristic that interferes with the accomplishment of the function of the Spinone shall be considered a serious fault.

Disqualifications: Walleye (an eye with a whitish iris; a blue eye, fisheye, pearl eye.) Any pigment other than described or total depigmentation of the nose. Overshot of undershot bite. Any black pigmentation. Any black in the coat; tri-color markings in any combination, tan points or any color other than accepted colors.

 

August Board Discussion – “The Risk of Breed Extinction in Conformation” - Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President, Sports and Events; Mark Dunn, Executive Vice President; Gina DiNardo, Executive Secretary; Kirsten Bahlke, Vice President, Consumer Demand; and Tim Thomas, Vice President, Dog Show Judges, were present for this portion of the meeting. Mari-Beth O’Neill, Vice President, Sport Services, participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference. There are many breeds that are seldom shown in conformation. The conversation and paper presented addresses the issue that without changes the case can be made that these breeds are at risk of extinction in the sport. It is agreed that plans must be developed to address these factors.  Factors discussed were:

 

A. Is the nature of breeders changing

B. Low conversions rates of registration

C. The growing number of low entry breeds

D. Increasing use of limited registration

E. Factors affecting new exhibitor participation including cost, time, inability to earn points and alternative use of their leisure time.

 

The discussion addressed each of these contributing factors including background information, actions recently taken by AKC, and suggestions offered in Dr. Battaglia’s papers.

 

A. The Changing Nature of Breeders – Less Guided by the Breed Standard Data was presented regarding registrations by breeder segment over time. The data questions the assumption that breeders are becoming less guided by the breed standard. Discussion ensured regarding the impact of the Breeder of Merit program and how adding the BOM levels allows greater recognition to long-term breeders that are guided by the breed standard. The Canine College has provided a platform for AKC to better educate all breeders.

B. Low conversion rates Data was presented on the conversion rates over time. In recent years, only 41% of the pups born are registered. The registration department has started informing Parent Clubs on the conversion rate for their breed.

C. The growing number of low entry breeds Currently 90 breeds are considered low entry breeds (LEBs) or 47% of the total. There was the impression that new breeds, once allowed AKC full recognition, exhibit declining registration and reduced participation in AKC events. Data was presented that demonstrated this was not the case. Some breeds have exhibited notable growth once becoming fully recognized. It was agreed that Sport Services would maintain communications with new breed Parent Clubs to provide guidance and track benchmarks to encourage the development of these new breeds. The 1+1=1 idea was discussed as a positive step to encourage the low-to-no entry breeds to continue to participate in conformation.

D. Increasing use of limited registration The use of limited registration has grown, reached an all-time high in 2017 with over 121,000 dogs registered on LR. The LR program started in 1993. Over the past 25 years, over 1.4 million dogs have been removed from AKC breeding stock because they have been registered on LR. There is concern about the long-term implications for minor breeds that have a high percentage of the dogs registered on LR. The registration department has started providing Parent Clubs with information regarding the percentage of dogs from their breed that are registered on LR.

E. Factors affecting new exhibitor participation including cost, time, inability to earn points and alternative use of their leisure time

 

The Board recalled that some of the talks at the June Education Summit touched on these issues. New generations of dog owners have constraints on their time and resources and have different desires on what they would like to do with their dogs. AKC needs to acknowledge these interests and provide activities that engage these new owners.

     Local specialty clubs provide the social framework for breed owners to gather and a welcoming starting point for new owners. AKC has acted recently to make it easier to form local specialty clubs. Other recent actions include the promotion of B-matches to provide an enjoyable setting for learning the sport, the development of educational videos, and Puppy of Achievement pilot program, the continued emphasis on Junior participation and the canine extravaganza events which are popular and are engaging a new audience.

 

New Business - Thank You to Staff - Ms. Cruz expressed a special thanks to Torraine Williams, Seth Fera-Schanes, Wladimir Vargas, Brandi Hunter and Amy Hamernick for the successful launch of the new Google Delegate list. Their technologic expertise, confidence in the new platform, its advantages and safety features, is evidenced by the many hours spent by these executives seeing the project through to completion. The Board of Directors issues a grateful “Thank You”.

 

It was VOTED to adjourn Tuesday, August 14, at 10:08 a.m.

 

Deceased Judges: Mr. Frank Canestrini, Mrs. Glenda P. Dawkins, Mrs. Joyce E. Geshwiler, Mr. Clinton Harris, Mr. David M. Krogh, Mr. Bruce J. Rathbun, Sr., Mrs. Norma J. Strait, Mr. Leon A. Breault Jr., Mr. John T. Connolly, Mrs. Christina Hubbell, Mr. William R. Russell, Dr. Daniel G. Sena, Mr. Daryl J. Turner

Resigned Judges: Ms. Denny Mounce, Mrs. Paula Nykiel, Ms. Ellen Migliore, Ms. Kathy L. Wilkins, Mr. Michael J. Lynch, Mr. Peter Rademacher

Reinstated Judge: Ms. Susan Shidler (no information available on suspension date or reason)

Emeritus Judge: Mrs. Joan Schurr Kefeli, Jonathan Franklin, Curtis Cunningham

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