MERLES, FOREIGN GENES, JUDGES AND BABY CLASSES
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The October Reports were late last month. Guess AKC was busy with all the controversy over the merle color pattern and the judges’ legal status.
November 2010 | TheDogPress.com
The Board voted unanimously to approve a request from the American Spaniel Club to add merle as a color option on the Registration Application and they will designate the registration number of merle dogs with a “Z” prefix on the dog’s registration number.
The Pomeranian club has been given another chance to ballot their members on whether or not the merle gene pattern should be described in the standard.  I have to say, the photo I saw of a merle Pom was weird but I guess they’ll sort it out.
Back in 2007 there was equally hot debate about the same color in the Chihuahua Club. In fact, that one became a huge story  when an AKC Board member interfered with the club’s ballot! Then one of the most respected Chihuahua breeder/judges in the world, Mr. Graham Foote of the U.K. gave us his opinion.
It will be interesting to see how much damage if any, has been done by letting the merle gene into a breed that doesn’t have it or as in some cases, has it but doesn’t want it.
Several clubs are considering or have asked for permission to open their stud book. The Lhasa Apso Club was given permission to ballot its membership on bringing in genes from Tibetan stock. “BJ” says the Toy Fox Terrier Club wants to allow UKC dogs into the AKC stud book but I’m willing to bet getting UKC dogs in will be a little harder to get approved!
A lot of new breeds are either being accepted or going into FSS which they say is just a step away from “being there”. It used to be really hard to get a new breed accepted. When I asked around the office, everyone looked at “BJ” who laughed and said yes, that was true. She told us about the difficulties for the Akita Club because of AKC’s squirmy aversion to anything with JCK (Japanese Kennel Club) behind it. I also learned Mrs. Andrews is still called the “mother of the mini-bull” for having gotten the breed and the MBT Club recognized. I guess now the AKC wants every good breed it can get.
The proposed 4 to 6 month puppy competition looks like a shoo-in although some breeders think it is just too doggone much for puppies to have to endure. They are saying that next thing we know, those babies will be in a big handler’s rig going from one circuit to another and they won’t even come home until they are over 6 months.
There were a lot of calls to our office about the Judges Advertising & Soliciting. Like it is suddenly okay to do what Fred Lanting was suspended for a lifetime for doing! I remember we covered that story  and I felt really sorry for him. I wonder if he will demand that AKC acquit him or repeal his sentence? Intriguing eh? I don’t know much about it but I hope one of our writers will cover it because some of the calls have been from judges and it looks like they forced AKC to “get real.” I heard that the Senior Conformation Judges (SCJA) board threatened an anti-trust suit, or maybe it was IRS? Anyway, AKC can’t have it both ways, judges are either employees or they are independent contractors. I’m sure everyone will be relieved that AKC finally got it all sorted out.
No one knows exactly what AKC means about holding an already approved judge’s eligibility to judge in abeyance (I think they say “referral”) if they are accused of a crime. Seems like if a judge is accused, he or she can’t judge until they are proven innocent. Wasn’t there a bunch of amendments to the Constitution that say we are innocent until proven guilty? Must not be in the AKC bylaws but then who wants accused “criminals” “judging”? I don’t show so admit to being a little fuzzy on this. It just seems odd.
You might want to look into the tiny little mention about Pension Funds because I think AKC pensions might be as off the charts as salaries, especially during such bad times.
Related Article: October 2010 AKC Board Minutes