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Senior Conformation Judges Association, Inc.

Wallace H. Pedé Chief Executive Officer
7200 Tanager St., Springfield, VA 22150
(703) 451-5656 Fax (703) 451-5979


April 10th, 2006

Mr. Ronald Menaker, Chairman
Mr. Dennis Sprung, President
All AKC Board Members
The American Kennel Club
260 Madison Ave.  4th Floor
New York, NY  10016

Subject:  Consideration by the AKC Board to Limit AKC Judges to Judging AKC Shows Only

Dear Ron, Dennis and All Board Members: 

     It has just come to our attention that the subject of limiting AKC judges to judging AKC events only may be discussed at the April 11th, 2006 AKC Board meeting.  This subject was discussed during the rumor stages at SCJA’s Annual General Meeting in Louisville, KY last month; now that it has been fairly well confirmed, it was decided by the SCJA Executive Board Committee that the SCJA voice our strong objection to this unbelievable consideration by the AKC Board.

     First of all, each and every AKC Board member is aware of Article IX of AKC’s Charter, Constitution and Bylaws which gives the AKC Board of Directors the general management of the business and affairs of the American Kennel Club; however, it clearly states “that all the powers conferred by this Article of the Bylaws shall be exercised subject to all other provisions of these Bylaws” and equally important “and to the statutes of the State of New York and all amendments thereof and additions thereto”. 

     A good many of you have indicated to the SCJA in writing that you agree you must abide by the above.  First, we would suggest each of you personally assure yourself that the New York statutes allow for the exceptions to federal law concerning the interference with intrastate commerce as well as any restraint of trade. 

     In addition, AKC’s RULES APPLYING TO DOG SHOWS   CHAPTER 7  JUDGES SECTION 1 “Any reputable person who is in good standing with the American Kennel Club may apply for approval to judge any AKC recognized breed or breeds of purebred dogs, which in his or her opinion he or she is qualified by training and experience to pass upon, with the following exceptions:” …   Nowhere does it say that anyone judging for any other organization cannot apply to judge.  One could easily assume on the face of it that none of our AKC judges could judge for Canada or any other foreign registry to say nothing of some of the rare breed registries here in the states.   We would also assume that you would prevent anyone other than AKC judges to judge AKC shows.   No more foreign judges!  Perhaps if this policy is adopted, you are planning for a long list of exceptions.  A question you should ask yourselves, “Where do the individuals gather their experience on the rare breeds that the AKC has approved in greater numbers than ever before?”   

    This proposed policy would not have the significant ramifications for the multiple-Group judges, but we ask you to think of the newer judges just getting started that might judge two or three shows a year.  Where on earth is he or she going to get their practice judging dogs?  If the AKC really had the best interest of the sport and in an individual becoming a better judge, you should encourage them to judge as often as possible.  On the other hand, if the AKC Board is just concerned with furthering its dominance over the dog world and becoming even more dominant, then of course you are on the right track, or perhaps this might be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. 

    Perhaps the AKC is concerned about competition?  Everyone agrees the American Kennel Club is the preeminent force in the sport today and is an old and venerable organization with little real competition.  In the event you are concerned with maintaining your dominance, you should not entertain the use of heavy-handed or possible illegal tactics to achieve this goal.  For once, why doesn’t the AKC Board have some consideration for their judges and look at it from their point of view.  We have an AKC Board member on record as saying that the judges should be treated like employees and the President going a step further saying the judges should be treated as family.  Now is an excellent time to apply this philosophy.  Doesn’t the AKC Board have enough real problems to solve without opening up another can of worms? 

     The SCJA strongly recommends this subject be squelched before it receives any serious consideration.  We have been told that the thought behind it was that the AKC is spending so much money on judges’ education that they feel like they are educating the judges for the other organizations.  The AKC is spending money?  Have you folks any idea of the money the judges spend in educating themselves to meet the ever-increasing requirements for judging approval? 

     We were asked over a year ago by AKC’s President if the SCJA would be willing to assume more responsibility and programs for judges’ education.  He stressed that it was just being contemplated without any firm decision.  Nonetheless, AKC did abolish the judges education department, and the SCJA Board agreed to double the number of Institutes that our sister organization, the American Canine Education Foundation (ACEF), puts on. But the SCJA learned a few months ago that AKC’s judges department will now assume that additional role.  We have a separate letter on the subject of a Basic Course for judges; however, the subject of this letter (restriction on AKC judges) came up on such short notice that it had to take priority and be sent out in a timely manner in order for you to receive a copy before you leave New York. 

     You will be hearing separately from us concerning a Basic Course for judges which the ACEF has been conducting and refining for the past nineteen years.  Up until now, all of the AKC requirements listed for judging approval have been based on what is needed to obtain additional breeds.  Nowhere have any requirements and credit been established to learn the basics.   Our letter will cover this.


                                                                           Wallace H. Pedé
                                                                           Chief Executive Officer


SCJA: Dedicated to serving for the good of all associated with the dog world.


Handy links:


SCJA Cites AKC Charter/Bylaws re Delegate Duties June 2006
Delegates have "sole power" to make the Rules!  Not the AKC Board.

Senior Conf. Judges Assoc. Letter to the AKC Board April 2006
Individual Rights or AKC's Right to Change The Rules in Mid-Game?

AKC Conflict Of Interest Policy May 2006
The Policy That Launched A Rebellion

Senior Conf. Judges Assoc. Letter To Members
No Judges' Associations Were Contacted, SCJA Reacts, Seeks Input

Conflict Policy Prohibits Learning New Breeds May 2006
Where Are Judges To Learn About Plott Hounds and Icelandic Dogs?  ____________________________________________________

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