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The American Kennel Club Chairman's Report


Unfortunately, the CHAIRMAN’S REPORT September 15, 2010, was received after HEADlines went out. The Chairman enumerates problems in the $5 billion sport but offers no solutions for registrations, animal rights, or club health in this rather dismal report. You may want to read the Chairman’s Report in conjunction with Delegates vote to unseat AKC Board Of Directors.  Also see notes from The Meeting below - AKC no longer releases Minutes to the public and Executive Session seems to be more frequently used for previously public decisions.

--  Board Planning Session Nurtures Ideas & Reviews Initiatives to Grow AKC’s Future  --

New York, NY - In August the Board added a special “planning session” to the regular Board meeting to discuss a variety of topics including registrations, events, and brand imaging. On Sunday, Sept.12, AKC Vice Chairman Tom Davies, President and CEO Dennis Sprung, COO John Lyons, and I met with the Delegates’ Coordinating Committee to further discuss the “state of the sport” and how the Board, management, staff and Delegates can work together to overcome our many challenges in today’s economic atmosphere.

With more than 5,000 AKC-affiliated clubs, we know the health of our clubs is paramount to growing the sport. We discussed reasons why some clubs are thriving while others are struggling. We explored ways to help clubs create more well-attended events that would drive up exhibitor entries, increase spectator gate and bring them potential new members.

We are continuing to explore many possibilities for dog show enhancements such as:
a Reserve Best-in Show, expanding the number of group placements, adding a 4-6 month-old puppy class, and a separate Amateur-Owner Handler competition.

We have begun discussions with the Coordinating Committee and the respective Delegate Committees but no decisions have been made. We also discussed registrations at length, including the current marketplace and the poor economy.

We talked about how a shift in society’s attitude regarding animal rights groups and the shelter adoption movement has affected the overall number of AKC registrations. Our data also shows us that our “core” breeders have been breeding less over the last decade.

The loss in registered litters continues to have the single largest impact on the loss in registered dogs. We continue to study the reasons for the declining “blue slip” return rate in order to find solutions. During our planning session we also reviewed several staff-developed initiatives to promote registrations including a new registration application and upcoming advertising slicks for clubs.

Further enhancement of the AKC brand to the dog-loving public was another topic of discussion. For example, we have just launched the new Breeder of Merit program. Not only is this a way for AKC to recognize our responsible breeders but it gives breeders a way of distinguishing themselves above the pack and communicating their dedication to the puppy-buying public.

We must continue to highlight all the helpful ways that AKC – and its clubs – bring the responsible dog ownership message to life. For example there are more than 550 clubs and groups holding AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days this month. We know that our tireless volunteer work in purebred rescue, our club-sponsored training classes and the AKC Canine Good Citizen® program, among many other initiatives, are what set us apart.

As dedicated breeders, club members, and passionate dog owners, we also know the value of educating the new puppy buyer and the lasting impact it has on the dogs, their owners and the community. What better way to ensure AKC’s future than to continue the public conversation about the important role AKC registration plays in the good deeds, educational programs, and volunteer outreach we do for all dogs.


Ron Menaker




AKC Board Of Directors Meeting August, 2010
AKC no longer furnishes Minutes or "highlights" but everyone likes a quick read so we present excerpts from the Secretary's Page:

  • Proposed Amendment to Charter and Bylaws of The American Kennel Club: The Board of Directors has approved the following amendment to ARTICLE VII, Section 1, of Charter and Bylaws of The American Kennel Club, to be voted on at the September 14, 2010 Delegates Meeting. ARTICLE VII, Section 1 Section 1. (paragraph deleted) No person shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms on the Board. A Board member who has served more than half a term on the Board is considered to have served a full term. This section does not preclude reelection of any delegate to the Board of Directors after a one year (or greater) hiatus from Directorship.

  • Executive Session

  • Reinstated Judge: The Judging eligibility of the following person has been reinstated Dr. Robert Turton.

  • Resigned Judges:  Mrs. Liane Dimitroff; Mr. Francis L. Ford, Sr.; Mrs. Irma Marshall; Mr. Joel Marston; Mr. Phillip S. Norris; Ms. Laura Pfab; Jocelyn Jacobs-Knoll, DVM

  • Deceased Judges: Dr. Robert L. Gossweiler - Mr. Robert A. Marshall

  • FSS Guidelines:  The Board viewed staff proposed revisions to the FSS Guidelines. Revisions include proposed changes to the eligibility of a breed to enter the Miscellaneous Class as well as revisions to the requirements to request full recognition for the breed. There was a motion by Mrs. Strand, seconded by Dr. Smith, and it was VOTED (unanimously) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the usual prior notice requirement. There was a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Ms. Scully, and it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve changes to the FSS guidelines. Effective immediately a Parent Club will be selected to represent a breed prior to being eligible to request eligibility for the Miscellaneous Class.

  • American English Coonhound: The Board reviewed a request from the American English Coonhound Association to allow the American English Coonhound to move from the Foundation Stock Service into the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club and to permit the breed to compete in the Hound Group. This will be discussed further at the October meeting.

  • Cesky Terrier:  The Board reviewed a petition from the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers seeking acceptance for the Cesky Terrier into the American Kennel Club Stud Book and for the Cesky Terrier to be eligible to compete in the Terrier Group. This will be discussed further at the October meeting.

  • Boston Terrier Breed Standard: There was a motion by Mr. Arnold, seconded by Ms. Scully, and it was VOTED (unanimously) to allow the Boston Terrier Club of America to ballot its membership on proposed revisions to the Color and Disqualification sections of the breed standard in accordance with the club’s Constitution and Bylaws.

  • GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: Sheila Goffe, AKC Staff, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference. Changes to Canine Legislation Policy Position Statements.  There was a motion by Dr. Davies, seconded by Ms. Scully and it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve a new official legislation policy position statement on Debarking and to approve changes to AKC’s official legislation policy position statements on Animal Terrorism, Breeding Restrictions, Purebred vs. Mixed- reed Dogs, Responsible Breeding Practices, Responsible Dog Ownership, and the Right to Keep and Enjoy Dogs. These changes attempt to clarify AKC’s value, vision and position in areas of canine legislation and ensure that they are accurately reflected in AKC Board vision and policy.  Revised  Position Statements follows: (new wording underlined)

Animal Terrorism - The American Kennel Club abhors acts of violence committed against dog owners, dog handlers, kennels, and research facilities by those who object to the keeping and use of animals. The AKC respects the right of all individuals to express and advocate personal opinions in lawful ways. We strongly condemn illegal actions such as the “liberation” of dogs or destruction of property. The AKC supports the right of people to own, train, interact with and exhibit their dogs without interference.

Breeding Restrictions - The American Kennel Club strongly supports and actively promotes a wide range of programs to educate the public about responsible purebred breeding practices and the responsibilities of dog ownership. The AKC opposes the concept of breeding permits, breeding bans or mandatory spay/neuter of purebred dogs. Instead, we support reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who meet their responsibilities.

The Advantages of Purebred Dogs - Responsible breeders breed dogs with desired characteristics, abilities and instincts. The offspring of their breeding programs are predictable in appearance, temperament and instinct. Purebred dogs are true to type when mated. The American Kennel Club currently recognizes and includes more than 160 breeds in its stud book, and various dog registries throughout the world recognize more than 400 breeds. Some of the breeds are of relatively recent origin, while other breeds have existed since civilization began. The choice of a purebred dog permits the prospective owner to select the desired size, appearance, disposition and instincts with assurance that a puppy purchased from a responsible breeder will possess those defined characteristics.

Responsible Breeding Practices - The American Kennel Club believes that breeding programs should be undertaken responsibly for the purpose of preserving breed characteristics and producing healthy, well-socialized purebred puppies. Responsible breeders are expected to give careful consideration to health issues, temperament, and genetic screening, as well as to the individual care and placement of puppies in responsible homes. AKC supports and promotes these and other responsible breeding practices through breeders’ education programs, and commends those who offer similar guidance. The AKC strongly opposes the breeding of dogs by those who do so without regard for the dogs’ welfare. We support scrupulous enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and state and local regulations governing the humane care of animals. We further believe that USDA and other enforcement agencies should be given appropriate resources to ensure that regulations are met. In addition, the AKC Investigations and Inspections department conducts more than 5,000 kennel inspections each year. When AKC inspectors find kennels that do not meet our minimum care and conditions requirements, they educate and encourage those breeders to raise their standards or face suspension of their AKC registration privileges. Proper authorities are also alerted to any cases of animal neglect.

Responsible Dog Ownership - The American Kennel Club believes that owning a dog is a rewarding experience that brings great joy and happiness to any household. With dog ownership comes long-term emotional and financial commitment and a variety of responsibilities. Accordingly, we encourage potential owners to closely evaluate their lifestyle before deciding to obtain a dog and to give careful consideration to what breed will best suit them. They are encouraged to visit the AKC website,, to do their research. AKC strongly urges puppy purchasers to seek responsible, ethical breeders as resources for their dogs. We further encourage owners to provide proper care, training and socialization to ensure that their pets remain happy members of their family, respectable members of the community and well-mannered canine good citizens. AKC and its affiliated clubs offer a wide range of educational programs and materials to teach dog owners how to reach these goals while enjoying their dogs for many years to come.

The Right to Keep and Enjoy Dogs - The human-canine bond predates history. Since the dawn of civilization, people have enjoyed the companionship and assistance of dogs. Dog ownership has existed in all cultures, races, climates and economic situations - by monarchs, monks, nomads, and peasants. The American Kennel Club strongly endorses the right to own, keep and breed dogs in a responsible and humane manner. We believe that responsible dog ownership is compatible with most living arrangements. The AKC opposes laws that limit the number of dogs a responsible owner may own as well as unreasonable limitations on pet ownership, such as the prohibition of dogs for residents of senior citizen and government subsidized housing facilities. The AKC recognizes the special obligation of dog owners, not only to their pets but also to their neighbors. AKC supports “curbing” and clean-up ordinances, leash laws, nuisance laws, and other reasonable regulations designed to ensure that dogs and their owners remain respected members of their communities

Debarking - Debarking is a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog that barks excessively in its loving home rather than to be forced to surrender it to a shelter. Debarking should only be performed by a qualified, licensed veterinarian after other behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive barking have failed. As with other veterinary medical decisions, the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians.

  • AKC Inspection Program: The Board reviewed a report regarding the AKC Inspection Program which detailed the AKC’s success in ensuring that breeders are properly caring for the dogs that comprise the registry and assisting breeders in achieving compliance with AKC’s rules, policies, and procedures. The Board adopted additional enhancements to the program’s annual inspections audit process, intended to build on the program’s ongoing philosophy of education and outreach in order to promote responsible breeding principles and practices and continue to ensure overall compliance of AKC breeders using our registry.

  • NEW BUSINESS - Dalmatian/Pointer Cross - The Board discussed the issue of the Dalmatian/Pointer cross and the registration of descendents of the original crosses. There was a motion by Mr. Marden, seconded by Mr. Goodman to deny registration of these dogs at this time. This motion failed with the VOTE (affirmative: Mr. Marden, Mr. Goodman, Mrs. Strand, Dr. Garvin, Mr. Ashby; opposed: Dr. Haines, Dr. Newman, Ms. Scully; Mr. Kalter, Dr. Smith; abstaining: Mr. Menaker, Dr. Davies, Mr. Arnold). Staff was directed to compile additional information and the matter will be discussed at the October meeting.

  • Senior Conformation Judges Association Request The Board reviewed a request from the Senior Conformation Judges Association (SCJA). The SCJA sought a meeting between the three national judges groups and the AKC Board to discuss the issue of judging fees and related matters AKC staff had already met with representatives of two of the judges groups in connection with the Houston Kennel Club show, to solicit their input and feedback, within the last month. SCJA has been contacted by the Judging Operations staff on at least three occasions, offering to meet to discuss this. There has been no SCJA reply. The Board saw no need for the requested meeting, and SCJA will be advised accordingly. The Board did discuss the issue of judging fees in light of  the input received to date. This will be considered further at the October Board meeting.

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