For the past one hundred twenty five years, the American Kennel Club has been the nation's premier advocate for dogs and the people who love them. Today, we are delighted to tell you that AKC can now act even more broadly and effectively as the dog's champion. Our Board of Directors has voted unanimously to proceed with a program for mixed breed dogs. The creation of this program ushers in new opportunities for our constituencies, our clubs and our organization to grow and flourish in many ways.
Our goal in including mixed breeds in a specially designed system is to bring benefits to all those who share our passion for dogs and our sport. Companion clubs will see opportunities to increase entries, attract new members and educate more people. AKC will broaden its legislative influence by representing more dog owners and achieve greater exposure for our responsible dog ownership messaging. Ultimately, the positive developments that this program creates will benefit dogs the most, and this is what we value above all.
Please take a moment to review the program description below which outlines the structure and details of the program. Your participation in this process has been invaluable, and we thank you and your members for playing an important role in this great accomplishment. Now, more than ever, we are the dog's champion.
The Board and Staff have been considering a program for mixed breeds since January 2005. After extensive research, including gathering feedback from AKC Delegates, AKC Clubs, and mixed breed dog owners, the Board unanimously approved a program for mixed breed dogs at the April 2009 Board Meeting. This followed the non-binding resolutions passed by an overwhelming majority of the Delegates at the March 2009 meeting asking the Board to reconsider a program for mixed breeds.
The details of the program are presented below. Thank you to all Delegates, club officers, and club members who have provided feedback over the years. The program, which includes a Listing Service and Competition Eligibility, is a result of many years worth of research. You have been an integral part of the process and the feedback received has been invaluable.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding this new program.
Effective October 1st, 2009, mixed breed dog owners can list their dogs with the AKC's new mixed breed program.
* Dogs in the program will be issued an ID number.
* Dogs must be spayed or neutered.
* The fee for the program will be $35.
* In Phase I, listed dogs will receive:
** A certificate of participation
** A competition card, with their identification number. This number allows mixed breeds to compete in AKC Agility, Rally, and Obedience events
** Access to a community of dog lovers interested in supporting all things canine, including the AKC Humane Fund
** Affiliation with an organization that:
*** Actively supports the right to own and breed dogs responsibly by fighting anti-ownership legislation at the local, state, and federal level
*** Donates millions to canine health research, making all dogs healthier in the long run
*** Proactively responds to disasters like 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, reaching out to all dog owners in need during stressful times
The Listing Service will be enhanced in Phase II. In Phase II, effective July 1, 2010 participating dogs will also receive:
* Discounted enrollment in the AKC CAR Lost & Found service, which includes a collar tag and 24-7 recovery services
* An AKC Supporter window decal
* Free CGC certificate for dogs that pass a CGC test
* Copy of The New Puppy Handbook and/or sample of Family Dog magazine
* Free initial veterinary visit
* Trial offer of pet health insurance
* Discount coupons to an online dog store
The Listing Service will be enhanced again in Phase III, allowing owners of mixed breed dogs to have access to interactive website with fun features such as forums, picture contests, dog care video downloads, information on pet-friendly businesses, advice from experts, etc. The effective date for the new website will be determined in the future based on the needs of those enrolled.
++ Competition in Companion Events
Effective April 1st, 2010, the competition parameters governing mixed breed participation in AKC Agility, Rally, and Obedience events:
* AKC clubs will have the option to hold a class for Agility, Obedience, or Rally events. Those clubs electing to hold mixed breed classes will offer the same classes for mixed breed dogs and purebred dogs.
* Mixed Breed classes can only be held at standalone AKC Agility, Obedience, and Rally Events. The class could not be offered at All Breed Shows, Group Shows, or independent specialties, even if Agility, Obedience, or Rally events are being held.
** The definition of standalone AKC Companion event is an AKC Agility, Obedience, or Rally event that is not held on the same date AND show site as an AKC all-breed show or independent specialty.
* Mixed breed dogs will compete in separate class divisions from AKC purebred dogs.
** The club is not required to hold the classes in separate rings under separate Judges. The purebred classes can be held in the same ring, under the same Judge, as the mixed breed classes. Placements and titles will be scored and awarded separately.
** For example, in Agility in the Regular class, all purebred dogs entered in the Regular 16 inch class will run, followed in the same ring by the mixed breed dogs entered in the Regular 16 inch class.
* Allows event-giving club to decide if group exercises in Obedience, specifically long sits and downs, should be combined to save time or should be completed separately. The club is not required to hold the classes in separate rings under separate Judges. Placements and titles will be scored and awarded separately.
* Mixed breed dogs will earn different titles from purebred dogs.
** Mixed breed dogs will earn titles with a Mixed Breed suffix (i.e. NAM-Novice Agility Mixed Breed)
* Dogs competing in the class will be eligible to earn similar (but separate) titles as purebreds, including MACH-M (Master Agility Champion Mixed Breed), OTCH-M, and RAE-M.
* Dogs competing in classes will NOT be eligible for National Championships or Invitational events.
The mixed breed concept that was approved has strong support from AKC Delegates and other key fanciers.
* In a strategic planning survey in January 2005, 65% of the responding Delegates either supported mixed breeds in AKC competition or had no opinion on the issue.
* In a telephone survey of 84 all-breed, training, and specialty clubs that hold agility and obedience trials, 78% supported AKC clubs having the option to offer classes for mixed breeds at their trials.
* In a Fancier Survey completed by 21,017 exhibitors, Delegates, club members, club officers, and dog owners in February 2007, 70% of respondents agreed AKC clubs should have the option to offer classes for mixed breeds at Companion events. 67% of exhibitors, 65% of Delegates, 65% of club members, and 60% of club officers agreed.
The Delegate Body has been consulted on five occasions regarding a mixed breed program. In addition to the two surveys mentioned above in which Delegates participated:
* President Dennis Sprung addressed the Delegates in his December 2006 President's speech. At this time, he asked for the Delegates advice and assistance in developing a potential program for mixed breeds.
* In June 2007, the results of the Fancier Survey referenced above were presented to the Delegates. Two briefing sessions were conducted on Sunday, June 10th. Staff collected feedback during these briefing sessions and presented the results and the consolidated feedback during the Forum on Monday, June 11. Feedback received during these sessions was incorporated in the follow-up presentation to the Board in October 2007.
* In June 2008, President Sprung presented an overview of the Mixed Breed listing service to the Delegates and asked for feedback on four outstanding questions. Specifically, 1) Should AKC appear in the name of the affiliate organization administering the program, 2) Should group exercises such as the long sits and downs in Obedience be completely separate or should they be combined for mixes and purebreds to save time, 3) Do club bylaws prevent mixed breed classes, and 4) Is a $35 fee for a mixed breed listing reasonable? The speech and questions were distributed to Delegates at the meeting and posted on the Delegates-L. A reminder was sent on July 22, letting clubs know of the extension to submit feedback up until the August Board Meeting. AKC received survey responses from 61 clubs, including 34 All-Breed Kennel Clubs, 21 Parent Clubs, and 6 Dog training Clubs. The feedback was incorporated into the final plan being presented to the Board this month.
* At the September, 2008 Delegate meeting and again at the March 2009 Delegates meeting, non-binding straw polls of the Delegates indicated overwhelming support for a Mixed Breed listing service.
Our mailing address is:
American Kennel Club
8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27617-3390