How Do New Dog Breeds Get Recognized?
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How Do New Dog Breeds Get Recognized?

The AKC (American Kennel Club) is the authority on all things doggie-related, including recognizing new breeds of our furry four-legged friends.  Three new breeds that have been identified and recognized by the club are the Azawakh (Oz-a-wok), the Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes (NAYpderhr-lahn-she KOY-kehr-hahnd-jeh) and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen.

These dog breeds are more than a mouthful of hard to pronounce names, they are actually representative of breeds of dogs that have existed for centuries without being officially recognized.

It’s Complicated

It’s a little more complicated to be recognized by the AKC than you would imagine.  According to the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for the AKC, Brandi Hunter, these steps include:

  1. Official request: There needs to be a documented request from a domestic or foreign dog registry.  These entities must officially recognize the breed.
  2. Register with the AKC Foundation Stock Service: The next step is to register the desired breed with the AKC FSS, which is a service that keeps records for unregistered purebred dog breeds.
  3. Fill out the questionnaire: The dog breed must have a history of at least 40 years.  The questionnaire will include an outline of breed standards and photos of both males and females as puppies and adults.
  4. Compete in Miscellaneous Class dog shows: Brandi explains that a new dog breed can compete in the Miscellaneous Class before they are recognized. This is a bridge between the FSS and AKC recognition as a breed.
  5. The Miscellaneous Class status will last between one and three years. During this time, the dog’s supporters must form a national club of at least one hundred members from 20 different states.  More dogs will be bred and enrolled in the FSS, and the dogs must begin to participate in AKC events.
  6. Meet the minimum requirements for AKC FSS registration: The requested dog breed needs three generations of pedigree with 300 dogs listed in the AKC FSS.

Even after meeting these stringent requirements, the dog breed may still not be recognized by the AKC.  One example of a dog breed stuck in AKC limbo is the Belgian Laekenois, who has been in the Miscellaneous Class for nearly eight years.

When the breed finally earns its recognition from the AKC, it can finally register with the AKC and officially compete in AKC events.

Even this is subject to requirements; while the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and the Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes received clearance to compete in the 2019 Westminster dog show, while the Azawakh received its clearance on the first of January of this year,  and is still only able to compete in the hound class.

The Azawakh will be cleared to compete in prestigious shows like the Westminster dog show in February of 2020.

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