AKC Group Realignment Proposal

Memorandum for AKC BOD and AKC Delegates Subject: Group Realignment – The time has come

In October, 2007, the AKC Board of Directors appointed a committee to evaluate the existing alignment of breeds within the seven variety groups and determine if a different alignment would better serve the Sport.

In 2009, the committee reported its recommendations to expand the number of groups from seven to ten and to move breeds from the current groups to the new groups. The proposal was scheduled to be voted on at the March 2010 Delegate meeting.

At the March, 2009 Delegate meeting, the Committee recommended that the proposal be referred back to the BOD, as additional information had rendered a vote premature. The BOD subsequently referred the action back to a re-formed Realignment committee, which began its work in 2010.

In accomplishing its task the Realignment Committee met in person, via conference call and through email coordination. In its study, the committee considered the current groupings, the previous comments from all stakeholders, the development of AKC record keeping and event management software, the numbers of breeds in the recognition pipeline and AKC plans for streamlining the breed recognition process, and the parallel work of the AKC Judging Approval Process committee. A composite of Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) that provide detail is included in this summary
Significant changes in the Groups include splitting the Working Group into three groups, the Hound Group into two groups and the Sporting Group into two groups. A listing of proposed Groups as well as a suggested composition is included in this summary.

Note that this is a two-step process. The first step will be the approval by the Delegate Body for the addition of four groups. The Board of Directors will then be tasked with the placement of breeds within those groups. It is expected that the reasoned input of the fancy will be an integral part of the placement.

The committee recommends the addition of four groups to the listing currently in place (7 groups). This change which requires Delegate approval to amend Chapter 3, Sections 1, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 20, and Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. Concurrently, the committee notes that it may be useful to remove the reference to the number of groups from all of the above sections, except Chapter 3, Section 1.

In addition, Chapter 2 of the Rules Applying to Registration and Discipline refers to the number of groups, and would require Delegate approval to amend.

The committee, by submission of this report, requests the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club, in accordance with Article XX of the Bylaws of the American Kennel Club, propose and submit the necessary amendments to the Delegate body, to be read at the December, 2011 meeting of the Delegate Body, published in two issues of AKC Gazette, and voted upon at the March, 2012 meeting of the Delegate Body.

Respectfully submitted,
The Realignment Committee


Why realign the groups?

The proposed Group Realignment will
• Align breeds that are similar in conformation, structure or function
• Improve judges’ education by building on similarities
• Accommodate new breeds within the groups
• Increase entries/enhance exhibitor experience by prov iding additional opportunities for group placement
• Improve spectator understanding of dog shows

Why now, when the proposal two years ago was set aside?

A number of factors influenced the decision to postpone the Realignment Initiative. Most of those issues are now resolved, or are on parallel timelines to implement solutions. Revision is inevitable, or the current scheme becomes unmanageable.
With entries declining, how can AKC justify enlarging the number of Groups?
AKC recently revised the process for accepting new breeds. As these breeds gain full recognition, and begin appearing in our events, the current groups will become unmanageable. Additional groups bring additional positive competitive opportunities for our exhibitors.

If we do nothing what happens to sizes of the Groups?

As of 7/1/2011 Current 2014 Projected (adding Miscellaneous)
Sporting 29 39
Hound 28 41
Working 28 42
Terrier 29 31
Toy 23 25
Non-Sporting 20 23
Herding 26 38

Can’t we just divide fix the large groups and avoid moving other breeds around?

Incremental solutions only solve half of the problem, but not at half of the cost. After reviewing the comments from the previous proposal, and understanding the impact that new breeds will have, the committee felt that a comprehensive revision now would mean we should not have to revisit the groups in 3, 5 or 10 years.

What’s different about this proposal?

A major concern with the 2008 proposal was that the projected size of the working group was not addressed. This proposal answers that concern.

How long will this take to implement?

Current estimate is 3 years from approval to implementation. Assuming approval would occur in/before mid- 2012, implementation would be mid-2015.

How do these groups align with other organizations?

There was no attempt to mirror any other organization’s structure. There are similarities – and differences – to FCI and others.

What input do Parent Clubs have in this process? Will they have opportunity to determine what which group their breed is assigned?

The committee took into consideration the previous comments of all stakeholders. Cogent, well-supported Parent Club inputs will be given due weight by the AKC BOD in placing breeds into groups. In the long term, however, the groups will be based on an overall plan to enhance the Sport.

Eleven groups?

Group 1: Sporting – Pointer & Setter
Group 2: Sporting – Retriever & Spaniel
Group 3: Scent Hounds
Group 4: Sight Hounds
Group 5: Working – Utility
Group 6: Working – Molosser
Group 7: Working – Spitz
Group 8: Terriers Group 9: Toy
Group 10: Non-Sporting
Group 11: Herding
• Sporting group: Divided into Pointer/Setter and Retriever/Spaniel breeds by considering both physical form and function
• Hound group: Divided into Sight and Scent by function and the physical characteristics related to each
• Working group: Divided into Working-Utility (multi-purpose breeds which vary in ancestry and function), Working-Molosser (generally dogs of the Mastiff type) and Working-Spitz (breeds which have common physical characteristics and ancestry.)
• Terrier Group: Unchanged
• Toy Group: Toy Group: one breed moved to another group and one breed added.
• Non-Sporting Group: Based on similarity of form and function, Spitz-type breeds were moved to Working-Spitz. Non-Sporting name is retained
• Herding Group: Several breeds moved to other groups. Remainder of composition unchanged

With this many groups won’t shows take longer?

The administrative time to move additional groups in and out of the ring(s) should not add more than five to ten minutes. Groups can also be judged concurrently. Of course, more entries resulting from realignment could mean shows would become longer—and that would be a good thing.

How much more will this cost for AB clubs?

The club determines actual costs based on what it decides to award. Should the club opt for rosettes, estimated pricing is $35-$50 per each additional group. Prizes are also at the discretion of the show-giving club. Note: Rosettes and/or prizes are not required by the Rules.

How will realignment affect the approval of judges?

AKC has developed a favorable package for judging approval which relaxed some requirements and enables judges to attain approvals on a compressed time frame.

What about existing group clubs?

When realignment is implemented, Group Shows may only offer competition for breeds in the new groups. A breed or variety may only be eligible to compete in one group and that would be the new group to which it is assigned. Existing Working, Hound, Sporting and Non-Sporting clubs eligible to hold AKC events at the time of implementation, may concurrently hold shows for the two new Sporting or Hound Groups, the three new Working Groups, and the Non-Sporting Group may hold shows for the Non-Sporting and Working-Spitz groups. There may be no inter-group competition, nor Best in Show at these events. When a club offers competition within the new groupings, they would be treated as two separate, but concurrently held, Group Shows. There are currently nine approved Sporting, eighteen approved Hound, ten approved Working and seven approved Non-Sporting Group Clubs.



The Groups – projections with breeds currently in the Groups, Miscellaneous Class and Foundation Stock Service
(numbers based on inclusion of new breeds and some movement within the groups, as some breeds are recommended for reassignment)

Group 1: Sporting Ð Pointers & Setters
(18 breeds)
Bracco Italiano Brittany
Drentsche Patrijshond
Pointer (German Shorthaired)
Pointer (German Wirehaired)
Portuguese Pointer Setter (English) Setter (Gordon) Setter (Irish)
Setter (Irish Red & White)
Small Muenstenlander Pointer
Spinone Italiano Stabyhoun
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Wirehaired Vizsla

Group 2: Sporting – Retrievers & Spaniels
(21 breeds/varieties)
Lagotto Romagnolo
Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)
Retriever (Curly-Coated) Retriever (Flat-Coated)
Retriever (Golden)
Retriever (Labrador)
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Spaniel (American Water)
Spaniel (Boykin)
Spaniel (Clumber)
Spaniel (Cocker)
ASCOB Spaniel (Cocker)
Black Spaniel (Cocker)
Parti-color Spaniel (English Cocker)
Spaniel (English Springer)
Spaniel (Field)
Spaniel (Irish Water)
Spaniel (Sussex)
Spaniel (Welsh Springer)

Group 3: Scent Hounds
(21 breeds/varieties)
American Foxhound
American English Coonhound
Basset Hound
Beagle (13 in)
Beagle (15 in)
Black & Tan Coonhound Bloodhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Dachshund (Longhaired)
Dachshund (Smooth)
Dachshund (Wirehaired)
English Foxhound
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Portugese Podengo Pequeno
Redbone Coonhound
Treeing Tennessee Brindle
Treeing Walker Coonhound

Group 5: Working-Utility
(19 breeds)
Anatolian Shepherd
Appenzeller Sennenhunde
Bernese Mtn. Dog
Black Russian Terrier
Doberman Pinscher
German Pinscher
Giant Schnauzer
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Great Pyrenees
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Portuquese Water Dog
Saint Bernard
Slovensky Cuvac
Standard Schnauzer

Group 6: Working-Molosser
(20 breeds)
Cane Corso
Caucasian Ovcharka
Central Asian Shepherd Dog
Dogo Argentino
Dogue De Bordeaux
Estrela Mountain Dog
Great Dane
Neapolitan Mastiff
Perro de Presa Canario
Rafeiro Do Alentejo
Spanish Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Group 7: Working-Spitz
(24 breeds)
Alaskan Malamute
American Eskimo Dog
Chinese Shar-Pei
Chow Chow
Finnish Lapphund
Finnish Spitz
German Spitz
Icelandic Sheepdog
Kai Ken
Karelean Bear Dog
Kishu Ken
Norwegian Buhund
Norwegian Elkhound
Norwegian Lundehund
Siberian Husky
Shiba Inu
Swedish Vallhund

Group 8: Terriers
(31 Breeds/varieties)
Airedale Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Australian Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Border Terrier
Bull Terrier (Colored)
Bull Terrier (White)
Cairn Terrier
Cesky Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth)
Fox Terrier (Wire)
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Irish Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Lakeland Terrier
Manchester Terrier (Standard)
Miniature Bull Terrier
Miniature Schnauzer
Norfolk Terrier
Norwich Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier
Rat Terrier
Russell Terrier
Scottish Terrier
Sealyham Terrier
Skye Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Welsh Terrier
West Highland White Terrier

Group 9: Toy
(23 breeds/varieties)
Brussels Griffon
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua (Long Coat)
Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)
Chinese Crested
English Toy Spaniel (B & PC)
English Toy Spaniel (KC & R)
Japanese Chin
Manchester Terrier (Toy)

Group 10: Non-Sporting
(14 breeds/varieties)
Bichon Frise
Boston Terrier
Coton de Tulear
French Bulldog
Lhasa Apso
Poodle (Miniature)
Poodle (Standard)
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Terrier

Group 11: Herding
(30 Breeds/varieties)
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Bearded Collie
Belgian Lakenois
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Tervuren
Berger Picard
Border Collie
Bouvier des Flandres
Canaan Dog
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Catahoula Leopard Dog
Collie (Rough)
Collie (Smooth)
Czechoslovakian Vicak
German Shepherd Dog
Lancashire Heeler
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Polish
Lowland Sheepdog
Pyrenean Shepherd
Shetland Sheepdog
Spanish Water Dog

The Realignment Committee
Tom Davies, Chair
Karen Burgess
Steve Gladstone
John Nielsen
Robin Stansell
Bob Smith
Joan Savage Sporting Group
Nancy Perrell Hound Group
Bo Gloster Working
Bruce Voran Working
Cathy Nelson Terrier
Sally Vilas Toy
Maggi Strouss Non-Sporting
Johnny Shoemaker Non Sporting
Patte Klecan Herding

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