Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) legislation

January 3, 2012


The American Kennel Club and our Washington, D.C.-based advocacy team continue to closely monitor the federal Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) legislation introduced last spring as Senate Bill 707 (S.707) and House Bill 835 (H.R. 835). Each of the bills has been assigned to the Agriculture Committees of their respective chambers. To date, no hearings have been scheduled and no formal action has been taken on this bill.

PUPS would purportedly require anyone who owns or co-owns dogs that produce 50 or more puppies offered for sale in a 12-month period to be regulated under existing USDA dog “dealer” regulations. These regulations are designed for high-volume commercial kennels that produce puppies for wholesale, and require a USDA commercial license, maintenance of specified commercial kennel engineering standards and regular inspections.

The AKC does not oppose the general concept of reasonable regulations for high volume breeder/retailers. However, the PUPS bill is misleading because such regulations would hurt responsible small breeders who raise only a few litters of puppies each year in their homes, while also reducing the availability of resources needed to enforce against abusive or negligent operations.

The AKC also has a number of serious concerns with the bill as introduced and does not support this measure. These concerns include:

* Definition of “breeding female” as an intact female dog aged 4 months or older. This definition is misleading because female dogs are not sufficiently mature at 4 months of age to be bred. Additionally, such a definition should not be necessary if a “high volume retail breeder” is to be based on sales, rather than the number of dogs owned.

* Definition of “high volume retail breeder” as someone with “an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs.” This definition is overly broad and does not take into account the tradition of co- and joint ownerships common among dog show participants, sporting dog trainers, hunting club members, and other hobbyists. Additionally, a reference to the number of dogs owned by a breeder is unnecessary and potentially misleading in legislation that does not limit ownership rights per se.

* Current exercise language is overly vague and should be clarified to ensure that the daily exercise requirements do not preclude use of legitimate training or exercise equipment or other types of physical activity.

* This legislation calls for exponentially expanding the numbers of breeders regulated and inspected by the Animal Care division of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). However, a May 2010 audit of this program by the USDA’s own Inspector General demonstrated that the existing inspections program is insufficient to carry out current responsibilities. The AKC believes these issues and full funding for the current program should be addressed before attempting to exponentially expand the program’s responsibilities and workload.

AKC Government Relations and our Washington-based advocates will continue to closely monitor the activities of key members of Congress, policy committees, and their staff for any developments regarding PUPS. We are committed to keeping our constituents updated via email and the AKC website. Updated information about PUPS and other legislation is available online at http://www.akc.org/news/sections/legislative_alerts.cfm or by clicking on “US Fed” on AKC’s online legislative tracking system.

The AKC encourages all responsible dog owners and breeders to stay active in your community as a role model for responsible dog ownership and breeding and to educate your legislators about potentially misleading legislation that could harm responsible dog owners and breeders.

Although PUPS is not actively being considered in Congress at this time, we encourage responsible dog owners and breeders to share their concerns about this measure with their federal representatives. Use the following links to find out the names and contact information of your member of Congress and your Senators. For more information on effectively communicating with your legislators and other tools and information to help you, please visit the AKC Government Relations Toolbox and AKC GR newsletters links on the AKC Government Relations webpage.

View AKC Policy on Responsible Breeding Practices

View AKC issue brief on responsible breeding practices

View AKC issue analysis: The Value of Responsible Dog Breeders

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

AKC Registration, Transfer, and Co-Ownership Restructured Fees


The AKC Board of Directors voted unanimously at its October 2011 meeting to
restructure the individual dog registration and co-ownership fees. This new
fee structure will allow AKC to continue its good works for all dogs,
including canine health research donations, search-and-rescue dog grants,
lost dog recovery, kennel inspections, monitoring canine legislation, and
promoting responsible dog ownership among other programs. AKC can also
continue to provide the same level of quality vital services to clubs,
exhibitors and breeders. This is the first registration fee increase since
2007 despite the continuing economic challenges facing the country and as a
result the sport of purebred dogs.

As of January 1, 2012, the first-time individual dog registration fee and
each basic transfer of ownership fee will increase to $30 per dog. This new
fee structure also includes modifications to co-ownership. With the
first-time individual dog registration as well as any subsequent transfer of
dog ownership, one (1) primary owner will be listed with the $30
registration or transfer fee. In addition, a $10 fee will be added for each
additional owner listed on the registration certificate.* The primary owner
will receive the official AKC Registration Certificate and each additional
owner will receive an e-mail only copy of the registration certificate. The
e-mail copy will be clearly marked COPY, will not display the certificate
issue date, and will not have the transfer form on the back.

Owners of AKC Registered Dogs will still receive the same benefits as before

. AKC Registration Certificate

. Complimentary Trial Pet Health Care Insurance

. Eligibility to Participate in AKC Events

. New Puppy Handbook and Optional discounted Registration Packages

As the nation’s only not-for-profit registry, we look forward to the
continued support of dog owners through registration with the American
Kennel Club. Together we will overcome the current challenges of the
economy and continue our good works on behalf of all dogs.

*Co-owners of dams registering litter members to the litter owners will be
exempt from this additional fee.

New Rule Will Limit Importation of Puppies for Resale in the United States

[Friday, September 02, 2011]
Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) distributed proposed rules that provide guidance to federal agencies tasked with enforcing a 2008 law that amends the federal Animal Welfare Act. This measure limits the importation of dogs under the age of 6 months into the United States for the purpose of resale. The proposed rule is necessary to implement this law and further ensure the health and welfare of America’s dogs. The AKC believes the proposed regulations, as written, are a reasonable interpretation of the statute.

Read full article (link)