Thursday, October 23, 2008

Report of the AKC Group Realignment Committee - October 13, 2009

On October 8, 2007, the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club, appointed an exploratory committee, chaired by Dr. Thomas Davies, to evaluate the current alignment of breeds within the seven variety groups, to determine if a different alignment would better serve the Sport now and in the future, as new breeds become registrable.

The Committee included: Karen Burgess, Dr. Thomas Davies, Robert Fisher, Marieann Gladstone, Tim James, Dr. Alvin Krause, Dr. William Newman, John P. Nielsen, Dr. Robert Smith, Robin Stansell, and R. William Taylor.

The committee met together three times, and has discussed its recommendations via email, as well. The initial basis for the discussions centered on the increasing number of new breeds being brought into the AKC Stud Book, as well as the number of breeds awaiting acceptance currently in the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) listing.

In its deliberations, the committee considered several sources of information. The historical data suggested that the makeup of the groups for conformation judging was by no means a static listing. There were many changes in the distribution of breeds for show purposes (and for listing in AKC’s Stud Book), and, in fact, no official, recorded group judging appears to have occurred prior to 1924. Group awards became official in 1925 with competition in five groups (Sporting, Working, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting). In 1930 the Sporting Group was split into the Sporting and Sporting (Hound) Groups. In 1983, the Working Group was split into the Working Group and the Herding Group.

The committee also considered two (non-official, non-scientific) polls, neither of which, in and of themselves, demanded a particular realignment. The general sense, however, was that it was time to do something about the burgeoning sizes of several of the groups, as well as the actual makeup of breeds within groups. The Delegate’s Dog Show Rules Committee had conducted a short survey which indicated that about 75% of the respondents favored change. A much larger survey (1341 responders) appeared on the web site where only 17% of the respondents suggested that things were fine as they stood.

The first few months of the committee’s existence was taken up by a thorough study of the Group system and a more detailed understanding of the history, form and function of the various breeds within the current group structure. Additionally, the makeup of groups around the world was reviewed.

After careful examination of the groups and the breeds that make them up, the committee decided that two of the current groups, which in a short time span could approach 40 breeds, can easily and logically be divided into two similar components. The Sporting Group can be divided into Sporting – Pointers and Setters, and Sporting – Retrievers and Spaniels. Functionally, this split made sense to the committee. Secondly, a logical division of the Hound Group would be Scent Hounds and Sight Hounds.

The third major change would be the creation of a new group, consisting of the Northern or Spitz type breeds. To populate this new group, we took the Norwegian Elkhound (from the Hound Group); the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the Samoyed (from the Working Group); the American Eskimo, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Finnish Spitz, Keeshond, Schipperke and Shiba Inu (from the Non-Sporting Group); and the Swedish Vallhund (from the Herding Group). The Parent clubs of these breeds were contacted and asked for their input.

We also chose to rename the Non-Sporting Group, since in fact it is (in addition to non-sporting) a nonhound, non-working, non-terrier, non-toy and non-herding group. After struggling with an appropriate name, we selected the Companion Group as the "new” name for this group.

In addition to moving the above mentioned Northern/Spitz breeds into a new group, we considered the group placement of several other breeds, which we considered as possible candidates for relocation. Each of these was based on careful study of the history, form and function of the particular breed. In each case, the Parent breed club was contacted and asked to weigh in on their thoughts. Each of those contacted chose to remain in their current group alignment except two. The Italian Greyhound wished to move to the Sight Hound Group and the Dalmatian requested a move to the Working Group.

The committee did discuss the issue of varieties; however, it was felt that this was somewhat beyond the scope of our charge at this time.

Our recommendation would necessitate the addition of three groups to the listing currently in place (7 groups). This would require Delegate approval to make changes to Chapter 3, Sections 1, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 20, and Chapter 6, Section 3 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. 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 change.

The committee, by submission of this report, would request that 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 meeting of the Delegate Body, published in two issues of AKC Gazette, and voted upon at the March, 2009 meeting of the Delegate Body.

Attached is a listing of breeds and groups as proposed by the Committee.

Respectfully submitted,
The AKC Group Realignment Committee

AKC Group Realignment Committee – Proposed Breeds & Groups

From a presentation to the Delegates on September 8, 2008 by the AKC Group Realignment Committee

Group 1: Sporting – Pointers and Setters (11) (12)
Pointer (German Shorthaired)
Pointer (German Wirehaired)
Setter (English)
Setter (Gordon)
Setter (Irish
Setter (Irish Red & White) Miscellaneous 6/27/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Spinone Italiano
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Group 2: Sporting - Retrievers and Spaniels (17) (18)
Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)
Retriever (Curly-Coated)
Retriever (Flat-Coated)
Retriever (Golden)
Retriever (Labrador)
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Spaniel (American Water)
Spaniel (Boykin) – Miscellaneous 1/1/08
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 (14) (17)
Basset Hound
Beagle (13”)
Beagle (15”)
Black and Tan Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound - Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Dachshund (Longhaired)
Dachshund (Smooth)
Dachshund (Wirehaired)
English Foxhound
Foxhound (American)
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Redbone Coonhound – Miscellaneous 9/1/08
Treeing Walker Coonhound – Miscellaneous 1/1/09

Group 4: Sight Hounds (11)
Afghan Hound
Ibizan Hound
Irish Wolfhound
Italian Greyhound
Pharaoh Hound
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Scottish Deerhound

Group 5: Working (23) (25)
Anatolian Shepherd
Bernese Mountain Dog
Black Russian Terrier
Cane Corso – Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Doberman Pinscher
Dogue de Bordeaux
German Pinscher
Giant Schnauzer
Great Dane
Great Pyrenees
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Leonberger – Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Neapolitan Mastiff
Portuguese Water Dog
Saint Bernard
Standard Schnauzer
Tibetan Mastiff

Group 6: Terriers (28) (29)
Airedale Terrier
Australian Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Border Terrier
Bull Terrier (Colored)
Bull Terrier (White)
Cairn Terrier
Cesky Terrier – Miscellaneous 7/1/08
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
Scottish Terrier
Sealyham Terrier
Skye Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Welsh Terrier
West Highland White Terrier

Group 7: Toys (21)
Brussells Griffon
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua (Long Coat)
Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)
English Toy Spaniel (Blenheim & Prince Charles)
English Toy Spaniel (King Charles & Ruby)
Japanese Chin
Manchester Terrier (Toy)
Miniature Pinscher
Poodle (Toy)
Shih Tzu
Silky Terrier
Toy Fox Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Group 8: Companion (11) (12)
Bichon Frise
Boston Terrier
Chinese Crested
French Bulldog
Lhasa Apso
Poodle (Miniature)
Poodle (Standard)
Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Terrier
Xoloitzcuintli – Miscellaneous 1/10/09

Group 9: Herding (20) (21)
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Bearded Collie
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Tervuren
Belgian Sheepdog
Border Collie
Bouvier des Flandres
Canaan Dog
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Collie (Rough)
Collie (Smooth)
German Shepherd
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Pyrenean Shepherd – Miscellaneous 1/1/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Shetland Sheepdog

Group 10: Northern (13) (16)
Alaskan Malamute
American Eskimo Dog
Chinese Shar-Pei
Chow Chow
Finnish Spitz
Icelandic Sheepdog – Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Norwegian Buhund – Miscellaneous 1/1/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Norwegian Lundehund – Miscellaneous 7/1/08

Norwegian Elkhound
Siberian Husky
Shiba Inu
Swedish Vallhund