Group Realignment Committee Report
The Board reviewed a copy of the report submitted by the Group Realignment Committee. It was VOTED (unanimously) to accept the report with the gratitude and appreciation of the Board; to direct staff to publish the report; and to encourage input.
General input should be sent to the Executive Secretary:
James Crowley, Executive Secretary
American Kennel Club
260 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Breed-specific comments should be submitted through the breed Parent Club.
A copy of the report, including the proposed realignment is attached (Attachment A). This will be considered by the AKC Board at its January 2009 meeting.
Any input should be received before January.
Report of the AKC Group Realignment Committee
October 13, 2008
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 Infodog.com 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 non-hound, 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.
The AKC Group Realignment Committee
Dr. Thomas M. Davies, Chair
Dr. Alvin W. Krause
Dr. William R. Newman
John P. Nielsen
Dr. Robert D.Smith
Robin L. Stansell
R. William Taylor
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 (Irish Red & White) Miscellaneous 6/27/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Group 2: Sporting - Retrievers and Spaniels (17) (18)
Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Spaniel (American Water)
Spaniel (Boykin) — Miscellaneous 1/1/08
Spaniel (Cocker) ASCOB
Spaniel (Cocker) Black
Spaniel (Cocker) Parti-color
Spaniel (English Cocker)
Spaniel (English Springer)
Spaniel (Irish Water)
Spaniel (Welsh Springer)
Group 3: Scent Hounds (14) (17)
Black and Tan Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound - Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Redbone Coonhound — Miscellaneous 9/1/08
Treeing Walker Coonhound — Miscellaneous 1/1/09
Group 4: Sight Hounds (12)
Group 5: Working (23) (25)
Bernese Mountain Dog
Black Russian Terrier
Cane Corso — Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Dogue de Bordeaux
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Leonberger — Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Portuguese Water Dog
Group 6: Terriers (28) (29)
American Staffordshire Terrier
Bull Terrier (Colored)
Bull Terrier (White)
Cesky Terrier — Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth)
Fox Terrier (Wire)
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Manchester Terrier (Standard)
Miniature Bull Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
Group 7: Toys (21)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Chihuahua (Long Coat)
Chihuahua (Smooth Coat)
English Toy Spaniel (Blenheim & Prince Charles)
English Toy Spaniel (King Charles & Ruby)
Manchester Terrier (Toy)
Toy Fox Terrier
Group 8: Companion (11) (12)
Xoloitzcuintli — Miscellaneous 1/10/09
Group 9: Herding (20) (21)
Australian Cattle Dog
Bouvier des Flandres
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Pyrenean Shepherd — Miscellaneous 1/1/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Group 10: Northern (13) (16)
American Eskimo Dog
Icelandic Sheepdog — Miscellaneous 7/1/08
Norwegian Buhund — Miscellaneous 1/1/07; Full Recognition 1/1/09
Norwegian Lundehund — Miscellaneous 7/1/08