The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 197 different dog breeds as of February 2021. You might think that is more than enough. However, there are probably hundreds of dog breeds around the world that the AKC does not recognize. To be a recognized breed, the AKC defines a recognized breed as:

A breed that is officially recognized by the American Kennel Club is able to compete fully and at the highest levels in AKC-sanctioned dog shows, and it has one designated national “parent club” that is the sole steward of its standard—the official breed description used as a blueprint by breeders and judges alike.

How Does a Dog Breed Become AKC Recognized?

There are more than 60 dog breeds included in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS). The AKC’s purpose for the FSS is to provide a way for breeders to keep records as they develop breeds that may qualify for full recognition in the future.

Once a dog breed has established some following in the United States, a minimum of 150 dogs with 3 generation and at least one club to represent the breed, the dog breed is moved to the Miscellaneous Class. Dog breeds may remain in the Miscellaneous Class for an indefinite period before gaining full recognition by the AKC.

Foundation Stock Service Dogs