The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized 197 dog breeds as of February 2021. You might think that is more than enough. However, there are probably hundreds of dog breeds worldwide that the AKC does not recognize. The AKC provides a pathway for dog breeds to become recognized by maintaining the Foundation Stock Service.
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 72 dog breeds included in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in 2022. 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.
What is a Foundation Dog
Once a dog breed has established some following in the United States, the AKC requires a minimum of 150 dogs with three generations and at least one club to represent the breed.
WHEN THOSE REQUIREMENTS ARE MET, the AKC moves the dog breed to the Miscellaneous Class. Dog breeds may remain in the Miscellaneous Class indefinitely before gaining full recognition by the AKC.
The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) program by the American Kennel Club (AKC) allows purebred dog breeds to be registered and tracked before they are eligible for full AKC recognition.
What is the purpose of the AKC FSS?
The primary objective of the AKC FSS is to maintain records and pedigrees of breeds that the AKC does not yet recognize. It serves as a step toward potential AKC recognition by documenting a breed’s history and registration and preserving its genetic diversity.
How does a breed become recognized by the AKC?
To become an AKC-recognized breed, a breed must gain enough popularity and demonstrate stable breeding practices. The FSS acts as an intermediate step where breeders and owners can establish a breed-specific club, maintain a sufficient population, and document a breed’s lineage and history.
Can dogs registered under the FSS participate in AKC events?
Yes, dogs registered under the FSS program can participate in various AKC events, such as performance trials, companion events, and certain breed-specific events. However, they cannot compete in conformation events until they achieve full AKC recognition.
How long does it take for a breed to gain full AKC recognition?
The timeline for a breed to gain full AKC recognition can vary. It depends on factors like the breed’s popularity, the stability of its breeding population, and the efforts of breeders and owners to meet AKC requirements. The process can take several years or even decades.
What benefits does AKC FSS registration provide for breeders and owners?
By registering a breed under the FSS, breeders, and owners gain access to AKC resources and support. They receive official AKC documentation, access to health and genetic testing programs, networking opportunities, and guidance from AKC staff to help establish and promote their breed.
Can the breed standards of FSS-registered breeds differ from AKC-recognized ones?
Yes, breeds in the AKC FSS are not yet fully recognized, and their breed standards might still be under development or subject to modification. As a breed progresses towards recognition, the AKC will collaborate with breed clubs to establish a standardized breed standard.
Are FSS-registered dogs considered purebred?
Yes, dogs registered under the AKC FSS are considered purebred. The FSS registration tracks and maintains the breed’s lineage and pedigree, ensuring the preservation of the breed’s heritage and genetic integrity.
Can owners of FSS-registered dogs change their dog’s registration category?
If a breed gains full AKC recognition, owners of FSS-registered dogs can transfer their registration status to the AKC’s fully recognized breed category.
Can non-AKC-registered dogs be registered under the FSS?
No, the AKC FSS program is specifically for registering purebred dogs and breeds that are not yet AKC-recognized. Dogs with non-AKC or mixed-breed backgrounds are not eligible for registration under the FSS.
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