Raring for recognition
D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
What do the Cirneco dell'Etna, the Kooikerhondje and the Xoloitzcuintli have in common? Well, yes, your spell check will spit them back every time. But other than that, they're all breeds in the AKC's Foundation Stock Service.
The AKC recognizes 155 breeds out of the hundreds of pure breeds in the world. For many fanciers fo non-AKC breeds, the ultimate goal is to have their breed AKC recognized. Yet it's not an easy road. One of the most daunting roadblocks is the requirement of keeping records of dogs and pedigrees. This task has usually fallen to various breed fanciers, which can be a problem. People get sick, they get sick of dog clubs, the files are lost, nobody as a back up, and generations of breed information is gone for good. Even when the records are safe, arguments arise over claims of fraud or favoritism. In 1195, the AKC launched its Foundation Stock Service to serve as a repository of rare-breed records, including pedigrees and ownership, in their computerized database.
Many rare-breed clubs breathed a sigh of relief and jumped at the change to let someone else (in this case, an organization with more than a century's experience) do all the work. But not all rare-breed clubs were happy. Some clubs saw it as AKC's attempt to hijack their breed's records, making it easier for them to bring their breed into the AKC fold of officially recognized breeds. It's true that the easiest way for a breed to become an official AKC breed is to start in the FSS. But that's what upsets some clubs.
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