One Step at a Time
The American Kennel Club (AKC) maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and currently lists 189 breeds. There is a process to list a breed with the AKC, and the USLHC embarked on that process over 10 years ago with the formation of the US Lancashire Heeler Club. Club members registered their dogs with the AKC FSS (Foundation Stock Service). This was the first step taken towards full breed recognition by the AKC.
Three years ago, the club moved from FSS to Miscellaneous Class by making a written request of the AKC. To qualify for Miscellaneous Class the following criteria must be met.
A demonstrated following and interest (minimum of 100 active household members) in the breed (in the form of a National Breed Club).
A sufficient population in this country (minimum of 300-400 dogs), with a three-generation pedigree. Dogs in that pedigree must all be of the same breed.
Geographic distribution of the dogs and people (located in 20 or more states).
AKC must review and approve the club’s breed standard as well as the club’s constitution and by-laws. Breed observations must be completed by AKC Field Staff.
The USLHC continues to pursue full breed recognition by registering dogs born in the U.S., participating in conformation, agility, shows, workshops, seminars and breed ambassador opportunities. Participation in these events as well as titles won are recorded and periodically provided to the AKC in a update report.
It is challenging to participate in the AKC recognition programs, but the USLHC members believe it is well worth the effort required to introduce this tiny drover to the U.S.