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AKC: The American Kennel Club

AKC

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The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the nation’s oldest purebred dog registry. The American Kennel Club is a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting purebred dogs, the sport of purebred dogs, and proper breeding practices for exact type and function. You can not register a hybrid dog with the American Kennel Club.

History Of The AKC

Twelve wealthy men and dedicated sportsmen created the American Kennel Club on September 17, 1884, in Philadelphia in the rooms of the Philadelphia Kennel Club.

Each of the twelve founding members was a representative of a dog club that already held benched dog shows and had run field trials. Therefore, the American Kennel Club was in fact an organization of Clubs across the USA or “Club of Clubs.”

On the next meeting on September 17, 1884, at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, the members adopted a Constitution, Show Rules and By-Laws. Also, the American Kennel Club got its first president, Major James M. Taylor.

The AKC opened its first office in 1886 at 44Broadway in New York City. Three years later in 1889, the American Kennel Club published the first issue of The AKC Gazette.

By 1905 the American Kennel Club had 110 club members and additional 500 associate members. It was between 1905 and 1907 that the KAC established a point system for all dog breeds.

In 1932-33 the American Kennel Club presented the first book of rules.

By 1956, five million dogs were registered with the American Kennel Club.

In 1981, the American Kennel Club numbered 25 million registered dogs.

In 2018, the American Kennel Club’s headquarters moved from Madison Ave to 101 Park Ave.

The American Kennel Club In Numbers

The American Kennel Club has seven major dog groups.

These are:

  • Working 
  • Sporting
  • Herding
  • Terrier
  • Non-Sporting
  • Hound
  • Toy

The total number of AKC-recognized dog breeds is currently at 197. The first registered dog breed with the AKC was a Pointer and the last one currently is the Biewer Terrier.

According to AKC, they register about half a million dogs every year.

The AKC organizes events in which dogs and handlers can compete. These shows are divided into three categories:

  • Conformation shows
  • Companion events
  • Performance events

Criticism

Critics point to the fact that AKC dogs suffer from a variety of genetic disorders. Around 25% of the AKC registered purebred dogs have at least one hereditary genetic problem.

Therefore, some breed clubs don’t want to join the AKC out of the fear that this would ruin the genetics of their breed.

Also, the AKC has no breeding standard and prohibits member clubs from imposing more strict standards of breeding.

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