AKK JOURNEY TO AKC
Words from the Breed Founder
The Alaskan Klee Kai Club of America (AKKCOA), which I started in August of 2002 with the goal of achieving AKC recognition, has received notification from the FSS (the Foundation Stock Service part of the American Kennel Club) that they are in the process of starting to set up the Alaskan Klee Kai breed information in their database. This will happen over the next few weeks to months.
As you know, the AKK was accepted by UKC (United Kennel Club) in 1997 and in other smaller registries prior to that. However, partly because many AKK lovers have expressed interest over the years to reach out to the AKC for recognition of our breed, and partly because of my concern to lock in the breed standards as I originally intended the breed to be, a small group and myself have been working for several years now to try to achieve AKC recognition. I have also had numerous requests from Alaskan Klee Kai owners in several of the 23 other countries our breed now resides in encouraging us to seek AKC recognition as this will help the breed be recognized as an ‘actual breed’ in their own countries.
This didn’t happen overnight. AKC was concerned with numbers of both dogs and breeders, health issues, history and the number of years making that history happen. Therefore, we were told on previous submissions that we were not yet ready. AKC believes we are now ready for the next step. The FSS is sort of like the lowest rung on a ladder. You don’t just get accepted by AKC and show at Westminster the next year. It’s a much slower process. Typically, we see an AKC breed of dog at a show and don’t think about how much effort, over many years, went into that breed being allowed to be there in the first place. The following paragraph I have copied from the acceptance letter we have received to help you understand this process better.
“Although not all fanciers record their dogs with FSS® with the goal of pursuing full AKC recognition, many do seek eventual recognition. Full recognition allows breeds to compete in all AKC Conformation Events, although some FSS® breeds that meet requirements can qualify to compete in AKC Companion and Performance events. Typically, it takes many years of work from dedicated fanciers to move a breed from the FSS® to full recognition, and the formation of a national breed club is essential to support this process. Fanciers must prove that there is enough interest in the breed and that breeders have used breeding practices that ensure the dogs in the AKC studbook are purebred.”
When I started the process of introducing the AKK to the public, creating AKKAOA as the initial registry and then as a club, and finally on to UKC, it was to share the love of this breed and to help protect and better the breed. This intent has not changed and I hope that AKKAOA and UKC will continue with the good work they have done over the decades. AKC requires a separate parent club representation. This club, AKKCOA, is not replacing AKKAOA, but is an extension into the additional AKC world of possibilities while still protecting the standards, pedigrees, and well-being of the AKK. Therefore, in the coming months, once AKC lets us know they are ready for us to move forward, the Alaskan Klee Kai Club of America will begin all the next steps of building a recognized breed club for AKC FSS with memberships, elections, meetings with minutes, dog events, and enrolling dogs and litters in the Foundation Stock Service. We are looking forward to working with you through these future steps, and showing AKC that the Alaskan Klee Kai, and the people that love them, have earned a more visible, yet protected, introduction to the world.
This announcement comes with a variety of emotions on my part as I believe it is a mixed blessing. The likelihood that this will make the dogs more desirable also makes them more valuable and more people whose breeding practices are not done with good intentions may take advantage of the opportunity. However, much to my dismay, I already see the AKK in pet shops and in the hands of terrible backyard breeders. These undesirable situations already exist and although I dread the thought of possibly helping make it worse by more people becoming aware of them, I also believe that protecting the breed by solidifying the breed standards is of primary importance and that is my chief goal. I would certainly hope that honest, conscientious, ethical breeders will prevail with breeding programs that will influence the breed in a positive manner.
I know this all seems slower than many of you believe it should be, but please remember I have been working on this with AKC since 2002 so I am quite aware it all takes time. When more information is available, we will let you know.
Thank you all for supporting and protecting our beautiful breed in UKC, AKC and most of all, in your loving homes.
Linda Spurlin, Alaskan Klee Kai Breed Developer
October 28, 2020