Thu, 01/19/2023 - 6:04pm

Viva Las Vegas …

And, yes, the Delegates Meeting!

May I be the first to say to all, “Happy New Year”!

It was a good year for me, as I am off all my AKC breed provisionals and I will not be applying for more breeds, as four groups are enough for me. My health has been good and that I am proud of. I judged lots of shows in 2022, and thank you to the clubs who hired me and trusted in me to do a good judge of judging, and hope I did not disappoint you. 

The exhibitors have all been good, and I have seen some really good dogs and a few not so good. My feeling now is that while some of the breeds have improved and the breeders are doing a good job,some breeds need to go back and look at the breed standard and try to breed by those words and not their own terms. 

In my breed, Poodles, we are still not there, with some things such as tail sets and fronts, and now we are having problems with feet. I am not saying that we are in dire straits … but remember it takes a long time to fix fronts and tail sets … so get started on this. There are some who have stepped up to the plate and taken care of business … but our breed needs more.

The trip to Orlando was great. I actually got upgraded to first class twice! The AKC National Championship Dog Show Presented by Royal Canin was also first class!  This year the total entries were 9,300! Thanks to Dennis Sprung, Michael Canalizo, Gina Dinardo and others, including the people at Royal Canin; it was a great experience. The show was the idea of former AKC Chairman of the Board and my dear friend, Ronald Menaker, and without him and his hard work there would not be an AKC National. Ron is no longer with us, but his memory and his many accomplishments live on. Miss you, my dear friend.

Let me now concentrate on the delegate meeting. The meetings were held on the Thursday and Friday before the AKC National Championship shows. Some of the most important information was from my dear friend, President Dennis Sprung, who stated, “We are ending the year at an all-time high. In 2022, more than 25,000 events were held, with a total of approximately 3.5 million entries. We are grateful to each of the exhibitors, clubs and judges that made these incredible numbers possible, including those of our AKC National Championship, the largest dog show in North America with over 9,300 entries. Congratulations to Doug, Tim and the staff. On another note, registration continues to be in a positive position with litters remaining slightly higher; however, individual dogs are down about 9%. Looking ahead to 2023, there are numerous marketing initiatives planned to enhance our brand awareness, encourage participation in AKC sports, reach new dog owners, and improve our customers’ experience. And lastly, we are thrilled to bring AKC Meet the Breeds back to New York City after more than two years of COVID detours. We are very fortunate to return to the Javits Center with ample space and proud to report that more than 120 clubs have signed up to educate the public about their breeds. As you may recall our last New York event welcomed and educated more than 25,000 attendees about our unique breeds, responsible dog ownership, and finding the breeds that fit their lifestyle. We are grateful to our parent and local club volunteers for their participation in making this event a success. “

It was also reported that ESPN has renewed its contract with AKC and will air nine AKC events a year. That is a good thing, as we need more exposure to our sport and the various activities we offer.

Vet Outreach has been presented several hundred times as reported by Susan LaCroix Hamil. Susan does a great job on the Canine Health Committee and with the Canine Health Foundation, and she also breeds great Bloodhounds. In 2022, CHF awarded more than $3.4 million in 54 research grants across 18 different research program areas, including multiple educational grants. Some of those grants were for Dal Blood Group, Congestive Heart Failure, Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease, Epilepsy (three grants), Hyperthermia, Gut Health and Working Dogs grant, which assesses the ability of different computer models to predict performance and health traits that support success in various working roles. 

There was a survey sent out by the Delegate Advocacy and Advancement Committee regarding AKC delegates being allowed to charge a fee for judging. The overall response was in favor of this change to the bylaws to allow judges to charge fees as their fellow judges do. This restriction on delegate judges being able to charge a fee was added to the bylaws in 1934! A vote to rescind it has come before the delegate body and was voted down many times before. I hope that this time it will pass. The majority of those surveyed, or 81 percent, voted YES: Judges should be able to charge a fee.

I hope the Bylaws Committee passes it and sends it to the board and then to the delegate body. Judges spend a fortune getting the necessary CEUs to be approved to judge various breeds. I should know, as I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to be approved for my four groups! Delegate judges work just as hard as those who are not delegates and should be compensated for that work. I know some of the delegates will vote against this, as they think clubs will not hire them. Look at the number of judges who are not delegates, who judge almost every weekend and charge fees to judge. If you are a good judge and draw entries, clubs will hire you, and if you are not so good … just study and get better and see what happens.

We had more than 20 new delegates introduced at this meeting! I do not know why there is such a big change in the delegate body and why lots of delegates are replaced. It happened to me years ago without my knowledge, and it also happened last year to another dear friend of mine. I do not know why clubs do this! If you want to replace a delegate, please, clubs, have the decency to speak to the outgoing delegate and tell them the reason you are replacing them. Lots of time it is a control thing with certain people in the club, and that is not right. I felt horrible when it happened to me years ago, and that feeling still exists. Thanks to the Redwood Empire Kennel Club for stepping up and allowing me to be their delegate!

The Canine Health Foundation put on a wonderful party. The theme for this year was VIVA LAS VEGAS, which is right up my alley … as I live in wonderful Las Vegas. Of course, I had to dress up for the occasion. My attire was in the color of gold and with the gold came sparkles … jacket and my shoes and my hat and I had lots of fun and photo opportunities. Look at the picture and see what you think. I also was filmed by my dear friend Julie Lynn Mueller, dancing my heart out to the crowd. That video has more than 2.5 million views! Kind words were also said, and I appreciate it, as most audience seekers do.

Dr. Charles Garvin is working very hard on the Preservation Breeders Group and the Preservation Bank. This has been a subject before the delegate body for a long time. With the help of breeders such as Doug Johnson and William Shelton, progress is happening, along with the Genetic Diversity Testing.

There will be more information from the Group Realignment Subcommittee in March 2023. I have mixed feelings on this. Some groups are getting very large. Years ago, I was on this subcommittee, and we were not successful getting this done. I think at the big shows you will perhaps have all the breeds in a group, but not very often. Other kennel clubs across the world have more groups, and it seems to work for them. But I somehow do not think it will work here. I have judged at shows that only had very few of the breeds represented. I am anxious to see what this subcommittee comes up with.

The Dog Show Rules Committee Chapter 6, Section 2, was discussed regarding adding language for clarity that notification must be included in the premium list if neutered or spayed entrants are permitted to compete in non-regular classes at an independent specialty or all-breed dog show that does not offer groups or Best in Show. Also in Chapter 11, Section 8, it adds “and all other single entry non-regular classes,” expanding the classes where neutered dogs or spayed bitches may be allowed to compete.

As you know, on January 1, 2023, the Onsite Show Secretary Program begins. The program was developed to provide all-breed clubs with smaller shows and group clubs an alternative to hiring a superintendent to fully manage their event. The program requires an AKC-licensed superintendent to perform the pre-show work and then provide event documents and materials to an onsite show secretary who manages the day-of-show activities for the club. This arrangement is commonly referred to as a “package show.”

Individuals who successfully complete an AKC approval process will be recognized as an approved onsite show secretary and be allowed to manage up to 18 all-breed or group shows per calendar year. A list of AKC-approved onsite show secretaries will be posted on the AKC website. There is no AKC fee to become an AKC-approved onsite show secretary. I was chairman of this subcommittee, and I thank each of its members for all their hard work and the help of the AKC staff and board members.

Effective January 1, 2023, dogs entered in regular classes will have the opportunity to earn championship points for Group 2nd, 3rd and 4th placements. As defined in Chapter 16, Section 2, of the AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows, a dog in its breed competition at a show that has placed as Winners, and which also has finished second, third or fourth in its group competition at the same show shall be awarded championship points figured at the highest point rating of any breed or recognized variety of any breed entered in the show and entitled to Winners points in its group, exclusive of any breed or variety that placed higher in the group class.

For the health of each club and the sport, the AKC encourages clubs to establish and support a Junior Coordinator position in their club. The person in this role will coordinate the support, participation and growth of juniors in the club’s area. The club should submit the name and contact information of their Junior Coordinator to the AKC so that the AKC can provide direct updates, guidance and resources. For more information, contact the AKC Juniors department at

The AKC Event Operations team maintains a blog that contains these, as well as other, updates to clubs. The blog is a useful resource of information and can be found at

In the past, 2019 was the record year for events and entries in AKC’s history. Now in 2022 there is a new record from 3,310,962 entries in 2019 to 3,510,000 in 2022! That is a 6 percent increase with events. In 2019 there were 22,786 events and in 2022 there was 25,200 events with a 10.6 percent increase. There was a 7.4 percent increase from 2019 for all AKC events (Oct YTD).

Sheila Goff reported that retail pet-store bills nationwide are designed to get rid of breeders. New York just passed a bill preventing pet stores from selling any dogs other than rescues. All Politics Is Local: Go There First!

The delegate body in March 2023 will be really busy with the AKC board election. Four people are running, and each gave their presentation to the delegates in December 2022 and answered questions submitted by the delegate body.  I already know who I am voting for.

Chief Financial Officer Theodore Phillips, who I think is the BEST EVER that the AKC has had, presented these third-quarter results:

From September 2021 YTD, there were 619,685 dogs registered, compared to September 2022 with 563,978 dogs registered. In September 2021 there were 245,718 litters registered, compared to September 2022 with 248,628 litters registered. In Sports and Events there were 15,680 events with 2,308,461 entries in 2021, compared to 2022 with 18,701 with 2,607,730 entries as of September of each year. There were operating revenues of $80.4 million, with Registration & Events Fees, $56.1 million; Advertising, Sponsorship & Royalties, $14.4 million, and Product and Service Sales, $9.2 million. Operating Expenses were $61.6 million, with Professional Fees, $11.4 million; Fulfillment, $8.8 million; Insurance, Rent & Depreciation, $8 million; Donations, $3.7 million, and Staff, $28.6 million. Financial positions in 000s as of September 30, 2022: total assets of $235,886, net assets of $115,340, and liabilities of $(120,546).

As I was writing this article I learned of the death of Mrs. Lee Canalizo. Lee is the mother of our dear Michael Canalizo. She was also a wonderful judge who made exhibitors feel very comfortable in the ring and was friendly to everyone. She judged five groups and BIS. She will be missed by so many people, and I send my love to Michael and his family on this very sad day.

As we enter 2023, please keep your friends close to you and let them know how much you love them. Call them and check up on them. Keep in contact with them, as you know one day they may not be with us, and if you share your love with them you will have no regrets.



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