Report to the USKBTC Board and USKBTC Members on
Attendance at the AKC Parent Club Conference in Durham,
NC on August 27-29, 2010
It was a wonderful conference in all respects, and it
greatly exceeded my expectations. The conference was an
eye opener for me and gave me some much valued insight
into the running of a Parent Club.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the conference as the
participants, presenters, and AKC staff were all uniformly
courteous and comfortable to be around. I am going to try
and summarize the weekend and not bore people with
details. If you do not have an interest in a topic don’t worry,
I didn’t either. However, please read the part about
Legislative Issues as this is very crucial to our
THE AKC TOUR
The afternoon of the conference started on Friday with my
3:00 p.m. tour of AKC in Raleigh Durham led by Jack
Norton, AKC Compliance Chief. I will now be able to
connect names with faces like Tabitha Sheppard of Event
Operations . What a great facility.
1. AKC Companion Animal Recovery
Tom Sharp welcomed us. AKC/CAR is the largest
not-for-profit recovery service in the world and offers a
variety of micro chipping programs for clubs and assistance
with micro chipping clinics. Over 4 million pets are
registered. In 2007, the AKC/CAR ID system launched
microchips and scanners. CAR’s Proscan 700 reads all
chips in the U.S and the ISO Microchip was launched in
The Microchip is an identification device and not a GPS. It
is tiny, inert, with no power supply. The scanner has the
power. Feel free to call CAR anytime for help. The cost is
$19.95 for lifetime enrollment. Over 380,000 pets have been
reunited with their owners. Every pet gets a CAR collar tag
and CAR gives back to the community by supporting search
and rescue groups and it donates scanners to rescue
2. Club Officers Forum
This meeting on Friday night was well attended beginning at
8:15 p.m. and ran until nearly 10:30 p.m. Each attendee,
and there were a lot of breed club presidents, ex-presidents,
and VP’s present, introduced themself identifying the breed
club, membership size, and the main concern or problem
area in their club.
Most of the clubs that had representatives appeared much
larger than the USKBTC. It was reported the Goldens had
2,300 members. Problems shared usually had to do with
rescue, cliques, power struggles, following or not following
the By-Laws and Robert’s Rules of Order, implementation
of a new illustrated standard ( one club mentioned a 14
year battle over an illustrated standard), a Code of
Ethics, breed standard revisions, the need for more and
better civil communication between the board and the
membership, lack of juniors and people to move up to take
the old timers’ places, breed education, getting members
active, a sense of fairness in the club, finances, cost of the
club publication, how to stop the fighting, etc. Some of these
we have seen as issues in the USKBTC.
After every representative finished with their brief
introduction, we looked at identifying common themes.
Mike Liosis spoke from his perspective at AKC on
By-Laws and Robert’s Rules. Clearly some of the clubs
struggled with following the By-Laws “most” of the time.
The moderator spoke of a perceived need for a training
program for new club presidents as there was a lot to know
and much at risk. Know the Robert’s Rules and the
By-Laws was the common theme. Mike Liosis from the
AKC mentioned that presidents have to be fair, act
presidential, know the cliques and know you can’t break
them up, but have to work with them. Delegate
responsibility, since you can’t do it all.
3. Docking and Cropping
There are two handouts for this presentation which are
available on the AKC web site.
4. and 5. On-Line AKC Help and Electronic Print
There were handouts on the AKC organization and on-line
help. For the resource room, I gave a copy of our rescue
forms, Blueprints and Illustrated Standard. I also made
available a number of articles that members have sent in. I
was thanked by a number of terrier people and other
6. Eukanuba Welcome
We were welcomed at 8:15 a.m. by Jason Taylor of
Eukanuba. Peter Pieusz of AKC also spoke later. Jason
said that we influence people as club presidents and that
parent clubs have power.
This is the 4th Parent Club Conference. We are historians of
the past and guardians of the future. One goal of the
conference is to help parent clubs collectively deal with
problems and learn from each other. It appears that the
same problems go on from club to club. Another goal of the
conference is to strengthen the bond with AKC. We were
asked to send in copies of what we publish regarding the
The rescue survey was addressed and a copy was in the
handouts. There were 142 responses out of 171 rescue
October 16th is the next large “Meet The Breeds” event at
the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.
7. AKC—Parent Club Communications: Roles and
Functions of AKC
Dennis Sprung, AKC President and CEO talked about what
parent clubs do for AKC, the “Meet The Breeds” event last
year in NYC, the need for on-going PR work to promote
our clubs, the AKC, dog show events, and pure bred dogs.
He said the economy is a challenge and that registrations are
down. “We are you and you are us.” He mentioned how
AKC raised $3.5 million in the aftermath of 9/11 and
mentioned the dog statues placed at strategic points in NYC,
He told us how AKC secured in minutes the urgently needed
equipment to take in rescue dogs after the World Trade
Center was destroyed. In a personal story, he mentioned
that at one point someone in security at ground zero asked
what those dogs were doing here? Then someone hollered
out the AKC connection, and the rescue dogs were waved
on through to help. It was a very compelling story that
makes us appreciate what these dogs can do.
On a lighter side, he gave us a story of someone who
followed a particular judge around because he had success in
the past only to be surprised and upset at the second place
ribbon he again received for the second time in a
row. He took the ribbon home and told his wife that he got
second again and didn’t want to talk about it.
When the wife looked at the ribbon, she noticed the date
was from months ago and was identical in all respects as to
the date and kennel club with the second place ribbon he
already had on the dresser.
John Lyons talked next about the registration initiative.
There is a handout that goes with this topic. John said there
was a big difference between “breeders with knowledge”
and puppy breeders as breeders come from different
backgrounds. Breeders guide and protect the
There is a new pilot called the AKC Breeder of Merit
Program which pays tribute to breeders in the fancy.
There is a special designation--Breeder of Merit-- on
registration certificates from AKC. This is an
acknowledgement with entitlements and benefits. It costs
nothing. To qualify, breeders in the fancy have to have 4
dogs with titles, be a member of an AKC club, go through
health screenings, and have all puppies registered. This is a
Pilot Program for 2 months and adjustments will be made.
Call Mari-Beth O’Neil of AKC or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org if
Mike Liosis talked next and his job is to approve clubs,
process By-Laws. He advised us to know your By-Laws
and Robert’s Rules. There are 5,100 clubs that hold AKC
events, 176 parent clubs, 144 member clubs, others are
FSS. He said there are 501(c)’s that haven’t filed with the
IRS since 2007. Clubs can retroactively file up until October
15th. We don’t want to lose our exemption. Mike said
AKC could assist us with By-Laws.
Next he talked about how parent clubs assist AKC. We
identify new officers so AKC information requests go to the
new secretary of a club. We should deal with our own
problems, that’s why we have boards, and advise AKC on
any local clubs that are being formed. Call Mike at
212-696-8237 if questions in Club Relations.
Robin Stansell, the AKC VP in charge of Event Operations
at 919-816-3646 talked about how we can help each other
with timely and complete submissions of results, judging
panels, and applications. His group is responsible for event
scheduling, questions, matches, etc. He said that his group
can do seminars around the country if we can get more than
30 people to attend at a cost of $35 per attendee. Robin
continued that parent clubs are required to approve local
specialties. The weekend AKC club hotline for help is
1-800-252-7895. (This is also the CAR
Next up was Lisa Peterson on Public Education. AKC has
a function on media outreach and so do the clubs. AKC
gets involved in “Meet the Breeds.” Regarding using
purebreds in the movies, AKC has an insert that goes in the
movie advising on purebreds, pros and cons of the breed,
etc. AKC prepared press releases on the Obama dog.
AKC communicates by e-newsletter and prepares
syndicated stories for newsletter dissemination. AKC
coordinates and prepares the parent club breed flyers.
Lisa’s number is 212-696-8360.
Mari-Beth O’Neil of Special Services addressed the
audience next. Her group directs FSS, ILP, Juniors and
works with foundation stock services, PAL applications,
registered kennel names, retired kennel names, and breed
Margaret Poindexter, AKC General Counsel spoke next
about access to affordable insurance for parent clubs through
Equisure. Coverage includes fidelity and crime, officers and
board. She is working on the rescue groups being insured
through Equisure and talked about the AKC inspections and
David Roberts talked about Registrations. Dave talked
about selling puppies and using the Breeder of Merit
Program to help.
Alan Kalter talked next about donors and conversations with
political people. We have an AKC Political Action
Committee which aggregates donations. We use PACs
to get OUR story told and the AKC PAC can use
donations. Sheila Goffe of AKC is taking the
donations. A DVD is coming to breed clubs. Contributions
are from individuals and not clubs.
All parent clubs need to be at the “Meet the Breeds” in NY
in October. We should network and share information.
(Editor’s Note: The USKBTC was represented at the Meet
the Breeds event with an educational booth and friendly
Kerries to greet the visitors.)
8. Financial Aspects of the Operation of a Parent
Ed Sledzik prepared a handout on taxes, qualifications to be
a treasurer, internal audit procedures, types of incorporation,
IRS requirements, etc.
9. Impact of Declining Presentations
To deal with the declining registrations, AKC cut expenses
and made tough choices. They had to cancel something.
Today the fancy is registering only 50% of our
puppies. There are problems in the registration
process. We give the buyers the papers but the breeders
need to follow up.
There are 6 Ways to 100% Registration :
- Register the litter and all the puppies
- Full limited
- Transfer ownership upon sale
- Unrestricted Dog Program
- The breeder sends in all the paperwork and AKC
John Lyons spoke next. He is the Chief of Operations,
Raleigh. We have a new Exhibitor Mentoring Program. In
the old days, people learned about dogs from bench shows
and match shows and spent time as a student. Overall the
entries for unique dogs (not multiple entries) in
conformation have declined 10.4% in 5 years:
Over 5,000 families a year try us and leave after 6
shows. New exhibitor mentor can help. Mentors
helped us along the way in the old days; the program just
wasn’t formalized with a name. Mentoring works in Judges
Education. The goal is to have new exhibitor and new club
mentors who aren’t breed specific.
Andrea Jordan Lane, Manager-Public Education, spoke
next. The program will be expanded down the road to
companion events and canine partners. There are 400
mentors to date and 800 mentees.
It was suggested we try at the local clubs “Associate
Membership” for new puppy buyers—if the local club
John Wade talked next about mentoring judges and
breeders’ education. We provide educational materials to
the judge (including the illustrated standard) and
positively promote the breed. We follow the breed standard
and paint a clear picture. We look to identify the essence of
--form and function
The parent club has to educate the judges.
10. On-Line AKC
The AKC website was discussed by Charley Kneifel. We
can all get on-line with an account. Just set it up, manage it,
and use it. There is a feature for event management for club
log in and a personal account.
11. Improving the National Specialty
Glenn Radcliffe was the main presenter and Karen Burgess
and Karen Mays were the moderators. Glenn talked about
some new fun ways to do some team building in this get
together event for a club. Sweeps and a Parade Lap were
discussed. However, his version of Sweeps was a bit novel
as you sponsor and then “bet” on a dog and thereby
becoming vested in that particular dog’s outcome. The
winner shares the winnings with the handler. He advised not
to do it every year. A question came up as to whether it was
legal? That has to be researched and the answer may vary in
the state the National is held.
There were handouts on Road Runner Derby and Dingo
Bingo. There was mention of a championship ring like a
Superbowl ring for BISS. It costs nothing. The
owner/winner has the right to purchase. A company called
Jasten produces it, and it is similar to a class ring. (Not a
dog show class.)
Another idea is to sell a 12 month calendar with the dates of
the National on it; can include local specialties too.
He talked next about a committee organization. Need a
standing committee with continuity of standing individuals.
Advantages are we/I did it before. Disadvantages are
staleness, burnout, and resentment.
Reinvent the wheel with a new group to run the National.
New ideas-advantage. Disadvantage-we don’t know what
we don’t know….The recommended structure is a standing
committee of key people. Make the grounds people and
others change year to year. Blend it. Hire a professional
planner. Professional meeting planners can do it for us, get
room deals for themselves, cost depends…
For the show location, it is as they say in real estate: location,
location, location. Karen Burgess said that Kansas was the
population center of the U.S. Do the National near an
airport. If you have a breed like St. Bernard’s that don’t fly,
an airport nearby doesn’t help you. Some breeds live in just
certain areas. Look for a second tier city. Big ones like
Philly, Seattle are going to be pricey. Pick Olympia rather
than Seattle in Washington State. (Pigeon Forge rather
Go where they want you and they don’t want you in a big
city. Take your spending history with you when you are
researching where to settle. Have your bar and meal figures.
Ask for financial support.
There is a time of year consideration. Go in the off-season
like a ski resort in summer. Go after Labor Day and before
Memorial Day. Go just outside a well known “tourist trap”
area. They can use the business.
How to locate a great site: AKC on-line and club reviews,
references from other clubs, Dog News, show
superintendents, Google searches, and dog show
photographers. Ask conventions and visitors’ bureaus
(CVB), do a RFP (Request for Proposal), determine local
resources. Ask the CVB to assist with bleachers, tenting,
expenses, discounts, tours, local service providers.
Do a hotel review, look at prior dog show usage. Go for
competitive room rates. All is negotiable and no inflation
factor to be built in the contract. Banquet and theme pricing
reduced. Go for 4 in a room to start with. Include
breakfast. Secure multiple nights’ pricing and go for 3 or 4
nights. Don’t worry about anyone coming for just a day or
two. Get your discounts by showing you can block the place
off and almost fill it.
Don’t expect and you don’t have to pay for stuff that is
already there: tables, chairs, etc. Ballrooms and side rooms
may not cost anything extra. It depends. ALL IS
NEGOTIABLE! “The devil is in the details.”
Go for a “slobber card” which can be 25% off bar drinks at
anytime for dog people who are staying at the hotel. Karen
Burgess has been doing the Show Chair job for the Shar Pei
National for 10 years. Know your people and what they
want and like. Do raffles and silent auctions of paintings and
grooming tables, etc. You can make $8-9K from each raffle
in 3 days. Write to Bissell or dog food companies for a
donation. Start early. There is an on-line tool, per Robin
Stansell, to do a search by state and division. Negotiate the
RVs with the hotel. Negotiate.
12. Governance-the Effective Operation of the Parent
Carl Holder and Mike Liosis were the presenters. For the
By-Laws, use the state requirement. Watch taking an action
without a meeting, give unanimous consent and then record it
for the record. There are state laws and club By-Laws. See
the Articles of Incorporation. Can only suspend Order of
Business with 2/3 vote. Robert’s Rules of Order are also
binding. Standing rules are administration. These are
policies which can be suspended by a majority vote. There
was a quiz in the packet. A special rule of order is not a part
of by-Laws. This has precedence over Robert’s
Five of the most commonly asked questions by parent
- Order of authority - a.State law and Articles of
Incorporation, b.C and BL, c.Rules of Order, d.Standing
- By-Laws related dispute—resolution, what, not who.
An objection must be raised in a timely manner. Call Mike
Liosis if questions. We are volunteers and not
- Missed constitutional deadlines like: Mail out was to be
the 7th, and we did it the 12th. Give the members 5 more
days to respond. Options available. How to rectify?
- Suspensions - There are club and AKC suspensions.
Club option is usually to match the AKC suspension. Be
consistent. Fairness principle. Look at alleged act and not
- Financial responsibilities - Constitutional requirement.
Legal implications. Treasurer makes reports and makes the
records available. It is an information exchange. Don’t need
a meeting for this. The Board of Governors has a
responsibility to ask financial questions and ask to see the
records. It doesn’t want to be on the hook with the IRS.
There are state filing requirements that have to be complied
with. Mike said there are no computer meetings unless
everyone follows up with “snail mail.”
13. Eukanuba Presentation
There was a handout in the packet for the 2009 Eukanuba
Breeder Symposium Proceedings. Jason Taylor was the
14.FSS & Miscellaneous Class Breed
15.On-Line AKC Help
16.Electronic and Print Resource Room
I attended the in-depth questions and answers on financial
aspects and did not attend the other options except I did visit
the resource room to review other club publications on
Saturday and Sunday.
Tom Sharp of AKC/CAR talked about giving back to
others. Paula Spector gave us updates.
18. Legislative Issues and the Parent
Patti Strand of NAIA and Phil Guidry of AKC (Legislative
Analyst) were the principal speakers. One of their roles is to
protect us from the animal rights extremists. Before the
target was purebred dogs, it was owls, Flipper, and
monkees. A good part of the attack was sensationalistic,
artificially created, staged, and it did move the public in the
Challenges: We do have pet related problems; the animal
rights efforts, and the media coverage. What’s at stake:
Ownership and options
Patti Strand’s history of involvement goes back to San
Mateo and the Oregon puppy mills. Pet overpopulation is
perceived as a major issue. This is an extremist movement
we are dealing with and not an AR movement.
A conflict fundraising industry:
- -identifies and exploits problems to raise money
- -artful use of the 1st amendment to defame people/
industries at will
- -have hundreds of millions of dollars
Will new providers arise to meet the demand? Where will
the source be for new dogs for the U.S.? Dogs from
breeders vs. dogs from shelters. There have been studies on
replacement. Trends: High rates of dog ownership will end.
We have to change the dialogue.
Propaganda: Focus on half empty vs. half full. The activist
focuses on black sheep. Memorize the good things that
AKC does and use them. Promote AKC as they gave $17
million to AKC CHF, have done 5,000 kennel inspections,
set up CAR, and managed 17,000 events. Advertise that
you have AKC purebred puppies, are a responsible breeder,
and then register every puppy.
Write letters to the editor. Call radio talk shows. Do on-line
social networking, give to NAIA Trust, read and act upon
legislative alerts. Have a clear vision of what you stand for.
Show up and meet the law makers. Mention economic
numbers. Solve problems. Become a subject matter expert
(Dr. Joyce Brothers, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Dr. Pepper
Schwartz). Know the facts, trends, and numbers. State
economic impact. Check the legislative alerts constantly for
your area on the AKC website.
NAIA offerings: Statistics, legislative software, studies,
brochures, position statements, a Trust and a lobbying
We as a community are under legislative assault. There were
1001 Federal and State bills in California in 2010. We are
hit over and over. Now we have an added layer. We have
to adopt a legislative agenda. We will lose what we have:
dogs, number of breedings allowed, etc.
There is no one perfect model. We want an active model.
Direct lobbying. Write opinion letters and perform media
outreach. Try an education model.
Use Twitter and Face Book. Know that the lawmakers are
following Twitter. We can get messages out. But they can
There is an AKC Government Relations website and a
legislative tracking program. Technology is a tool and not a
program. Empower our people to go beyond that. We
might need more training for outreach to impact legislative
processing. Build trust and find the next level. Move from
behind the computer screen to face to face.
Alliances: AKC/NAIA/State Federations/Other groups
opposed to “radical theology.”
Do coalition building with NRA and multiple interest teams.
Members’ interests are club interests. Deputize. Mobilize
the grassroots influencers. Develop a multi-influence
A key feature of a successful grassroots program is 365 days
a year. Activate the members 24/7. Go for face-to-face
meetings with legislators and members.
Have one go-to person and a committee. There are
opponents at the local level. Know how laws interact.
Establish a succession plan to take over. No social loafers
need apply. Need active and passionate people. The
message must be compelling, frequency balanced, and
transformational and not justtransactional.
Needs to be positive and energetic. The takeaway is
compelling. Go for relationship building. Remember that
messaging fosters team building.
Be aware of constituent fatigue from overkill and
under kill. Technology can be e-mails and groups. Watch
“group think” and avoid mob reaction.
19. Canine Health and Welfare
The panel was comprised of Dr. Haines, DVM, Eddie Dziuk
(OFA Chief Operating Officer), Dr. Smith, DVM and
President, OFA, and Dr. Graves, DVM. Parent clubs
encourage breeders to address health and welfare. We need
to help market puppies. Embrace new science, knowledge
and understanding. Design programs to promote
AKC-CHF is the world’s largest funder of canine health
studies. There are donor advised funds and they have a
canine health conference. There is Genome Barks outreach
and there is the on- line breed health survey. Over 25
breeds participated so far. Contact OFA on health clinics
and availability. There are free hip and exam
There is CHIC health testing and awareness and a DNA
repository. Some clubs have active foundations.
Dr. Smith reported that crossbreed dogs have more health
problems and the studies prove it. The British changed the
standards to force breed changes. The fault does not lie in
the standard. The wolf was here two million years ago.
Man and the dogs got together and there are different
theories on how this came about.
There are gene mutations and behavior traits. The breed
standard does not select for health problems! There are
illustrated standards. Extremes in prominent eyes or
recessed eyes predisposes to eye abnormalities. The
standard should be clear and not extreme.
In conclusion I can only say it was a thoroughly educational
event. We don’t know what we don’t know and we don’t
use fully what we do know.
Last Updated: 10/25/2010, 5:59 pm