President and AKC Delegate Messages

President's Message:

Summer has finally arrived. . .I hope you and all of your four legged friends enjoy lots of fun time together outdoors.

The Wachusett Kennel Club's "peak season" is upon us. Our three day August shows will return to the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro, MA. We will start it all with our "Novice Night" including Beginner Novice, Novice, Preferred Novice and Wild Card Novice obedience classes in addition to two Rally trials - the first starting at 3PM followed by the second at 5PM on Friday August 18. Our back-to-back all breed shows and obedience trials will be held on August 19 and 20. We will again offer the "PeeWee" event Saturday, 4-6 month Puppy competition both days, Puppy Groups on Saturday and Bred-By Groups on Sunday. We'll need lots of help from our members and friends to put on the class events exhibitors have come to expect from our club - let us know how you'd like to help by signing up for one of the jobs.

Five weeks later, our back-to-back Agility trials will return to the newly renovated and expanded American K9 Country in Amherst, NH on September 23 and 24. Contact our trial chairs, Alice Thayer and Cara Armour, if you can help out one or both days that weekend as ring crew, helping with ribbons, or our popular worker raffle.

We rely on the help of our members and friends to make these events the success area exhibitors have come to expect from our club, and our club policies now require each member to work at least one day at one of our club activities to remain a member in good standing.

Finally, as required by our Constitution and By-Laws, a nominating committee has been appointed to select the Officers, three Board Members, and our AKC Delegate. Angel Smith is Chairperson of the Committee, with members Sheila Bennett and Lindsey Serafini. Please contact one of them if you have feedback on the club or its leadership as they do their work during July and early-August.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer - I'll see you at upcoming area shows and trials, our August shows, and September agility trials.

John W. Seeley

AKC Delegate Message:

The Quarterly Meeting of Delegates was held in Newark on June 13. At the meeting delegates were advised that at the September meeting we will be updated on the new AKC website which is to launch in November.

From Board minutes of the April Meeting:

In the first quarter, both Litter registrations and dog registrations are up 7% over 2016.

In 2016, total entries across all sports were up by 37,000. Entries in Performance Events and activity in the CGC program were at all-time record highs. Agility grew with the introduction of the Premier class and the ACT class. The decline in conformation entries was the smallest in 13 years. Two new sports were launched - Fast CAT and Farm Dog Certified. Junior Showcase Events were approved in order to promote Junior participation in companion events.

2017 initiatives include the launch of AKC Scent Work, the AKC Trick Dog program, the Achiever Dog pilot program, the conformation Puppy of Achievement pilot program, and the addition of two new classes in Rally.

From the Board Minutes of the May Meeting:

Breeder of Merit Levels of Recognition
The Board approved a recommendation for tiered levels of recognition in the Breeder of Merit (BOM) Program based on titles earned by dogs bred. The purpose for this enhancement is:
(1) provide an incentive for breeders to encourage their puppy buyers to become involved in AKC sports since accomplishments will reflect back on their breeding program, and
(2) provide recognition to those long-term successful breeders that have produced numerous titled dogs.

These tiered levels will be effective October 1, 2017.
Breeder of Merit (Current) - Minimum of 4 dogs earning titles.
Breeder of Merit Bronze - Minimum of 10 dogs earning titles with at least 5 earning prefix titles.
Breeder of Merit Silver - Minimum of 25 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 15 being prefix titles.
Breeder of Merit Gold - Minimum of 50 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 30 dogs having earned prefix titles.
Breeder of Merit Platinum - Minimum of 100 dogs earning titles with a minimum of 60 having earned prefix titles.

The Board approved a recommendation to allow protective footwear for dogs in AKC Tracking tests. On occasion, sites used for AKC Tracking tests have dangerous foxtail and thorny plants as well as lawn chemicals and broken glass. Chapter 2. Regulations for Performance and Judging Section 24. Protective Clothing. Dogs may wear a protective coat and/or footwear. If worn the coat, tracking harness and footwear must be put on in the presence of both judges.

AKC Director Steve Gladstone died in Australia on a judging assignment with his wife in early June. Not known (to me) when the AKC Board will vote on his replacement.

Respectfully submitted,
Virginia Rowland

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