Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your Feedback is Needed!

The Dog Show Superintendents' Association released a survey today asking what people think of the new Group Realignment proposed by the AKC. If you haven't been following this story, AKC has been working since 2008 on this initiative. Basically, it splits the current 7 groups into 11 groups by subdividing the Hound, Working and Sporting Groups according to function, and then shuffling around some breeds to more closely fit their functions to the group descriptions. The Miscellaneous group would disappear entirely, and breeds currently in that group, or awaiting admission to it, would be assigned directly to the other groups.

For example, the Hound group would be divided into Sighthounds and Scenthounds. Looking at the proposed realigned groups by breed (current as of July 2011), the Scent Hounds look pretty much as they have, with the addition of the Treeing Tennessee Brindle. The Sight Hounds include some breeds that have been in FCI and/or CKC shows for years (the Azawakh and Sloughi), plus a new breed called the Cirnecco dell'Etna, or Sicilian Greyhound. The CdE is currently an AKC FSS (Foundation Stock Service) breed, and has been admitted to the current Miscellaneous Class this month.

Here in Beardie-land, the Herding Group remains largely unchanged. Some of the breeds that had been added to the Herding Group would be moved to other groups after realignment. We get to stay right where we are.

As with every change to the way dog shows are held, the repercussions reach farther than to just the name of the group you're showing in. Remember that the change affects everyone from judges to hosting clubs to parent clubs to ring stewards. Speaking just as a humble ring steward and as a newly-minted Chief Steward who already has her work cut out for her finding enough warm bodies to cover seven rings every day... all I can do is cry "Uncle!".

Not that these changes will show up right away. The implementation date for the realignment would occur in 2015 sometime.

(And, as with every change, we all know that the ultimate aim is to give more money to the AKC. We know their employees have to eat too, but geeeeez.)

With all the repercussions in mind, the DSSA survey attempts to capture the concerns of a wide variety of dog fanciers, from the ringside spectators to the handlers to the judges. They'd like to hear from you, too!

Take the survey here.

Background Reading

If you'd like to catch up on the proposal and how it affects your breed/group, here are some links to follow. All of these are PDF files from the AKC website.

So... What Do You Think?

What do you think of the Group Realignment? Will your breed be affected? Is your all-breed club prepared to cover the additional expense and need for warm bodies? Is your Judges' Selection Committee tearing its collective hair out? Growth and change are inevitable, but that doesn't mean that they're always easy.

1 comment:

Jacki said...

We're in bulldog land, there's no where we can go from non sporting! Everything the AKC does claims its to get more people involved in exhibiting, but just because you need more people doesn't mean more people will participate. I think the regrouping itself makes sense, but I'm not sure about all the rest of the effects it will bring.