Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Really AKC? Hello UKI!

I was one steamed individual last night. I'm still not terribly thrilled, but there's not much I can do about it. Why so frazzled, you ask? Because last night I received Secret's confirmation for the AKC trial we entered over in Oshkosh at the end of February. And along with Secret's confirmation was a note from the trial secretary stating that she could not accept my entries for "the other two dogs" (apparently All Americans don't even warrant being called by name) because this particular trial was not accepting All Americans.

Are you FOR REAL? It boggles my mind that there are actually still clubs out there making the choice to ban "mixed breed" dogs from their shows. Frankly, I cannot even begin to fathom why AKC allows the choice! If you have a Canine Partners program that allows me to register my non-AKC-recognized dogs, then for christ sake you should allow my dogs to play in any damn event you sponsor.

All of this is even more ridiculous considering the HUGE amount of publicity surrounding AKC/Westminster's choice to "allow" All Americans to enter their new agility trial this year (this weekend, actually). The press has been hugely positive about this change and it's doing a lot to remove the elitist stigma surrounding AKC. An International event like Westminster is able to open their doors to all, but the stupid little Doberman Pinscher Club of Greater Milwaukee is allowed to be close-minded and "doggy racist"?

How did this happen? Well, the first snafu is that clubs do not have to specifically state that All American entries are not welcome. Apparently by simply NOT stating that the trial is "accepting" All Americans, you are supposed to automatically assume that they are not welcome to walk through the doors. Nowhere at all in the premium does it state that they will not take entries for All Americans. Because I am still new to AKC and innocently thought that we don't have such ignorant and close-minded clubs around here, I missed out on this all important piece of information.

I also base all of my entries off what I find on www.labtestedonline.com. I am not wanting to bash this web site because it is seriously the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to trying to decipher all of the confusion that surrounds the AKC trial calendar and the entry process. Unfortunately an error was made on their behalf and they simply missed the fact that this trial was being run by a bunch of doggy bigots. I don't blame them; I mean, how many clubs are even doing that these days? And considering the premiums aren't actually made to state that they are being jackasses, it would be an easy thing to miss.

So.... I did not plan my February very well. This piece of news last night left me with zero trials for the month of February -- which, along with living in the frozen tundra with no agility opportunities to speak of, made me a little sad. There is a trial in Iowa that same weekend that DOES specifically welcome All American dogs in their premium, but I'm almost 100% positive that all of the AKC trials fill down there. I sent off an e-mail to check, but I don't hold out much hope. The trial closes this week and was a random draw.

Meanwhile... When I got up this morning there was an e-mail on the MN agility list reminding folks of the MAC UKI trial coming up in a couple of weeks. Hmm. I have long been interested in UKI and the fun courses they have, but to date there just hasn't been much opportunity around here. Several trials are popping up in MN, WI and IL now, though, so it's definitely becoming more feasible. In addition to the super fun "International-style" courses, UKI also offers NFC runs that allow you to train with a toy in the ring. Hmm. Who needs that? Why, Kizzy of course! This is sounding better and better!

So as of today, I now have three dogs registered in UKI. Apparently the UKI-registered name of "Secret" was taken already, so Secret's registered name is "Secret Is Amazing."  :o)  The two Klee Kai are their names plus "The Klee Kai." lol  No, I am not original when it comes to names. That's what you get when you force a registered name on me.

I put the two wee ones in everything on Saturday (the 15th), so they'll be running Gamblers, Agility, Jumpers, Snakes & Ladders (had to look that one up), and Speed Stakes. Secret is running everything but S&L, as I still don't really know what it is and she doesn't need or want 5 runs in a day.

Thanks to UKI's lateral registration, Secret gets to start right out at the top level! Huzzah! Kaiser is the next level down (Senior?) because no, NADAC titles don't mean anything to UKI..., and Kizzy is, of course, in Beginners. I have looked at some sample courses online and I think these will be good courses for her. I may just plan on the whole day being training, but I suppose we could see how the first couple of runs go.

To be clear, we are not done with AKC. While I am miffed at this particular club, it does not change the fact that to date we have been welcomed with open arms by all of the clubs and competitors we have met. I do STRONGLY feel, though, that AKC really needs to reexamine their policy of giving clubs the choice of whether or not to "accept" All American entries. I paid to register my dogs with the AKC. They have a valid AKC number. This should give me the right to enter any AKC event that I wish (excluding conformation, of course).

If AKC truly cares about their public image (which apparently they do, considering all of the hype surrounding mutts at Westminster), they will reconsider giving clubs this option. My other wish would be for competitors to stop supporting trials with these close-minded practices! It boggles my mind that this trial secretary asked me the following: "Would you like to write a new check for the one entry or receive a refund for the other 2 dogs?" Are you for real, lady? On what planet do you think I'm going to come support your trial after you wouldn't accept two of my dogs? I am still awaiting a response to my reply, but I tell you there will be hell raised if she tries to tell me that she's keeping my money for Secret's entry.


  1. Doggy bigots!!! Love it. Most of this was Greek to me, but I say hell yeah - if they have an AKC number you should be able to go to any event. I'd be emailing someone at AKC! But the other show sounds like fun and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

  2. I totally agree, but what do you expect...Dobe people still crop ears! Don't get me started on that! But, there should be no issue getting your money back as long as the trial hasn't closed. After that you'll have to argue your point, which FWIW, I think is valid.

  3. Wow! The only AKC trials around here that don't allow the mixed breeds are the ones that are also doing conformation at the same time. But even that one allows them now...

  4. I'm not sure if there are still some clubs in the Twin Cities that don't allow mixes. Originally not all trials here were open to mixes.

    There was quite a bit of discussion initially that if clubs allowed mixes there might not be room for all the pure breds in the trials. My response as an owner of a mixed breed dog was ...... "don't worry about it I don't think there are tons of us waiting to join you. We have actually been busy with ALL the other venues". So anyway by leaving it up to the clubs to decide, the AKC doesn't have to make a stand and they get to look like the good guys. They just let the clubs be the bad guys. Oh yeah, and then the AKC also gets the money from dog registration, which I think they are very much in need of.

    My opinion all along has been I would not invest in their program until they take the stand that all trials will be open to all dogs.


  5. I am SO excited that the number of UKI trials this year is jumping from 1 to 4! The corgi can jump 4, the toller can have a toy!
    And snakes and ladders is a fun game :) I think the rules are on their website.

  6. I have a friend with 2 mixed breed dogs who still refuses to play any AKC because of this crappy policy that still allows some clubs to discriminate. Havent tried UKI - mostly because it just hasn't caught on here.

  7. I put off AKC for a long time due to their mixed breed policies. When Luke and I first started agility it wasn't even an option for us (although some would say I could have passed him off as a lab easily enough). Then AKC came out with the first draft of their Canine Partners program, where the mixed breed dogs would be scored separately from the purebreds and it really put a bad taste in my mouth. At least they rectified that mistake before the program went live.

    It took me years (literally) to come to grips with calling my Klee Kai an All American. ;o) Ultimately, though, I really wanted another place for Kaiser to play and I know that Secret just shines in the AKC format so.... And really, there are so few clubs that do follow the practice of not allowing mixed breeds that I've been completely sheltered from this reality until now. It makes me angry, but it also makes me sad that this division actually still exists in the dog world today.

    What I need to do is contact one of the publishers who ran the story on how awesome AKC is to accept mutts at Westminster and explain the reality of what is actually going on at trials across the country. ;o) What would that do for all of AKC's great publicity? Not quite so accepting now, are they.