How Do New Breeds Become Invited to the Westminster Kennel Club Show?Published February 10, 2012
Cesky Terrier = National Dog Show
How New Breeds Become Invited to Westminster: The Help of the American Kennel Club
In clearing up this matter, it first needs to be noted that determining eligibility for the Westminster Kennel Club Show is not squarely on the shoulders of the WKC; in order for a breed to be eligible to compete at Westminster, they must be fully recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) first. In turn, the invite for new breeds stems solely from the actions of the AKC, and their decision to recognize or not recognize a given breed.
What Factors Determine Whether or Not the AKC Recognizes a Breed?
When it comes to breed recognition, the American Kennel Club uses a number of qualifiers. On a basic level, the breed must demonstrate that it has some type of following in the United States.
To determine the following of a breed, the AKC will look at the breed's population and its geographic distribution. It must be demonstrated that the breed has gained an attraction across the U.S., not just in one specific geographical location.
In addition to population and geographic distribution, the AKC requires that each breed have a parent club that monitors the breed's stud book and reproduction. The responsibility of the parent club for a specific breed is to ensure that newly born pups and the generations that follow are actually being produced to the breed standards. A Cesky Terrier puppy, for instance, should display the traits associated with a Cesky Terrier, not any other dog.
Once these qualifications are met, the AKC will consider the breed legitimate by putting them in the Miscellaneous Class. Over time, when the AKC deems fit, the breed then receives full recognition, and in turn becomes eligible for an invite to Westminster.
How New Breeds Get Invited to Westminster: The Invite
Once the new breed has been fully recognized by the American Kennel Club, Westminster then has carte blanche to invite them to participate in their show. In this year's show, 185 varieties and breeds of dogs will be represented, with the newly invited breeds being among them.