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Thursday, 28 May 2020

USA votes to split Akita breed

Featured Written by Our Dogs - 29/05/20

The Akita Club of America (ACA) has voted to split the breed in the USA. In a vote of members they decided by 210 votes to 58 to allow the Japanese Akita Club of America (JACA) to apply to the American Kennel Club (AKC) to recognise the breed.

Many respondents to this news on social media felt that it was ‘about time’ that America divided the breed in two. They were the only major country not to divide the breed between Japanese and American Akitas and there have been calls for this split to happen in the states for some time.

It is now up to the AKC to decide if it will recognise the Japanese Akita and sources have told OUR DOGS that they, ‘presume this will happen’.

There is no idea how long it will take for the AKC to officially recognise the JACA but it has been estimated it could take between six to 12 months. In the past the AKC has thought that it was beneficial to have varieties rather than different breeds.

In December 1996 a World Akita Conference was held in Tokyo. America was represented at this conference and it was decided at this meeting that the American Akita and the Japanese Akita were two different breeds. Yet America did not want to split the breed at this point.

A second conference in 1998 in Haam, Germany, confirmed the split and much to the dismay of American Akita owners the American type was called the Great Japanese Dog. This name was changed in 2006 when the FCI accepted that the breed should be known as the American Akita.

Type and standard

There followed a situation where American Akitas that could not be shown or bred under FCI rules in the FCI countries and also Japanese Akitas could not compete in AKC championships under their own standard and against their own type.
Sophia Kaluzniacki, DVM, a member of the ACA, has been campaigning for there to be a split in the breed for a long time.

She told OUR DOGS, ‘I have been a proponent of dividing the breed for more years than I care to count. Ever since the AKC recognized the Japanese Kennel Club (JKC) in 1992. 
‘At first the AKC would not let us do this for various reasons even though the ACA membership was inclined to do so at that time.  

‘By the time the FCI and JKC did divide the breed, it was not the wish of ACA members to to do so because they felt that it was still one breed and some breeders wished to be able to blend the two types.  
‘Now fast forward through three more negative votes by the membership at about five year intervals and we have finally managed to do the right thing.  

‘The AKC has been notified of the results and has already sent JACA the forms to start the process for recognition.  So yes, they do recognize JACA.

‘I am also a member of the board of The World Union of Akita Clubs. I have been in an advisory capacity on that board since its formation by JKC about 20 years ago.  I have informed JKC of this historic vote.’

In a statement the JACA said, ‘The Japanese Akita Club of America (JACA) is happy to announce that our friends in the Akita Club of America (ACA) have voted in favor (sic) of allowing us to apply for breed recognition in the American Kennel Club (AKC): “the membership voted to allow the Japanese Akita Club of America to apply to be a separate breed eligible for AKC recognition”.

‘We offer our sincerest appreciation to the leadership of the ACA who called for the vote and our thanks to the membership who voted in our favor.

‘We would also be remiss if we did not express our gratitude to out friends in Akita Inu Hozonkai (AKIHO), Japanese Akita Inu Club of Great Britain and the FCI nations around the world that have been supportive for decades. Thank you all for your friendship and encouragement.

‘To say we are excited about the turn of events is an understatement. We know that the hard work will begin soon enough, but for now, we hope that you will join us in celebrating the results of this historic vote.’

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