We are winners and will win this battle!

Dear Fiends


The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our sport, clubs, judges, exhibitors, and lives in unprecedented ways.  In the last two weeks we have seen over 5,100 event cancellations, more than 25% of our annual total. In many cases there have been statewide and countywide orders that have eliminated event participation, denying our clubs the opportunity to decide whether to hold an event or not. We are proud of dog people and the sports we love and have devoted our lives to. We know our clubs are resilient and will once again hold quality events.


During this turbulent time we have had to face difficult decisions and the American Kennel Club wants you to know that every department remains open and is serving our core constituency.

Amongst our 5,000 independent clubs there are 26 different sports, some are very small and others are spread over large venues. We are working diligently to assist each type of club with rescheduling and providing guidance on ways to proceed in these very uncertain times. The Sports and Events Department has been working to ensure that they stay up to date on rescheduled events and cancellations minimizing any backlog.  Staff is providing a host of options to clubs as well as assisting with corresponding dates, mileage checks, judges conflicts, the 30-day/200 mile policy, etc. No matter what decision a club makes, the AKC is here to assist in this difficult time.

We are confident our nation will win this battle and each of us will return to competing with our beloved dogs. With no end in sight and more difficult days ahead in this temporary lifestyle interruption, we must each find ways to come together and help one another, exactly what dog people have done for generations.

Our sports have survived difficult times before and come through bigger, better, and stronger from the experience.  We remain confident that it will soon be safe enough for us to hold events, celebrating our dogs, sharing good times and being with the lifetime friends we hold so dear. Together, we will definitely get through this.


We are winners and will win this battle!


Dennis Sprung

AKC President/CEO

  • Dennis B. Sprung is the President of the American Kennel Club. Sprung has been involved with AKC shows since 1968. He and his wife Susan served in many capacities in clubs and bred Afghan Hounds and Greyhounds. Dogs they owned or bred have won both Parent Club national specialties and over 175 all breed Best In Shows. He joined the AKC as an Executive Field Representative in 1989. In April of 1990, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President in the Dog Events department and a year later assumed the additional responsibility of Director of the Field Staff. In March of 1994, he was appointed Vice President of Dog Events. In 1997, Sprung took over the responsibility of Vice President of Planning and Development, which included relocating the AKC headquarters. In 2001 he was named Vice President of Corporate Relations. In 2002, Dennis created DOGNY, a fundraising and public art project which increased awareness of the AKC’s commitment to Search and Rescue dogs, raising $2.5 million. Most recently, he was elected as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Kennel Club in April, 2003. He also serves as Vice President of AKC Companion Animal Recovery a 501C(3). Prior to joining AKC, Sprung was a Delegate for 10 years from the Bronx County Kennel Club and also served as President. In 1993 he was honored with the “Fido” award for Dog Man of the Year. The Sprung’s share their home with Ruby, a five-year-old Pekingese.

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