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The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881

President's Message


 2015 ASC Board

APRIL 2017

Breed Standard Proposal

On March 28,2017, the proposed Breed Standard revisions that the ASC Board has been working on the past year and a half was sent to the American Kennel Club for review and approval by the AKC Board.

Below is the history of how this proposal came about and the steps and time table as we move forward.

Beginning in the fall of 2015, prompted by requests from American Spaniel Club members, the ASC Board initiated a review of the Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard. These discussions and review of the standard have been done in the Board’s open meetings.  The first thing the Board did was to appoint a Standard Revision Committee, chaired by Mary Napper , to solicit input regarding proposed changes. Based on the input from that Committee, the Board sent out a survey to the ASC membership regarding the Breed Standard. The results of the survey were provided to the Board and to the membership in the Bulletin as well as the ASC Yahoo discussion group.  Approximately 400 responses were received. The following is a summary of the results of that survey:

1. Change the Standard - 51% were in favor of a change. 28% were opposed and 20% were undecided or provided some other response.

2. SABLE 58% favored adding Stable to either ASCOB or Parti or Both. 42% were opposed to adding SABLE.

3. Docked Tail - 53% were in favor of including natural or undocked tails, 34% were against and 12% allow natural tail but penalize

4. Merle - 72% preferred to disqualify blue eyes - 28% preferred no change based on eye color 

After a lengthy discussion in the January 12, 2017 Board meeting, which again was an open meeting and included observers, the Board voted to send 4 possible changes to the membership for a vote. On January 13, 2017 during the Flushing Spaniel show, a meeting was held with and for the membership announcing the intent to move forward with a vote on the 4 possible Standard changes. This discussion included speakers that spoke for and against various proposed standard changes including Sable, as well as comments by the people attending.

Pursuant to the procedures outlined in the ASC Bylaws, a change to the Breed Standard Requires favorable votes from two-third (2/3) of the members in good standing who return valid paper ballots. The proposed amendment will be presented to the membership by written ballot and voted upon by the membership in accordance with the By-Laws. If a proposal does not receive the necessary 2/3 majority vote, the same amendment, or amendment with similar intent, shall not be proposed by written petition for any period less than five (5) years.

In addition, an amendment to the Breed Standard adopted by the American Spaniel Club has to be first approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.

On March 27, 2017, the Breed Standard proposal was submitted to the AKC. Based on AKC’s procedures, the proposed changes will be considered by the AKC Board in its May 2017 Board meeting. After that the proposed Standard revisions will be published by the AKC in the Gazette for a 60-day comment period.  ASC will also publish the proposed changes in the ASC Bulletin, on the ASC Yahoo list and on the ASC website. During that time period, ASC members will be able to submit comments on the proposed changes to AKC and ASC. The AKC Board will then consider the comments and standard proposal at its August 2017 meeting. If approved by the AKC Board, the revisions will be submitted to ASC’s membership for a vote in a ballot. The vote will be an item by item vote.

Here is the revised Breed Standard proposal that will be presented to the AKC Board:

1) *Color Revision – addition of sable* 

a. ASCOB:  Any Solid Color Other than Black (ASCOB)-Any solid color other than black, ranging from lightest cream to darkest red, including brown and brown with tan points *and sable.* The color shall be of a uniform shade, but lighter color of the feathering is permissible. *Sable includes any aforementioned shade intermingled or overlaid with black or brown.* A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other location shall disqualify.

b. Parti-Color Variety-Two or more colors, one of which must be white; black and white, red and white (the red may range from lightest cream to darkest red), brown and white, and roans, to include any such color combination with tan points *and sable and white* . It is preferable that the tan markings be located in the same pattern as for the tan points in the Black and ASCOB varieties. Roans are classified as parti-colors and may be of any of the usual roaning patterns. *Sable and white includes any aforementioned colors intermingled or overlaid with black or brown.* Primary color which is ninety percent (90%) or more shall disqualify.

*2) Eyes*-Eyeballs are round and full and look directly forward. The shape of the eye rims gives a slightly almond shaped appearance; the eye is not weak or goggled. The color of the iris is dark brown and in general the darker the better. *Disqualifications: Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked.*

* 3) Body*-The chest …. Back is strong and sloping evenly and slightly downward from the shoulders to *the set-on of the tail. The docked or undocked tail* is set on and carried on a line with the topline of the back, or slightly higher; never straight up like a Terrier and never so low as to indicate timidity. When the dog is in motion the tail action is merry.

* 4) Disqualifications:*

a. Height-Males over 15½ inches; females over 14½ inches.

b. Color and Markings-The aforementioned colors are the only acceptable colors or combination of colors. Any other colors or combination of colors to disqualify.

c. Black Variety-White markings except on chest and throat.

d. Any Solid Color Other than Black Variety-White markings except on chest and throat.

e. Particolor Variety-Primary color ninety percent (90 percent) or more.

f. Tan Points-(1) Tan markings in excess of ten percent (10 percent); (2) Absence of tan markings in Black or ASCOB Variety in any of the specified locations in an otherwise tan-pointed dog.

g. *Eye Color: Eye(s) light blue, blue marbled, blue flecked.*

Let me know if you have any questions.
Linda Moore

For nominating your bitches use the following checklist.
  Futurity Checklist As the breeder, are your dues paid so you remain a member in good standing?
  Futurity Checklist
Are sire and dam over 2 years old?
  Futurity Checklist
Do both sire and dam have OFA/PennHips/other countries certification numbers?
  Futurity Checklist
Have both sire and dam had their eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist after age 2 and within the 12 months before the breeding? Don’t miss out because you have old eye exams and don’t get new ones done until after the breeding.
  Futurity Checklist
Send in the paperwork to nominate the bitch before the litter is whelped.
  Futurity Checklist
Then remember to enroll your puppies by the deadlines.

Debbie Knight
January Futurity Chair
P.O. Box 431
Marlborough, NH 03455
PDF fileFuturity Form