AKC mandated change to the Miniature American Shepherd Breed Standard
Special Bulletin from the MASCUSA Board of Directors

Re: AKC mandated change to the Miniature American Shepherd Breed Standard

Dear MASCUSA members, The BOD has tried to answer a few of the questions and comments that have appeared on the yahoo lists. Answers are in red.

How can you split a breed into two and then not allow the new breed to reference the old one in it's history?
(A) No one has said that we cannot reference the Australian Shepherd in the history. The documentation of the official history is the next step, and the last step that we need to do in conjunction and cooperation with USASA


I hope that MASCUSA can get it together somehow and find a way to include the reference to Australian Shepherd in the breed description
(A) No one has said that we cannot reference the Australian Shepherd in the breed standard either. The reference was removed by AKC Staff because it had not been approved by USASA, contrary to the belief and understanding of the MASCUSA BOD. We HOPE to negotiate a replacement reference when we sit down with USASA to document the history in a manner acceptable to both Parent Clubs, as per the proposal approved by all parties.


You all must understand that AKC now OWNS the MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD!!! and has the right to appoint any one, be it person or club, they see fit to be the parent club of the breed if NAMASCUSA or MASCUSA puts up any resistance that AKC disagrees with from this point on!
A) AKC has always "owned" the new breed established by splitting the Australian Shepherd. AKC would have proceeded regardless of the actions of NAMASCUSA. We were given the opportunity to negotiate some of the points in the proposal, and to be named as the Parent Club. The membership of MASCUSA voted to approve the proposal that was negotiated, and to become the Parent Club for the breed that was established in FSS. We selected the name Miniature Amercian Shepherd. Being the Parent Club gives us many rights and a lot of control in AKC, but it doesn't give us control of everything. In particular, it does NOT give us unilateral control over the breed standard. Here is the section of the AKC Bylaws that relates to breed standards, with a few phrases bolded.
SECTION 4. It shall be the duty and privilege of each parent member Specialty Club (we are a parent club, but we are NOT a member club of AKC yet)
to define precisely the true type of the breed of purebred dogs which it was organized to promote and improve and its definition when approved
by the Board of Directors of the AKC shall and will be recognized by the AKC as the sole standard of excellence for which such breed of purebred dogs shall be bred and by which specimens of such breed must be judged in the awarding of prizes of merit.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no AKC breed standards of excellence may be altered or
replaced without the official approval of the parent member Specialty Club representing the breed in question. The parent member specialty club shall own its standard and the AKC shall have full use of the approved standard.

The standards of excellence of all breeds of purebred
dogs now adopted by parent member Specialty Clubs and approved by the Board of Directors of the AKC shall not be changed in any respect until the wording of any proposed change or changes first has been submitted to the Board of Directors of the AKC and its approval of the same has been obtained.

It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors of the AKC to and it shall define precisely the true type of each breed of purebred dogs recognized by the AKC as eligible for registration in its Stud Book for which no standard of excellence has been adopted by any member Specialty Club and submitted to and approved by said Board of Directors in the manner set forth in the preceding paragraphs of this
(We are not a member club. We have a standard that has not been approved by AKC BOD. Once established and approved by both the parent member club and the AKC BOD, a breed standard cannot be changed without the approval of BOTH the parent member club and the AKC BOD).
Our breed standard will likely not go before the AKC BOD until we go for full recognition. We can make changes up until that time. That is part of the reason for being in the Miscellaneous Class. The MASCUSA Board chooses to consider the current AKC-revised breed standard as an interim version under development. It is very likely that additional changes will be proposed while we are in Miscellaneous. We have the Breed Standard Evaluation and Education Committee set up for just exactly that purpose. We will also be negotiating with USASA for acceptable wording for the General Appearance section (or perhaps a Preamble) acknowledging our Australian Shepherd heritage and roots. Any references to the Australian Shepherd will need to be agreed upon by both parent clubs. AKC has made that clear, and their position is based on the contents of the proposal that was approved by all parties. Before the breed standard is sent to the AKC Board for approval along with the request for full recognition, the entire finalized breed standard will be voted on again by the membership of MASCUSA.
Your also all overlooking that the original standard the members voted on was passed by AKC and USASA.
A) This is not true. AKC BOD has never looked at, or approved, our breed standard. We thought our General Appearance section of the breed standard that went to a vote of the MASCUSA membership had been approved by USASA, but unfortunately, there was some miscommunication in dealing with USASA via AKC. Thus the revision by AKC Staff. Nothing other than those first two sentences has been changed from what was voted on by the membership.


The BOD does not have the right to make any changes to the Breed Standard without membership vote.
A) Technically, this is true, but unenforceable at this time because AKC has ownership of the breed standard. We could refuse to make the mandated change to the breed standard, but it is likely that AKC Staff would simply make it anyway (in fact they already have). The breed is already scheduled to enter Miscellaneous. The breed standard has been sent out to judges. MASCUSA could make a really big stink, threaten to sue them, and withdraw from AKC. The only thing that would change would be that we would no longer be the parent club. The breed would still go forward into Misc with the breed standard as modified by AKC Staff. They would still accept registrations and the breed would still move forward towards full recognition. A new parent club would be found or formed. The BOD has chosen instead to work from within the system for our dogs and our membership. We will make a good faith effort to work with USASA to document the history of our breed accurately, and to be able to acknowledge our Australian Shepherd heritage, in accordance with the wishes of the majority of our membership that voted to approve the proposal (82.5% of votes returned). Before the breed standard is sent to the AKC Board for approval along with the request for full recognition, the entire finalized breed standard will be voted on again by the membership of MASCUSA.
Doesn't seem like a historical reference to me, "...reflects the looks and qualities of the Australian Shepherd in miniature form" is descriptive, not historical. 
(A) The MASCUSA BOD thinks the same thing, but AKC Staff interpret it differently in the context of the proposal.


Do we have to be "small" because the Australian Shepherd is "medium"?
(A) AKC Staff chose to remove the word "medium" because they felt it was not appropriate for a breed whose name begins with "Miniature." Again, we can continue to revise this General Appearance section. One approach might be to remove "small" as well.
We don't have to run to AKC miscellaneous so fast. Take the time to do it right.
(A) It is not at all clear that there is any way to stop the breed from going into Misc at this point. It is also not at all clear that doing so would be beneficial to the breed or the club. We gain more recognition for the breed, and thus more clout with AKC, the further along we get in the process


It takes 20% of the membership to sign a petition and present it to the board for a special meeting.
(A) A petition will not be necessary as there is a membership meeting already planned for June 20, and this will definitely be on the agenda!
I (for one) am confident that our Board is working hard to make sure the original proposal is upheld.
(A) Thank you!! Absolutely, we have been, we are, and we will continue to do so. We also have had numerous reassurances from AKC Staff that the proposal will be adhered to in its entirety. That cuts both ways!

Thank you for your consideration and support.

MASCUSA Board of Directors