AKC Coonhounds

Protecting Your Rights

AKC Government Relations – What You Must Know


With so many different agendas competing for our attention, it can be hard to determine fact from fiction. Responsible dog owners, sportsmen and breeders face unprecedented challenges to our rights to own, breed, show and hunt with our dogs. Biased and misleading reporting influenced by radical animal rights groups has targeted the American Kennel Club and responsible dog breeders, sportsmen and owners. These attacks are designed to undermine the AKC’s unwavering commitment to opposing the extreme animal rights agenda and to preserving our proud history and the future of healthy, responsibly bred and owned purebred dogs.

One fact you can absolutely rely on is that no other registry dedicates more time and resources to support and protect dogs and your rights than the American Kennel Club. With over 125 years of experience in the study and welfare of dogs, the AKC is the leading expert on dog ownership, care, well-being and public policy issues that pertain to dog ownership.

The AKC’s long-standing reputation and credibility as the authority for all matters relating to dogs are among the reasons why AKC puppies are consistently sought by potential buyers.  It’s for these very same reasons that policymakers regularly seek AKC approval when developing dog-related legislation. The AKC’s grassroots organization of over 5,000 local dog clubs, thousands of responsible dog owners and breeders, and over 716,000 dogs registered each year means that AKC support or opposition can make or break the success of legislation.

AKC has a dedicated Government Relations Department (AKC GR), which specializes in monitoring legislative proposals at the federal, state and local levels. AKC GR is dedicated to protecting the rights of ALL responsible dog owners, promoting responsible dog ownership and ensuring that laws governing dog ownership and breeding are reasonable, enforceable and non-discriminatory.

AKC GR professional staff has a broad range of experience in public policy and advocacy. AKC GR also works with a specialized federal advocacy team in Washington, DC.  Our credibility has also enabled us to build a strong coalition with national sportsmen groups, agricultural groups, and other organizations to stand together to protect your rights to continue to own, breed, train and hunt with your dogs.

AKC GR supports legislation that protects responsible dog owners and their dogs, and is committed to defeating legislation that has the potential to threaten your rights as responsible dog owners, sportsmen, trainers or breeders.

What AKC GR Does

Providing a variety of services:

  • Taking a Stand – Developing and sending materials and statements of opposition or support as necessary to local, state and federal officials in order to ensure that legislation dealing with dogs is reasonable, enforceable and non-discriminatory. This letter of opposition to CA SB 1221 is just one example of taking a stand against the increasing proposals that infringe on the rights of dog owners and sportsmen.
  • Rallying the Troops  AKC has an extensive, 50-state network of clubs, federation members, Canine Legislative Liaisons  and other allied groups to share information and help advocate on behalf of dog owners in their states and local communities. Coonhound clubs are a proud part of this network.
  • Strategic Analysis – AKC GR provides issue-based policy expertise including policy briefs, model legislation/sample laws, and alternate language to policymakers, clubs, federations, and individuals involved in the development of canine policy.
  • Helpful, User-Friendly Advocacy Tools – Check out AKC GR’s online toolbox for a wide variety of resources in the fight to protect your rights as responsible dog owners.
  • AKC PAC  provides support to candidates for federal or state offices who support reasonable enforceable laws that protect the health and welfare of dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners.

 AKC Legislative Successes 

2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009

Stay Informed !


Don’t rely on hearsay, when you can get the facts directly from the experts. Learn more about AKC’s demonstrated commitment to protecting responsible dog owners and sportsmen. Follow the links above to check out AKC’s Legislative Alerts, monthly newsletter, and online toolbox for the most up-to-date information and resources available to help you join the AKC in its fight to protect your dogs and your rights. 

Contact AKC GR Directly For More Information.

AKC Government Relations

919-816-3720 /  doglaw@akc.org