BREAKING NEWS: From an AKC Press Release dated April, 2013
The American Kennel Club [AKC] Board has approved Labrador Retrievers and the Golden Retrievers to be eligible to participate in the Spaniel Hunting Test Program effective July 1, 2013. AKC Performance Events are meant to test the skills for which a breed was originally developed. The history of both the Labrador and Golden Retrievers indicates they were developed to be versatile hunting dogs, proficient in both upland and waterfowl hunting. Their upland heritage is still very much in use today as these breeds are commonly used for upland bird hunting.
The Hunting Test standards of performance are not being changed due to the inclusion of these breeds. Titles earned by Labs and Goldens will be designated with a “U” (for Upland) to indicate the title was earned in the Spaniel Hunting Test program. Hunting style descriptions for these breeds will be posted on the AKC website – www.akc.org/events/hunting_tests/spaniels/hunting_styles/ - as soon as they are available. Retriever Clubs can apply to become licensed to hold Spaniel Hunting Tests after July 1, 2014. (One year following the breed’s eligibility to participate.)
If entries are limited to a specific number, Spaniel clubs may prioritize entries to the Spaniel breeds. Retriever clubs are also provided the ability to prioritize entries to the Retriever breeds.
Specifically the following will appear in Chapter 1, Section 4 of the Regulations upon the next reprint - Section 4. Tests Offered, Entry Requirements. Prioritizing Entries. If entries are limited to a specific number as stated in the premium, a Spaniel Club may, at its option, prioritize the entries for its Hunting Test to the Spaniel breeds (except the Irish Water Spaniel) plus Airedales. If at the time of closing the limit has not been reached, the Club must accept entries from other eligible breeds up to the event limit. If entries are to be prioritized to the Spaniel breeds (except the Irish Water Spaniel) and Airedales, this must be stated in the premium.
If entries are limited to a specific number as stated in the premium, a Retriever Club may, at its option, prioritize the entries for its Hunting Test to the Retriever breeds plus the Irish Water Spaniel. If at the time of closing the limit has not been reached, the Club must accept entries from other eligible breeds up to the event limit. If entries are to be prioritized to the Retriever breeds and the Irish Water Spaniels, this must be stated in the premium.
All-breed hunting clubs and Airedale clubs may not prioritize their entries (except in the case of a test held in conjunction with a National Specialty Show).
A Spaniel Club is defined by the club having “Spaniel” in its name (except for the Irish Water Spaniel clubs). A Retriever Club is defined by the club having “Retriever” in its name plus the Irish Water Spaniel clubs.