AKC Reinstatement Procedure

The AKC realizes that there may be various conditions that led to your dog's disqualification. Some dogs may qualify to return to competition if they meet the criteria set forth in the reinstatement procedure. This instruction sheet explains the process of reinstatement and what you, the dog's owner must do should you apply to have your dog reinstated.

Disqualification Details

  • A dog that is disqualified by a judge for attacking a person in the ring, disqualified by an Event Committee for attacking and injuring a person or a dog, or that is disqualified by a judge for a change in its appearance by artificial means, is ineligible to compete in any AKC events.
  • If a dog is disqualified under the Breed Standard (height, weight, dentition, etc.), or if a male has been disqualified for not having two normal descended testicles, the dog may continue to compete. However, if three separate judges disqualify the dog for the same reason, the dog is ineligible for AKC conformation competition or for reinstatement. (Dogs disqualified by breed standard can continue to compete in AKC companion events and certain AKC performance events.)
  • When a judge disqualifies a dog, he or she marks the dog disqualified, and the reason for the disqualification, in the judge's book. In cases of a dog attacking a judge, the judge also completes a disqualification form and will later be questioned on the circumstances by AKC staff. This form is sent to AKC in accordance with the instructions on the form.
  • When the Event Committee disqualifies a dog the disqualification form is completed and sent along with any details or documentation to the AKC Event Operations Department. In either case, the AKC then sends the owner a letter explaining the dog's eligibility.

Reinstatement Procedure Details

The owner must send a letter requesting reinstatement to:

American Kennel Club
Attn: Event Operations
PO Box 900051
Raleigh, NC 27675-9051

The letter should state the circumstances that led to the disqualification and why you feel the dog should be reinstated. (A dog's prior record is not sufficient reason for reinstatement.)

A $50.00 non-refundable check or money order payable to the American Kennel Club must accompany your reinstatement request.

Your letter requesting reinstatement may arrive before the Event Committees' report or the Superintendent's records including the official disqualification notice are received; however, the reinstatement process cannot start until all documentation for the event has been received.

1. When the Event Operations Department receives your request, your dog's complete show record is examined to see if there are any similar incidents.

2. After the AKC receives your letter, the reinstatement processing fee, and the applicable documents, staff will take one of the following actions:

If disqualified by a judge, the judge must agree that the dog is suitable for reinstatement consideration.

If disqualified by an event committee all reports from the committee and documentation presented with the reinstatement request will be reviewed and addressed by a staff review committee.

3. After receiving this concurrence from the judge or the staff review committee you will be asked for recent documentation of stability training such as successful obedience training or a Canine Good Citizen test completion.

4. The request for reinstatement, the judge concurrence, staff concurrence, evidence of recent successful training, and the dog's show records are sent to a special staff committee to evaluate. If the committee decides against reinstatement, you will receive written notification from the Event Operations Department.

5. If the committee decides to allow the dog to return to competition, a hands-on examination will be necessary for the final determination. You will be asked to provide a list of shows you can attend with the dog for the purpose of the hands-on examination. A committee of three judges, will individually evaluate the dog in similar circumstances similar to those when it was disqualified.

6. An examination is scheduled on the day of the show, before the show's scheduled starting time for regular judging. After arrival at the pre-determined show, locate the Superintendent's/Secretary's table, and ask for the AKC Executive Field Representative.

7. After the examination, the Event Operations Department will notify you in writing about the final determination of your dog's eligibility.

8. This is a thorough and time-consuming procedure; it can take four to six weeks to complete, as well as the time required to complete the applicable training. It is important that your dog be prepared for the reinstatement process because only one request for reinstatement will be processed on a disqualified dog.

If you have any questions that this instruction sheet has not answered, contact: Event Operations – 919-816-3538; eventplans@akc.org