AKC Code of Sportsmanship
PREFACE: The sport of purebred dog competitive events
dates prior to 1884, the year of AKC’s birth. Shared values
of those involved in the sport include principles of sportsmanship.
They are practiced in all sectors of our sport: conformation,
performance and companion. Many believe that
these principles of sportsmanship are the prime reason why
our sport has thrived for over one hundred years. With the
belief that it is useful to periodically articulate the fundamentals
of our sport, this code is presented.
• Sportsmen respect the history, traditions and integrity
of the sport of purebred dogs.
• Sportsmen commit themselves to values of fair play,
honesty, courtesy, and vigorous competition, as well
as winning and losing with grace.
• Sportsmen refuse to compromise their commitment
and obligation to the sport of purebred dogs by
injecting personal advantage or consideration into
their decisions or behavior.
• The sportsman judge judges only on the merits of
the dogs and considers no other factors.
• The sportsman judge or exhibitor accepts constructive
• The sportsman exhibitor declines to enter or exhibit
under a judge where it might reasonably appear that
the judge’s placements could be based on something
other than the merits of the dogs.
• The sportsman exhibitor refuses to compromise the
impartiality of a judge.
• The sportsman respects the AKC bylaws, rules, regulations
and policies governing the sport of purebred dogs.
• Sportsmen find that vigorous competition and civility
are not inconsistent and are able to appreciate the
merit of their competition and the effort of competitors.
• Sportsmen welcome, encourage and support newcomers
to the sport.
• Sportsmen will deal fairly with all those who trade
with them.
• Sportsmen are willing to share honest and open
appraisals of both the strengths and weaknesses of
their breeding stock.
• Sportsmen spurn any opportunity to take personal
advantage of positions offered or bestowed upon them.
• Sportsmen always consider as paramount the welfare
of their dog.
• Sportsmen refuse to embarrass the sport, the
American Kennel Club, or themselves while taking
part in the sport. 

Copy Right February 2011

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