The FCI General Committee, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new offices in Thuin Belgium this March 19-20, 2015, also tackled the AKC debacle. The General Committee decided to tackle this issue on day one. The APac leadership was told that they were addressing the issue because he was like a younger brother to them but Santos sold them the facts very well. The cherry on the sundae that might have irked them was when AKC set their sights on an FCI dog from an FCI registry and deny entry to shows and revoked previous wins. The bits and pieces, if not the whole decision of the FCI General Committee has begun to go around the canine grapevine. I don’t mind if I get scooped since my readers would rather have my opinion.

Word is that the FCI Board will send their decision to AKC on the 90th day threat of AKC which would be the 19th of May 2015. Snippets of the decision will make you feel that FCI chickened out (including me actually). However, I suggest you take a deep breath, read again and further, without any emotions, with a resting heart rate, remembering negotiations 101, remembering the pillars of diplomacy, get critical thinking involved, while taking your time nursing a cup of green tea, you can conclude that it is a well made letter of negotiation. If you set, read and analyze the APac Memorandum, the Crowley Letter, and what we have of the decision, side by side, you will realize why FCI is “the” World Canine body. Here are a couple of points that I have picked up of the decision.

“3. We draw your attention to the fact that to date, no AKC judge has officially been banned from judging at any FCI event. No official confirmation concerning this matter was issued by the FCI General Committee.” This now makes it clear that any actions of a section needs the imprimatur of the General Committee, which I totally agree upon. A sense of order has to be in place and the authority to implement any order obviously must come from a higher authority which is the General Committee. Further, #3 actually explains that no one of our AKC colleague judges has been actually officially affected by a “Ban”, an interesting point. Even if an actual “Blacklist” did exist, no AKC judge has been actually affected by it and yet APAC judges have immediately been affected already with the possibility of ALL FCI Judges being affected come 20 May 2015, this is an interesting retrospect. I always said it was just a figure of speech unfortunately AKC bit the bait.

“If a total ban on FCI judges is the only possibility that you now offer us, the FCI cannot see any other way than to accept it; it leaves us with no other solution than to apply the same measure to AKC judges scheduled to judge (now and in the future) at FCI events from the same date. It goes without saying that we are not happy with this situation nor that we find it desirable. The AKC is more than welcome to meet with us to find out ways for a better future cooperation and for a possible revised letter of understanding for the benefit of dogs and dog lovers worldwide.” This is the heart of the letter, well written, diplomatic and yet gives nothing of FCI away (for the meantime). It shows that FCI wants to listen and wants to continue a past relationship, but says don’t bully us without being cocky. All these are basic points of negotiation. Based on past communication with RDS, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made the final draft of the decision. Like I’ve said before, the man can write.

I have a couple of communications with AKC Judges who are disappointed with AKC and I have been told that there are more AKC judges out there who are just as disappointed. I believe, in the list of Judges for the Milan World Dog Show in June 2015 are some AKC Judges, who are probably pissed by now. Word has it that CKU has cancelled their invitations of AKC Judges. My biggest disappointment is that we judges are caught up in this as policy pawns.

So why not mention in the letter that any failure of negotiation will lead to additional sanctions such as non recognition of AKC pedigrees and non recognition of AKC titles by all FCI NCOs? Because FCI doesn’t have to show that it carries a big stick. I hope AKC knows that this is the bigger sanction that FCI can pull out of their hat without even mentioning it and of which AKC should be wary of.

FCI can and has always played well with others and even share its toys as history has proven, but make no mistake who is the leader in the sandbox, and if push comes to shove, they too can play poorly with others, again just as recent history has shown. As I always have said, the Status Quo is the way to go. As a form of good will, I see FCI maybe willing to forget the names of any AKC judge who has judged for Non FCI NCOs and start with a clean slate, hell maybe even invite them tomorrow to judge for an FCI Show, but don’t forget Circulare 101-2003 still exists…well…until it is revised?

I continue to hope that FCI doesn’t flinch if this meeting happens.