Suggested Protocol for Proposals for the Breed Council Ballot

Proposals for the breed council ballot can arise in a number of ways:

  • The Board of Directors can propose a question be included on the ballot.
  • A breed council member can propose a change to the standards.
  • Anyone else can suggest a change or ballot question be put on the breed council ballot.

Technically, it is up to the breed council secretary as to when and how a given question or proposal should be put on the ballot (unless mandated by the Board of Directors, at which time there is no choice). Also, please keep in mind that STANDARDS are just that – they should not be changed at the whim of current breeders or exhibitors. They should stand the test of time.

A tried and true protocol is:

  • All proposed standard changes should be discussed at breed council meetings, perhaps even for at least a year or two. This will allow the different mixes of breed council members to have a voice, and will allow a wide range of opinions as part of the debate. This gives the breed council members much time to absorb the proposed change, refine the wording, and continue the discussion outside of the breed council meetings, on breed lists, at shows, etc.
  • On a sufficiently extensive proposal, the breed council secretary may want to appoint a committee to hash out the idea, the wording and bring it back to the next meeting.
  • Proposals (especially breed standards changes) should not be put on the ballot without ample time for everyone to get their opinions across, the wording to be well refined, and the item to be debated. This process, which allows for an in-depth study of any proposed changes, may take several years!
  • Once a proposal is ready for the ballot, it can be forwarded to the Breeds & Standards chairperson for their review, allowing sufficient time for discussion and possible revision.


Breed council members are required to submit proposed ballot questions to the breed council secretary by the deadline established each year.

Breed Council secretaries are required to have proposed standard changes to the Breeds and Standards Committee by the established deadline. Ballots are mailed to all breed council members of record on August 1st of that year. (View the complete list of deadlines and guidelines)

Board of Directors Review:

Breed standards changes that receive 60% of the vote cast are then reviewed and ratified, or vetoed, by the Board of Directors at their February Board meeting. Any other proposal is advisory only! The Board of Directors cannot change a breed standard without the change receiving 60% approval of the breed council members voting. Unless otherwise stated in a Ballot Item, all changes to the Standards and Rules for Registration will take effect on the first day of the next show season.