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Breeds of the Future: The FSS

Updated: Apr 8

The American Kennel Club created the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) to answer the needs of today’s fanciers of rare and new breeds. The Foundation Stock Service is an optional record-keeping service for all purebred breeds not currently registrable with the American Kennel Club. Originally the FSS program was used to bring in breeds such as American Eskimo, Border Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They entered directly into the Miscellaneous Class. These breeds were issued ILP numbers (Indefinite Listing Privilege Numbers). In October 1995 the FSS was developed for the rare breed community and developed into the program we know today.

American Leopard Hound Puppy, in FSS

One of the most serious concerns for any breed is the integrity of its pedigree and ownership records. For many FSS fanciers, the ultimate goal is full AKC recognition. There are several criteria that must be met in order to achieve this plateau. Often, the biggest hurdle is creating and maintaining accurate records. With the FSS, the AKC staff of experts will maintain the pedigree and ownership records in addition to a stud book. The AKC has more than 100 years of experience protecting the integrity of registries for purebred dogs. Fanciers who record their dogs with the FSS can rest assured that the AKC will maintain quality stud books for their breeds.

How Breeds Enter the FSS

The American Kennel Club considers requests to enter FSS from breed clubs or individual fanciers of a breed. The AKC only considers adding new breeds to the FSS or its registry upon request. The requirements are numerous! Noted below is the full list.

  • The breed must be recognized by an acceptable foreign or domestic registry for a period of 40 years with three generation dogs.

  • If the breed was developed within the United States, there must be a documented history of a minimum of 40 years of a registry with three generation dogs.

  • The name of the breed may not include the name of currently recognized AKC Breeds, if the breed has been under development since 2000.

  • The AKC Parent Club(s) approve the acceptance of the breed if there is an association with a currently recognized AKC Breed

  • Provide AKC with a letter requesting admission into FSS

  • Fill out a questionnaire for new breeds. Email: for questionnaire.

  • Provide a written breed history documenting the distinct breed over a period of many decades (40 years) in which a registry has been maintained of three generation dogs of the breed. The source of the historical information must also be provided.

  • Provide an official written breed standard, indicating the origin of that standard. If the standard differs from the official breed standard in the breed country of origin, please specify those differences.

  • Provide photographs of the breed, including puppies and adults, as well as both dogs and bitches. If there are different accepted types in the breed, photographs of each type should be included and labeled as such.

As you can see, this isn't a quick or easy process! A small sample of FSS breeds that I think are the most exciting are listed below, but the full list can be viewed here.

Adult American Leopard Hound

The American Leopard Hound is extremely intelligent. The breed is loving and affectionate toward their family and they are extremely protective of children. American Leopards are one of the oldest tree dog breeds in the U.S. and have extremely strong tracking abilities, often able to track prey for miles. This dog is a medium to large size dog and comes in three patterns: Solid, Leopard and Brindle; nine different official colors; and a variety of markings, however, sixty percent of all American Leopards are solid-colored dogs. The breed is very versatile in hunting a variety of game species including, but not limited to, raccoon, bear, bobcat, cougar, squirrel, and any other tree-minded game. As an especially tough breed, they also fare exceptionally well in extreme weather, both hot and cold.

Adult Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound

The Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is calm and balanced, devoted to its owner, and reserved with strangers. He is a sound, self-assured, unafraid, biddable dog, neither shy nor aggressive. Hailing from Germany, the Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound is the Bayerischer Gebirgsschweisshund in its native German. The breed's most notable trait is its outstanding "cold nose" tracking ability. His nose is so acute, he can distinguish between the injured game he is hunting and other animals of the same species. This somewhat lightweight, active, medium-sized breed is devoted to his owner, but can be reserved with strangers. He is not a kennel dog and prefers to be around his human family.

Adult Estrela Mountain Dog

The Estrela Mountain Dog is not only an excellent livestock guardian, but is also known for his love of children and family. Proper socialization and training as a puppy is very important so that the dominance in the Estrela's personality does not become aggressive. The Estrela Mountain Dog is named for the Estrela Mountains in Portugal and is believed to be the oldest breed in the region. The breed has several distinctive physical characteristics including rosed ears, a black mask and a hook at the end of its tail. He is an inseparable companion of the shepherd and a faithful flock guardian, bravely protecting it against predators and thieves. A wonderful farm and house guard, he is distrustful towards strangers but typically docile to his master. As a companion in the home, an Estrela will bond for life. He will love and protect his whole family, but a piece of his soul will belong to that one special family member of his choosing.

Adult Thai Ridgeback

The Thai Ridgeback is a muscular, medium-sized dog with a stream-lined body that makes him very agile and a natural athlete. The ridge on his back is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of his coat and the breed has up to 8 different ridge patterns. Puppies can be born without this ridge. Coat colors include solid blue, black, red or fawn with a black mask occasionally on the red-coated dogs. They also have spotted tongues and some even come with solid black/blue tongues. Today, most Ridgebacks are companion dogs, but they still maintain many of the same instincts for the jobs for which they were bred: hunting and guarding. They had to be independent, self-sufficient and hunt for their own food, which gave them strong survival instincts, a high prey drive, and a high level of intelligence. If well-bred and properly socialized, the Thai Ridgeback can be a loyal, loving pet. As a guarding breed, they are naturally protective of their home and can be reserved and suspicious with strangers. Thai Ridgebacks will need a patient, consistent, and experienced owner with a good understanding of dog behavior; they are not for first-time dog owners.

Thai Ridgeback Puppies - I couldn't resist posting this picture

There are many other breeds on the FSS list, and there will be others added in the future. So stay tuned! And if you are interested in getting involved with any of them, each FSS breed has a representative you can contact on that breed's FSS profile.

Note: The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting, and advancement of purebred dogs. Recording of a dog in the Foundation Stock Service does not constitute AKC recognition.


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