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A Different Kind of Kennel Club


New York Times (1837-current file); Apr 14, 1960; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2005) pg. 43



American Field Will Take More Breeds Than the A.K.C


By John Rendel

        Anybody who wants to register a Hungarian Vizsla or an Italian Spinone or a German Wachtel, all relatively obscure breeds of hunting dogs, can do so through a weekly newspaper called the American Field.  It exists on the tenth floor of an office building at 222 West Adams Street, Chicago, to keep followers of bird dogs informed and to maintain records.

News of Dogs

        The American Kennel Club accepts 113 breeds to its stud books.  The American Field will accept all of them and such additional breeds as Vizslas, Spinones and Wachtels.  It even will register cross-bred setters – any combination of English, Irish and Gordon setters – as a distinct breed on the theory that they originated from common stock in the British Isles, hence are pure-bred.
        A visit to the Adams Street office disclosed about twenty employes busy getting out the newspaper, typing pedigrees and filing registration cards.  William F. Brown, the editor and star field-trial report, was gathering news at the Medford (N.J.) pointer and setter trials, so John F. Walsh answered the questions.  He is the man in charge of registrations.
        It developed that while the American Field would register dogs of any breed, in practice ways there are dealt almost exclusively with the sporting breeds. 
        Last year a single poodle contributed to the biggest registration the organization ever had – 20, 334 dogs.  Pointers with 9,362 and English setters with 7,196 were in the big majority, followed by 1,040 German shorthaired pointers and 983 Brittany spaniels.  Vizslas were fifth with 459.
        Walsh said that despite its acceptance of the cross-bred setters, the American Field was about as stern in its registration requirements as the A.K.C.  Then he pointed to an instance in which it was not.
        On the field-dog stud book application form is a provision that if the certificate of a sire or dam is not available, a puppy can be registered through the signing by the owner of an affidavit that the facts are as represented. 
The A.K.C. would pale at such procedure.

More Birds Around

        American Field registrations have increased by 6,621 dogs since 1956.  Walsh gave what he thought was the reason.

        “We have talked it over and have decided that while a steady increase in hunters has contributed, an increase in the number of birds has contributed more.  Most of our registrations are in the South and Southwest.  There has been a great improvement in the bird crops all over the South.  We think that owners who would not bother to register their dogs otherwise have had more incentive.”

The American Field, which then was the Chicago Field, began registering field dogs in 1876 without charge and began publishing a stud book in 1900.  The registrations are published in each issue of the newspaper.  There is a $3 registration fee and additional charges for pedigrees. 
Vizslas and Spinones Among Rare Dogs in Its Book

        The pedigrees have one unusual feature.  If he wishes, an owner may order them with a record of how many times each ancestor and each of his progeny won in field-trial competition.

        such extra work involves extra costs.  For example, a six-generation pedigree without the records costs $14, with them $21.

        The American Field's 1959 registrations follow:


Pointers                                       9362

English setters                              7196

German short-haired pointers         1040

Brittany spaniels                             983

Vizslas                                          459

Weimaraners                                  398

Irish setters                                   370

Labrador retrievers                         365

Chesapeake Bay retrievers                 69

German drahthaars                           33

Gordon setters                                 20

Cross-bred setters                            10

Beagles                                            7

Cocker spaniels                                 6

Springer spaniels                              6

Wire-haired pointing griffons              3

Spinone                                           2

Golden retrievers                              2

Wachtel                                           1

Poodle                                             1

                TOTAL               20,334





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