The AKC was founded in 1884 by several breed clubs that pledged "to do everything to advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running, and maintenance of purity of thoroughbred dogs." The AKC has strict standards for the retriever. Over time the organization has evolved and today provides coverage on all accepted dog breeds, as well as information on registration, pedigrees, dog shows, and field trial events. The AKC places an emphasis on breed conformity and genetics. There is a multitude of information regarding breeding, judging, showing for conformation, or participating in field trails or hunt tests, all of which are activities that a YWHRC members are involved in. One of the more popular pastimes for YWHRC members is to train with their retriever for the ever sought after hunt test titles. YWHRC holds monthly trainings where careful detail is taken to ensure that sessions are structured to what one would find when participating in an actual test.
NAHRA joined with AKC, Bill Tarrant wrote yet another article in Field and Stream Magazine called "Retriever Trials for Hunters" which discussed the ideas behind the original UKC/NAHRA program. Another meeting was held at UKC which led to the Hunting Retriever Club. The HRC was officially formed and named at that very meeting. Since 1984, HRC has grown to 116 Clubs with over 8,000 members because of a number of great distinctions of the HRC from any other hunting dog organization. Specifically, the tests are true hunting scenarios. The handler actually uses the gun and the Judges are qualified HRC members who own, have trained, and passed their dog in the level that they are judging. Interestingly, NAHRA and AKC later split up. NAHRA is now no longer affiliated with any national dog registry today but continues run its own tests.
"Conceived by Hunters for Hunters." This is both the founding philosophy and the reality of NAHRA and HRC. The founding events and history of NAHRA and HRC are quite interesting. Around 1983, two writers, Bill Tarrant and Dick Wolters, wrote respective articles for magazines which stated that the existing Field Trials for retrievers were unrealistic and pushed the dogs beyond what was required of them during an average day in the field. They wrote articles to bring attention to the fact that people needed a program which did not judge dogs against each other, but which gave hunters the chance to test their dogs in realistic hunting conditions against a standardized and structured test. After much discussion, meetings and planning, the name North America Hunting Retriever Association was adopted. NAHRA initially was developed with the UKC, as the AKC was uninterested. However, over time AKC gradually became more interested as it watched the NAHRA growing in popularity. Having once turned its nose to NAHRA, the AKC made several offers to NAHRA which led to a change and NAHRA left UKC to become affiliated with the AKC. Unfortunately for the UKC, the pursuit of a sport that focused on the realism for the hunting retriever had slipped away. The desire to create true to life scenarios that would test the retriever working ability that had been carefully planed and outlined had simply gone. Or so it seemed.