Breed Clubs: What Are They and Should You Join?
Breed clubs are national or regional organizations dedicated to specific breeds of dogs. They exist as a repository of knowledge that both the novice and experienced breeder can access. Even if you aren’t a dog breeder, you can benefit from the knowledge that a breed club has to offer. If you are in the market for a particular breed of dog, the members of a breed club can give you insight into the nature of the dog and help you decide if that breed is the right one for you and your family. Investigate the different breed clubs and if one doesn’t feel right, move on to the next.
What to Expect from a Breed Club
A breed club exists to support both the breed of dog to which it is dedicated and the club’s members. The members of a breed club see something special in their chosen breed and want to preserve those qualities that make it unique. Therefore, these like minded individuals band together to set a standard for the breed and to educate and assist other interested dog owners. They also exist to make sure that further generations of the breed adhere to the club’s standards.
Breed clubs also serve as a support system for those who want to show their dogs at national competitions. They can provide information on handling your own dog at shows or lead you to a professional handler that can do the job instead. Participating in dog shows means working with national dog associations, and the breed club can serve as an advocate for the breed in these circumstances as well.
In addition to expecting support from a breed club, the member can also expect that the organization itself will be well-run and that important decisions will always be made with the health, welfare and betterment of the breed in mind. Anyone who wants to join should feel welcome as long as they uphold the ideals of the breed club.
A good breed club will also facilitate interaction among its members and hold activities throughout the year where members can share information about the breed and just enjoy getting together with others who share their interests. The activities should include both the members that show their dogs and those that do not.
What a Breed Club Expects from Its Members
The membership of any breed club has a right to expect certain things from its individual members. For example, every breed club has instituted certain ethical standards in regard to breeding methods and every member must promise to uphold them. Indeed, membership in the most reputable breed clubs almost guarantees the potential dog owner that a specific dog breeder is of the highest quality and that the dog he or she is purchasing was bred according to club standards. The reputation of the breed club is on the line, so any breach of these ethical standards by its membership is taken very seriously. Often, the unethical breeder will either be suspended or barred from the club completely.
A breed club also expects that when you join them, you agree with their philosophies and goals concerning the particular breed and will help them further these ideals by educating others about the breed’s unique nature and special qualities. As a member of a breed club, you will always be expected to act with the best interest of the breed in mind.
Breed Rescue Groups
Just about every breed club is either affiliated with or sponsors a breed rescue organization. These rescue groups are terrific, no matter what breed they focus on. When a purebred dog (suspected or proven) of a particular breed is found in a shelter or on the street, members of the group work to either return the dog to its owner or find it a suitable home with new owners who have experience with and a love for the breed. Rescue groups also foster dogs whose owners can’t continue to care for them. The dog remains in a loving atmosphere until a permanent home is found. So dedicated to the breed are these rescue groups, that members will drive across the country to ensure that the dog is placed in an appropriate home. Many of these cross-country trips are done relay-style, where the dog is transferred from car to car until he reaches his final destination.
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