- Breed club
A breed club or breed association is an organization dedicated to the breeding and welfare of one single
dog breedas opposed to a diverse mixture of dogs.
Purpose of breed clubs
Breed clubs are important to the hobby for several reasons. One of the primary reasons is in resolving disagreements over what characterizes a
breed. Not all so-called "all-breed" kennel clubs accept all breeds, or recognize certain varieties of dogs as constituting a true breed. In this instance, a breed club may maintain its own registry of lineage while at the same time lobbyingfor the acceptance of its breed by one or more kennel clubs.
Other breed clubs are for owners of well-established breeds who merely enjoy interaction with fellow owners of similar dogs. These breed clubs leave the function of a registry to such major kennel clubs as the
American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, The Kennel Club, and the like and exist more for social purposes, the dissemination of news about the breed, and in some instances the organization of single-breed shows.
Breed clubs provide information to the public about their breed. Club members agree to a code of ethics overseen by the club and a list of breeders is usually available to help people find a reputable breeder. The people involved in these clubs often have been involved with the breed for many years and have breeding, training, and showing experience that they are willing to share.
These clubs promote the benefits and well-being of their particular breed and usually offer seminars and activities to discuss showing, training, breeding, and hereditary health issues. Clubs might also provide judging seminars to train
dog-show judges and clubs might maintain judging lists. Most breed clubs also schedule dog shows or competitions in various dog sportsspecifically for the breed.
Affiliation or independence?
Clubs organized around working breeds often maintain their own registries with no intent of seeking recognition by any all-breed
kennel club. This is usually because they believe that the common practices of the all-breed clubs, such as maintaining closed studbooks and awarding prizes based on appearance and conformationrather than on performance, don't serve to protect the working abilities of the dogs.
In some cases, the breed clubs of nonworking dogs also choose to remain independent. These clubs cite the desire to maintain control over their breed; often these clubs have more stringent breeding criteria than the all-breed clubs. Differences can also arise in the details of the breed's Standard.
The decision to remain independent poses its own set of problems. Members cannot compete in all-breed shows. Unless the group is very large, it can suffer from a lack of funding and lobby support that the kennel clubs can provide.
Breed-specific legislationposes another threat. In Australia, for example, it has long been rumoured that animal rights groups favour legislation that would forbid the breeding of dogs from any breed recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council; this could lead to a breed's extinction.
These issues have led to situations in which unresolved conflicts have resulted in the creation of competing breed clubs for the same breed (as in the
Rat Terrierclubs) and the clubs of the Coton de Tulear). The differences of opinion have even resulted in the development of some new breeds; the Tenterfield Terrierfrom the Miniature Fox Terrieris an example, as are the several forms of Jack Russell Terrierand the Shiloh Shepherd Dog. These divisions are sometimes mutually agreed upon, sometimes not. In such an atmosphere, it becomes difficult for kennel club to determine which club has or should have authority over the breed, and even more difficult for the layperson to decide which club to join.
When an all-breed kennel club does recognize one of these breeds, there can be considerable acrimony. In the worst cases, the kennel club recognition can be compared to a
hostile takeoverin a Mergers and Acquisitions deal. In some cases, the all-breed club recognizes the breed club's registry, as the American Kennel Clubrecognizes the National Greyhound Association, the Master of Foxhounds Association, and so on. In some cases, they do not, and instead start their own registry. Many breed clubs—such as, in the United States, the Australian Shepherd Club of America, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, and the United States Border Collie Club—opposed recognition of their breeds by the all-breed registries. These breed clubs have continued to maintain their own registries despite the creation of the all-breed clubs' registries, and have expressed in varying degrees opposition to how the all-breed clubs' standards and values affect the breeds.
* [http://www.bordercollie.org/akc.html The AKC Versus the Border Collie]
* [http://www.bordercollie.org/kpgene.html Genetics and the Border Collie]
* [http://www.http://www.lancashireheelers.org/health.htm Genetic eye conditions in the Lancashire Heeler]
* [http://www.terrier.com/jrtca/noakc.php3 JRTCA Stance on AKC Recognition]
* [http://www.netpets.com/dogs/newsroom/akcfss1.html The AKC Takeover of Rare Breeds]
Breed Clubs in the UK
*The UK Lancashire Heeler Club can be found at www.lancashireheelers.org
* [http://northerninuit.moonfruit.com The Northern Inuit Society]
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