AKC Gazette

March 2007




A breed club is many things, but most have the same goal: They are concerned with stimulating responsible pet ownership and breeding practices, They accomplish this by holding educational programs, handling classes, matches, and point shows.

These things require commitment and hard work from breeders, enthusiastic newcomers, devoted dog owners, and fanciers. Dues make it possible for clubs to operate and do the work necessary to advance the interests of purebred dogs.

Clubs are also a place where you can meet people with the same interests and make lifelong friends. They are a place to listen, share, and learn more about your breed or other breeds. They are a place where you can work your heart out and receive praise – or criticism – for your efforts. They can inflate your ego – or break your heart.

A breed club is a group of people who come together because of their common love of a particular breed: The club is not an entity unto itself. Rather, it is guided by a constitution, bylaws, and by elected officers.

Club officers spend a great deal of time working for what they believe are the best interests of the club and membership. There can be a good deal of aggravation when doing club work, which requires a lot of personal time and effort. With so much work for us to share, please stop the complaining about politics and cliques. If you disagree, please come forward and so civilly. Please offer constructive alternative ideas, and please do not go on the internet to vent your feelings. It is easy to sit in the gallery and complain while others actually do the work.

A parent club has the responsibility of being the guardian of the standard. The Bulldog Club of America is one of these clubs. To advance the welfare of the breed, BCA has developed a code of ethics and offers pamphlets and publications that pertain to our beloved sourmug. My favorite is titled “Basic Care of Your Bulldog.” It is filled with a wealth of information about caring for a Bulldog, particularly for the first-time puppy owner.

The BCA also publishes a topnotch breed publication, edited by Ray Knudson. Members receive this as a benefit of their membership. This publication alone makes BCA membership worthwhile.

Another function of clubs is to keep abreast of any new dog-related legislation. Too often unfair and prejudiced legislation is passed into law without public knowledge. It is up to you, as citizens and members of a dog club, to see that the laws that govern you and your dogs are fair & equitable. Don’t be caught off guard!

Finally, for those who have asked me how you can be a successful breeder, I have this advice. Study your bloodlines, talk with the old-timers who have had success and may have personal knowledge of the dogs in your pedigree, and most of all: Pray that Lady Luck is sitting on your shoulder.

Amelia Averil, 8 Willow Brook Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07612.