Dog clubs bring together people with a common interest in raising, training, breeding and competing with purebred dogs. Clubs are a popular place to socialize and exchange information with seasoned dog show folks.
Newcomers to the sport may be surprised by the
number and variety of clubs. All told, nearly 5,000 clubs around the
country currently hold AKC-licensed or sanctioned events each year. (The
difference between licensed and sanctioned events is that points or legs
toward a title are only offered at license events.) Some clubs, such as
specialty clubs or national parent club, are devoted to the promotion of a
single breed. In contrast, all-breed clubs welcome enthusiasts of every
kind of registered purebred dog. Still other clubs are dedicated to the
pursuit of a particular dog sport, such as obedience, tracking, field
trials, hunting tests, herding, lure coursing, or agility (the fastest
growing AKC event).
Joining a dog club is a relatively simple
process. some offer educational programs on topics such as grooming,
breeding or handling for the show ring. Once or twice each year they put
on shows, trials and/or AKC-sanctioned matches. Local clubs often
participate in community activities to demonstrate responsible dog
ownership to the general public. Parent clubs have Public Education
Coordinators who provide education materials, and a list of responsible
breeders and local specialty clubs in various parts of the country.
Each breed has a national parent club that is
responsible for the important job of drafting and revising the breed
standard, the document that describes the ideal dog of their breed. Parent
clubs also hold specialty shows (shows at which only one breed is judged)
and support the organization of independent specialty clubs throughout the
"Many obedience clubs offer basic obedience
classes that welcome members and nonmembers. They also organize obedience
trials where dogs can ear AKC titles. Similarly, field trial clubs hold
events at which dogs can compete for prizes and points toward field
championships. Trials are available for pointing breeds, retrievers,
spaniels and three hound breeds: Basset Hounds, Beagles and Dachshunds.
Field trial clubs may also hold noncompetitive AKC hunting tests to
evaluate the pointing breeds, retrievers and spaniels against written
hunting standards under simulated hunting conditions.
Joining a dog club (or joining several) adds an
extra dimension to owning any breed. It is highly recommended for anyone
seeking a deeper involvement in the world of purebred dogs.
Geographical Club Listings:
AKC National Breed Rescue Clubs
AKC National Breed Clubs
AKC Geographical List of Show and Obedience Clubs
AKC Geographical List of Lure Coursing Clubs
AKC Geographical List of Field Trial Clubs
AKC Geographical List of Herding Clubs
AKC Geographical List of Coonhound Clubs
The above is an excerpt from The American Kennel
Club publication The Complete Dog Book, 19th Edition, Revised.