A breed club, in the
dog fancy, is
an organization dedicated to
breeding and showing of one single breed of dog as opposed to a
diverse mixture of dogs.
Breed clubs are important to the hobby for several reasons. One of the
primary reasons is in resolving disagreements over just what characterizes a
breed. Not all
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
for 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, and the like and exist more for social purposes, the
dissemination of news about the breed, and in some instances the organization of
Affiliation or independence?
Clubs organized around
breeds often maintain their own registries with no intent of seeking
recognition by any all-breed
club. This is usually because they believe that the common practices of the
all-breed clubs, such as maintaining closed
and awarding prizes based on appearance and
conformation rather than on performance, don't serve to protect the working
abilities of the dogs.
In some cases, the breed clubs of non-working 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 over
The decision to remain independent poses its own set of problems. Members are
denied the fun and prestige of competing 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 legislation poses another threat. In
for example, it has long been rumoured that so-called 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
Terrier clubs; notorious for the amount of ill will among them, and the
clubs of the
Coton de Tulear). The differences of opinion have even resulted in the
development of some new breeds; the
Tenterfield Terrier from the
Miniature Fox Terrier is an example, as are the several forms of Jack
Russell Terrier and 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 takeover in a Mergers and Acquisitions deal. In some cases, the
all-breed club recognizes the breed club's registry, as the
American Kennel Club recognizes 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.
| Backyard Breeder
| Breed Club
| Breed Registry
| Breed Standard
| Dog Hybrids and Crossbreeds
| Puppy Mills
| Selective Breeding
| Stud Master
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