Question of the Week
In my opinion, the parent club's main responsibility is to protect the breed. They should know the reason why the standard was written the way it was.
They should teach the members, judges and breed enthusiasts about the breed, the standard and, most importantly, WHY. They should be the preserver of records and history of the breed. How did the breed come into breeding, what was the purpose, why was the standard written as such and how can we preserve it?
Most of the breeds have a country of origin other than America; they should keep that in mind and make sure they maintain the purpose of the breed for the country of origin.
They should enforce breeding healthy dogs and only hold in high regard members who health-test their lines. Of course, we are not God. We cannot foresee every illness or condition, but we do have enough science to weed out those dogs who shouldn't be bred.
The only other responsibility of the club is to educate the public about the breed. Why should the Joe Q Public care about this breed of dog? Not all breeds will fit everyone's lifestyle. There has to be a true and honest list about the breed.
They should encourage the public to learn about the breed without overselling a potential drawback.
I’d like to see EVERY parent club offer judges’ education at EVERY national. They are the guardians of their standards and should be responsible to make sure judges are prepared to appropriately apply the standard while judging. You can’t complain about poor judging if no opportunity to grasp the essence of a breed is offered at the best venue to learn!
The ultimate primary responsibility of a parent club is the preservation and promotion of the breed. If a parent club does not already have a breed-sustaining standing committee, it should appoint and maintain one. This is a major way a club could promote its breed, improve its responsibility to the breed, and look for ongoing outreach possibilities to the club members, breeders, exhibitors and the general public, including all dog lovers.
The American Whippet Club has to be one of the best parent clubs out there. The workers within the club, from board to volunteers, certainly have my admiration. Especially with having to cancel our biggest event twice during 2020.
I have been a member since the early ’70s and have seen many good people come and go.
The key to success within any club and especially the parent club is to get people who can work together for a common goal to serve the members and the breed.
I marvel at how our board moves on in spite of difficulties within the membership and criticisms from those who never do anything for the club, or anyone else, yet complain the loudest.
Although there is very little the AWC isn't already doing to keep our club strong, I think transparency about rule changes, and having a very open mind about proposals from members must be listened to and addressed.
Grand Junction, Michigan
The responsibility of the club is to protect the integrity of the breed.
As a parent club member since 1981, I have seen my own parent club go through many versions of itself.
Without welcoming new members into the club, and encouraging participation from older members who have much to offer, no parent club can survive. That is the real tragedy. None of us in dog shows operates independently. We all need each other – for points, help, support, laughs, friendship and advice. We are ALL in this together. Parent clubs do their best work when that is exemplified, and their worst work when that is forgotten. I salute all parent clubs who work hard to grow memberships, put on yearly specialties, and promote breed testing. May all clubs learn from your success!