What is a Breed Club…and Why Should I Join??

First let’s talk about what a breed club is. They are non-profit organizations responsible for maintaining the breed standard of their specific breed. Breed Standards give a description of the origin of the breed and describe what the qualities of a breed should have to perform the job they were originated for, like a blueprint. These clubs exist to promote their breed and protect it.

There can be national, local and regional breed clubs. It is the national club that is responsible for the breed standard. Many breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and you can find breed standards on their website.

Breed clubs are a good resource for finding breeders. Many of these clubs also fund health research and sponsor rescues for their breed.

Belonging to a breed club brings people together that have the love of their breed in common. I have formed many friendships through my breed club that I might have otherwise never had. It also gives you the opportunity to be mentored by long time breeders. But most important, these clubs help ensure the welfare of future generations of their specific breed.

There are many things that can benefit you by joining your breed club. For example, this is from my national breed club, the American Chesapeake Club (ACC) and the benefits their members have…

  • Receive our bi-monthly Bulletin that is filled with upcoming events, health information, training tips, heartwarming personal stories, and photos of the dogs.
  • Access to an inexpensive and extensive Video Library
  • Join a members only Chat List
  • Get Updates on Legislative Issues, Health Issues & more
  • Advertise puppies for sale or a stud dog
  • Join the Breeders Referral List
  • Vote on the standard for the breed
  • Purchase breed specific items like book, training manual, note cards, pins, etc.
  • Eligibility for recognition awards for your dog(s)

Your membership also helps support breed specific health research and rescue. Most importantly, it helps ensure that the future generations of these dogs and the people who love them have an organization that is there looking out for their well being!

 

If you have Chesapeake’s and would like to find out more about the ACC, you can contact a Regional Director for your area here.

For other breeds a simple Google search should give you results of breed and national clubs. You could also contact your breeder for information.

Remember breed clubs play a very important role in the preservation of specific breeds.

Tina and the Brown Dogs 

Canine Health Research

When we attended the National Specialty Show there was also a Health Clinic being conducted.

The ACC Board of Directors, The ACC Charitable Trust, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals CHIC DNA Repository and the ACC Canine Health Foundation are partnering to sponsor a blood collection from our dogs at the National Show Special and our National Field Trial Specialty.

The purpose of this clinic was to do a blood draw to collect and store DNA for future investigation of canine diseases of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  It not only will be for diseases we already know about but for diseases we find in the future.

Titan and Riva both donated blood for this valuable research. They did very well and were cooperative. I spoke with Dr. James Stewart, who organized the clinic, and he said they had more than 60 dogs donate. That is amazing!

This is the form that had to be completed for each dog.chic_dnabankapp_main_Page_1chic_dnabankapp_main_Page_2

We actually received a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for their DNA donation.

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These are Maia and Titans certificates. It is noted on their OFA page that they have donated with their OFA number for the DNA Data Bank. You can view that here and here

Every dog carries two copies of a gene and when breeding the offspring receives one copy of a gene from each parent. This is random so there is no way to know what copy pups will receive. You can read more about that here

That is why canine health research is so important to the future of dog breeding. Great strides have been made with certain diseases and learning their mode of transportation but much more needs to be done. The more we know about different diseases/conditions the better equipped breeders are in making sound breeding decisions. Who knows maybe one day some of the diseases that plague different breeds will become eradicated or at the very least under control.

If you would like more information please visit

Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)

AKC Health Foundation

CHIC DNA Repository

ACC Charitable Trust

American Chesapeake Club Health Issues