Parent Club Membership

Published in the AKC Gazette, May 2021

Parent Clubs are composed of groups of people with a singular interest in promoting the AKC recognized breed they have chosen to become involved. Parent Clubs are usually members of AKC that host shows and AKC performance events for both members and non-members to participate.   The Parent Club may also authorize or sanction local or regional specialty clubs.

Parent Clubs have a host of duties regarding their breed responsibilities.   The breed standards by which the quality of dogs are measured are set by the Parent Club.  It is also the responsibility of the club to assure a greyhound from 2021 is similar to the greyhound of 1890, in essence to guard the past as the sport evolves.    The Parent club has the privilege of selecting a delegate to represent the club in all major decisions related to the “Sport of Purebred Dogs” with the AKC. The club is also responsible for the overall health of the breed by educating and promoting good breeding practice among the membership, participating in research and studies with the Canine Health Foundation or reputable veterinary schools.    Speaking of education, the parent club also has the responsibility to educate the public about their breed through publications, the pamphlet that comes with each breed registration, attendance at “Meet the Breeds”, agree to interviews for magazine articles and books, and providing knowledgeable members to interface with interested people anywhere we go with our dogs.    It is also our duty to educate judges to the nuances of the breed standard.    This is accomplished through participating in breed presentations or seminars, hands-on workshops, ringside mentoring and providing thoughtful commentary when asked.    The club also has the responsibility of communicating with its membership through a newsletter format, email blasts, social media and even on occasion, good old snail mail.

You might ask, who does all of these things?     All of this is accomplished by an engaged membership of    breeders, owners, and fanciers who support the mission, goals, and values of the Parent Club.    Not everyone wants to be the President, but every member can and should contribute.    Paying dues is not enough to be considered an active member.    Perhaps you do not have the time to be on a committee that meets frequently, but can you write an article about your experience at a show or performance event for the club publication?    Can you talk up the club to new exhibitors to help the membership committee and write a letter to be a sponsor for this person?    Can you come to “Meet the Breeds” with a dog for a day?    Can you help with show set up or breakdown?   It does not take much effort to find a task or two during the year, that benefits the organization that is there for you and your breed.  It is a members’ responsibility to participate, to contribute to the trophy fund, to advertise in the club publication, to volunteer when asked, to speak up when there are concerns.  One last thing, it is an honor and a commitment to belong to one of these prestigious clubs, we all need to work to keep them viable for the future.

 I recently asked a member why do they belong, here are her reasons:

  1. Voting right to help choose judges and specialty sites
  2. Receiving notifications to know what is happening with the club
  3. Receiving the newsletter online and hard copy
  4. It's a like a professional organization, when you join it demonstrates your commitment to something.  In this case, it's commitment to the breed.

Specialties   - The Greyhound Club of America is taking advantage of the extra National Specialty to make up for the lack of a 2020 Specialty.     The first will be held on June 25th in Canby, Oregon with the Clackamas KC shows, the second National will be held on September 17th at Purina Farms, and the Eastern GCA Specialty will be held with Devon KC on October 9th at Ludwig’s Corner.   These shows represent great opportunities to meet dogs, breeders, and exhibitors alike.     Ringside mentoring will be available at each show.

Patti Clark

Greyhound Club of America