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The Glitz and Glamour Of Dog Shows


Dog Club Expectations


Both BREED CLUB and KENNEL Club memberships are dwindling. Could dog club requirements be so strict it drives people away? How to ensure your club survives.


August 4, 2021

E. Katie Gammill, AKC Group Judge


Many new dog show chairs fly by the seat of their pants. How can dog show clubs survive and prosper? This article addresses these issues, especially during COVID-19 financial and social problems.


Clubs should make a list of necessary positions and expected duties. There are “work horses” and “race horses” in every situation.


Clubs should make a list of necessary positions and expected duties. There are “work horses” and “race horses” in every situation. Most dog shows are possible due to a few dedicated “work horses”. The “race horses” show up late, criticize, show their dogs and leave before Groups.


Today it’s more economical to form a cluster. Before the show, elected club members meet with members of participating clubs to discuss panels, costs, division of money, booth rental, clean up, ring stewarding, and concessions.


What is the responsibility of a club member?

Attend meetings. Clubs elect a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Regarding the Treasurer, AKC suggests checks be signed by two parties. Perhaps a club credit card is in order. Insist on a complete report at each meeting.


Clubs need a breed education chairman, program chairman, and refreshment chairman. There is a Board of Directors and Judge’s Selection Committee which should periodically change. The AKC gives guidance regarding a club Constitution upon request.


For shows, a trophy solicitation chairman is required. The club needs a transportation chairman to make sure judges get to and from the airport. They check judges into the hotel in a timely manner and take care of payment.


A hospitality person meets judges in the lobby for transportation to the show. A judge’s luncheon chair is responsible for the caterer for the weekend. There will be a person for catalog sales and another to handle gate fees if there’s a charge.


The secretary works closely with the AKC regarding dates, locations, and other issues. A new show sight must be reviewed and approved by an American Kennel Club Representative due to specific requirements regarding the show.


A show chairman is elected. Many clubs hire professional ring stewards. Others hire Boy scouts or other organizations for clean-up. The show chair must continually be on watch for infringements of the rules and regulations.


Before the show, members may need to meet and prepare the building for the exhibitors. They will mark off grooming areas and parking areas. Often walls must be covered with plastic and mark areas for vendors and grooming.


During the show, the show chairman moves ring to ring to ensure the judges have what they need and to substitute as ring steward when another leaves for a necessary bathroom break. Restrooms must be under constant surveillance to insure necessary items are available.


JUDGES: Winkie Mackay-Smith, Mary Remer, David Merriam


Dog club members make sure the rings run smoothly. In case a judge doesn’t show, the show chair works with the AKC rep. regarding judge replacement. Actually, the show chair oversees the entire event to insure everything runs smoothly and rules are followed. Seats should be placed ringside at Groups for judges.


Once a member steps forward and assumes responsibility, FOLLOW THROUGH. It is imperative the judge’s selection person who contacts judges train another person for their position regarding judge’s contact and contracts. They will assign breeds to respective judges with club member input.


Putting on a successful dog show is no small feat! After the show, there is ground cleanup. All members must participate. This assures the venue will be available for another time. Dog club members should attend their shows. Today many exhibitors “show and go” but it is the Group ring where one develops an “eye”.


All dog clubs should expect a profit over expenses with which to ensure other opportunities to educate the public. To truly enjoy the sport of dogs, pitch in! Contribute what you can regarding club participation. Be an asset to your club and to the sport of dogs. In this way we can be sure the sport will live far into the future.

estb. 1998 Copyright ? 2021





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