Whether you are a new dog parent or interested in meeting others that share the same love for your favorite breed, you might want to consider joining a dog club. It can be daunting to decide whether or not to join a dog club.
On one hand, it’s a great way to make friends for your furry friend and get some extra exercise for yourself.
But on the other hand, you don’t want to waste your time or money if the club isn’t a good fit for you and your pup.
So if you are thinking, “should you join a dog club?”, read on!
By Adeline Ee.
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What Is A Dog Club
A dog club or a kennel club is a canine-related organization dedicated to the breeding, exhibition, and promotion of many dog breeds.
Kennel clubs uphold breed standards, register pedigrees, and set rules for conformation dog exhibitions and trials, as well as judge accreditation.
In addition, clubs sponsor most dog shows, dog competitions, and other canine-related activities.
Similarly, becoming a member of a dog club allows you to meet other dog lovers, create connections with other organizations and provide a healthy place for different activities that both you and your dog to enjoy.
So Should You Join A Dog Club?
The decision of whether or not to join a dog club can be a difficult one.
On the one hand, these clubs offer members access to a wide range of resources, including expert training advice, valuable tips on dog nutrition and health, and forums where members can interact with like-minded enthusiasts.
On the other hand, there are some potential downsides to joining a dog club as well. For example, there may be membership fees associated with the club that you are considering joining.
Additionally, there may be rules or restrictions around how you can interact with your dog while at club events.
Here are some advantages of being part of a dog club.
Gain more knowledge about your dog’s breed
Whether you are a new owner of a specific breed or one with many years of experience, you can never stop learning!
One of the advantages of joining a dog club is that you get to learn more about your dog’s breed.
While all dogs are different, they all have similar genetic predisposed characteristics that they share.
In addition, you can learn more about their potential health, behavior, and temperaments by meeting other owners of the same breed.
Aggressive behavior is less prevalent in dogs who had more social contact or attended puppy lessons before the age of twelve weeks.
On the other hand, dogs who lack experience in urban environments are associated with aggression toward unfamiliar people and avoidance behavior.
Dog clubs will also help your dog in exposing him to a wide variety of people, places, and situations that will help him shape his personality and how he reacts to his environment.
And face it, very few things are more adorable than a huge number of dogs of the same breed congregating!
All dogs need training to be canine model citizens.
Training classes provided by a dog club focus on the tendencies of that specific breed. For example, some hound groups might incorporate scent work into their obedience classes, or some herding groups might include a few agility exercises.
While basic obedience classes teach mainly the same things, a trainer that is used to working with your particular breed will already be clued in to the potential problems and issues that may arise.
You Get To Meet Fellow Breed Lovers!
Dog clubs are a great place to be able to interact with other people who shares the same love for your breed.
Not only you are teaching your dog to mingle with other dogs, but you also get the opportunity to develop your skills.
Dog clubs also provide you the opportunity to be a volunteer at dog events, serving as an ambassador for your breed as well as dogs in general for your community.
Similarly, getting involved in a dog club can be beneficial to your family as it can provide various activities that you and your family can do together.
Disadvantages Of Joining A Dog Club
Of course, nothing is perfect. Joining a dog club comes with its own share of disadvantages.
Most dog clubs charge a membership fee
Although this may or may not be a bad thing, some dog clubs require a membership fee.
If you plan on joining a dog club, prepare a small fee of about $50 to $150 a year.
Dog clubs are breed-specific
Dog clubs are intended for a specific dog breed, and some clubs only recognize purebred dogs and do not include hybrids, crossbreeds, or mixed-breed dogs.
The events have to fit your schedule
Like any group meeting, you’ll have to tailor your schedule to fit around the dog club events and training sessions.
If you have a tight and rigid schedule, you might miss out on events if they don’t fit well with your own.
Gatherings aren’t good for nervous dogs
If your dog is shy and anxious, dog club events often have a large number of dogs, with a lot going on.
A dog club environment might not be good for a nervous dog.
A quiet, peaceful dog park might be better for socialization opportunities.
Why Didn’t I Join Dog Club?
I never had the privilege of joining a dog club, because there simply weren’t that many Rottweiler (click to read more about ’em) clubs around in a big city which had mostly Retrievers, Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas.
However, I participated heaps in online Rottie forums and groups.
I found them remarkably helpful in identifying and helping with breed-specific subtleties and health issues.
Also, the trainers around were used to dealing with behavioral issues like excessive barking, jumping up, and destructive chewing.
They often don’t deal with working dogs and hence, don’t understand the working dog’s drive.
In neighboring countries, there were also dog clubs for retired working dogs which I would have loved to join!
Final Thoughts On Joining A Dog Club
Ultimately, the answer to whether or not you should join a dog club depends on your own personal preferences and situation.
Some people enjoy being part of an active community of devoted dog lovers, while others may find that their busy schedules prevent them from attending regular meetings or events with the club.
However, if you are looking for additional support in raising and training your furry friend, then joining a dog club could be an excellent way to get more out of your relationship with your canine companion.
So consider all aspects of the club carefully before making your decision!