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By dlb  2008


Thriving clubs have regular Membership and Board of Officer meetings WITH quorums that are documented by Minutes sent out (preferably separate) to more than quarterly Newsletters & all members.


Thriving clubs have regular Newsletters & Premiums for all club hosted events that are MAILED to all members. The word "regular" MUST happen often enough that minutes appear always in hard copy BEFORE the next meeting.
Thriving clubs send out complete  Club Agendas (this is a rule, per AKC) to all club members, preferably by snail-mail. According to AKC this is to offer club members an opportunity to speak out if they weren't originally attending and/or to prevent club bushwhackings.


Thriving clubs provide education opportunities at every club meeting.


Thriving clubs have multiple layers of mentors who communicate well, within single, dual or multiple interests.


Thriving clubs have at least three members who have home facilities where the club can socially explore camaraderie in activities, like water & field work.


Thriving clubs successfully use a communication balance of face to face, telephone, mailed letters, Premiums, Newsletters, proper Internet guidelines & Announcement Only listservs. Some clubs use social listservs that work out well. However, all social club listservs are accountable to club By-Laws. even if those AKC approved By Laws precede the Internet. Thriving club members utilize & know their club By-Laws.


Thriving clubs offer multiple & diverse activities for the club membership, not just show & field. While field & show are the crowning jewels of any AKC club, without new members & old members showing interest in areas other than initial responses, no club can continue to grow or thrive. Field & Show mentors, outside of breeding, are most likely to find "recruits" through becoming more than an associate within other club parameters.


Thriving clubs recognize change, accept it, adapt to different membership needs, always with the intent of building or re-building club important features like, Communication, Education, Camaraderie with Respect & Sporting Conduct, Field & Show in that order.


Thriving clubs spend their time by building, not by scoping out who is breeding what & not disciplining their members. What is important is that as many breedings as possible occur within club parameters. It is ok to have a so called "backyard breeder." It is ok to have a so called "higher volume breeder" so long as those individuals are active within a club, any club. What a club does not want is to force that so called "backyard breeder or puppy mill" outside of a club so that peer group pressure no longer has any possibility of effect. Puppies produced by breeders operating outside of clubs are more likely to end up within the "rescue system." (Another reason for drawing "those" individuals inside of a club)


Thriving clubs have a Rescue organization that is administrated by positive individuals who understand the parameters of purebred breeding. Chit happens when selling puppies. Chit happens to all who live. Unfortunately it is usually the dog who suffers from a dysfunctional family & can often be no reflection upon the breeder. People make mistakes, even experienced breeders. Once that puppy leaves a breeder's house they have "lost control" of that pup's destiny. "Healthy" Breeders & Rescue clubs understand that working hard to keep all breeders regardless of labels, inside of a club.


So...what happens to clubs when they "enforce" Ethics with a capital "E" is that they spend time destroying someone, instead of building for a thriving future. The beauty of ethics is that its byte is from within & is the greatest enforcer of breeding standards. People who patronize others how to breed, how to compete, how to live inside of Vizslas are not spending their time.....building a thriving club, but destroying what should have been a thriving club.


The single most important feature of a long lasting thriving club is the never ending search for new members where more stay than go; who start their own mentor circles; who in turn start their own mentor circles standing on their own ideals, gaining the confidence, derived from a thriving club life.


One thing about clubs, it is theoretically easy to "fix" things. Just update & follow your By Laws. Use the "Vizsla Golden Rule." Get everyone on the same page, communication wise and voila.......all have begun the immensely satisfying path back to a thriving club. Nobody ever said that thriving clubbing was easy, but there are few things more satisfying than to raise the level of purebred dog breed improvement through a healthily growing club filled with diverse, vibrant individuals. dlb

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"The Vizslak Sentinel "  (c) Jan 13, 2009
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