One of the great things about dogs is that most breeds are going to be ideal companions for everyone in the family from relatively young children through to seniors. Of course not all breeds are ideal for very young children, especially those breeds that are more aloof, timid or more territorial and possessive. Toy breeds are also not recommended for households with small children due to the chance of injury to these tiny puppies and dogs. This is not because the children are mean or uncaring; rather it is simply because of the small and delicate nature of the dogs themselves.
Breed clubs can provide opportunities for the whole family to become involved in the promotion and understanding of their particular breed of choice. Adult family members can always get involved in organizational planning and development, hosting events or even volunteering at different types of functions and activities. Teens may also be able to volunteer and help out at club functions, plus of course they are often very active in showing and competing with their dogs.
Younger children aren't left out either. Many breed clubs have special classes or events just for younger kids and their dogs. They also may offer educational classes and interactions with groomers, trainers and even animal nutritionalists to help younger children and teens learn more about dogs in general. This can be a great way for the children to experience a more in depth understanding of their dog but also to develop a respect for animals, increase their self-confidence and perhaps even interest them in a career choice that involves dogs or animals.
One of the biggest benefits for children or adults competing in breed club events is that there is typically a standardized scoring system, especially when the breed club is affiliated with a Kennel Club or a national or international breed club association. This consistency means that even kids can work with their dog to reach championship levels without having to travel all around the country to different shows. The more traveling and shows of course the more opportunities, but for people that just want to compete once or twice a year this makes a nice option.
Many breed clubs really encourage the whole family to get involved. This means encouraging children to bring their dogs to training sessions and workshops. Teaching children the correct way to interact with the breed is important as these kids will one day grow up to be the breeders, trainers and kennel owners of the future. Specific courses that not only focus on training the dogs but on training the kids are typically included in levels or awards that the children can work towards. Many breed clubs offer reduced or free admission to different shows or events they host related to dogs for children that are active or compete within the breed club events.
Another opportunity that many breed clubs offer is an opportunity for children and young adults that are active in showing, competing and club events to attend a state, national or even international dog show or event. This can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for these children and their families, plus it really does allow the club to promote its membership as well as its breed. In some cases these children or young adults may compete with their dog or in other circumstances they may go just to watch and enjoy the event.
Day training camps, weekend family and dog retreats and fun summer camp activities for the whole family are often organized by different dog breed clubs. These camps may be held in a central location and include members from other dog clubs from around the area or country or they may be more restricted to current members of the hosting club.
Typically these camps or club outings involve very informal shows and competitions as well as some fun activities that are designed for either just people or just pets. There may be group activities provided for the dogs by club volunteers that allows the humans to go sightseeing or on some type of tour while the dogs are safe and entertained. In addition there may be classes on grooming, dog first aid, showing tips or even how to become a judge. Classes may be geared more towards younger club members or more towards older members, just depending on how the weekend or camp is structured. Some camps are held in more remote areas that may give you the opportunity to travel to a new area and spend time with your dog and family in the great outdoors.
The dog breed club may also offer play days, special times at local parks, and even free access to training facilities for club members between specific times. These events and special activities can be a terrific way for the whole family to interact. Usually there is a great deal of socialization and friendship between those active members of the breed club, which can really add to the human's enjoyment of all these different types of activities. You may also be surprised at the different types of events and competitions your dog may have a natural ability for. Even fun events such as Flyball or dog Frisbee can be added to their routine for additional training and exercise options. Typically these types of fun activities may even lead your breed club to starting their own competition or event, or possibly putting together a team for larger demonstrations, events and competitions.
If you are considering joining a breed club and you have a family it is a good idea to look into what activities or opportunities they offer for the whole family to get involved. Breed clubs with lots of options are going to attract more people and therefore more opportunities for networking, meeting new friends and keeping up to date on issues with the breed. Kids activities will also help develop a lifelong love for dogs as well as teach kids to be responsible and loving pet owners all through their life.