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did you feel welcomed when you joined your 1st club?

  • Yes

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  • No

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  • they liked me but I did not like them

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  • they did not play the retriever game I chose to play

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In many conversations and RTF posts we hear about folk who are not members of a retriever club. Or have been members of clubs in the past and have not felt welcomed. Or are new members of retriever clubs and want to pounce with vigor and enthusiasm but seem to be not taken seriously by the club members.
There are many reasons for this. Every retriever club has a membership list. The club I am in has 80+ members. They also have a "core group" that seem to do everything. Everything from being members of the board, secretary and treasurer to the chairs of tests and marshals and workers. While at some point every person will toss a duck at least once at one event. The core group will be at every event making things run smoothly.
The grizzled veterans of the core group have seen new people or "Fresh Meat" as I have jokingly referred to them in the past, come and go. For every person that makes it into the core group, ten will be a member for a summer or two and then drift away. Others will be in the class of the club members who toss that one duck once at one test. But are not willing or because of circumstances of life not able to do more at this time.
So what can you do as a new person in a retriever club to be taken seriously by the core group? Do you need fancy dog boxes with the offspring of an FC/AFC in it? No. Do you need fresh, unseen training grounds to share with the group? No. Do you need to order everything in the dogs afield catalog? No. All you need to do is come to whatever events your club has. Be on time or early. Boldly walk up to the equipment trailer ask to do something. Stay to the end. Start picking things up without being asked. Have a good attitude and do not lurk in the back. Make your self known to the group by your actions and you will be remembered and soon will be invited to private training sessions and hunting and a slippery slope of activity will be at your feet. Good luck to you all!
Ken Bora
 

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I voted yes, but the first club I joined only had about 8 members and they needed me probably more than I needed them. Not that I added that much but they really needed new blood to keep going.
 

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I voted yes but I am a member of a small group. When I first joined every single person there made me feel like I was right at home, they never treated me like an some new guy that they could boss around and understood to the fullest that I had a pup that didn't know what the heck was going on. They understood that I had never trained a dog before and they were willing to give me any adviced that I asked for and alot that I wasn't smart enough to ask for.
 

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The first club I joined was over 80 miles, across Metro rush hour traffic, one way. I entered a room full of burly guys in flannel shirts. One guy did take the time to come over and ask about my dogs. Upon hearing the response, he said, "Shouldn't you be home getting ready for Westminster?" First and last meeting of that club...

Four years later, despairing of ever getting going in this without club membership, I've joined a different club. They seem to be a great group of people. Unfortunately, activity has come to a screeching halt in honor of hunting season :wink: They've got some really nice stuff planned for new members and novices for next year, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Good post, Ken, thanks.

One thing I'd like to tell clubs, and this is based on years with a show-oriented breed club, is that the core group of workers needs to be willing to put some time into educating new folks on how to do stuff if they want help. This particular club has a history of either dumping massive jobs on people who have no idea what they're getting into (and then criticizing, of course) or saying "it's easier to do it myself than tell someone how to do it." And then complain that it's always the same ol' people doing the work. We saw the same thing you describe... people joining and wandering off after a short time, or joining but never really making a contribution to the club. Some of it was just human nature, but some of it was the way the club itself treated people. Not sour grapes - I hung around long enough to be an officer :wink:
 

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Glad you brought up this topic, Ken. I have seen a couple posts recently in which someone was disappointed in the experience they had in joining a club.
Any newbie asking for advice is almost certain to be told to "join a club ... you will learn a lot and the people are great!".
This is generally true, in that training with a group is essential if you want any degree of success. But you CANNOT expect that EVERYTHING you learn will be good advice nor that ALL the folks you meet will be your new "best friends".
1. Everyone out there training dogs has their own ideas and only some of them will work for you. I can tell you some pretty good stories about some "help" I once got from a grizzled, old codger in a tatttered white coat. :lol: Advice you get from someone who is there watching and sees your problem is far better than trying to get answers on the internet, BUT remember there will be conflicting opinions in a training group just like you get here and you have to listen to it all and sort out good from the BS.
2. Retriever enthusiasts are just like any other group of people ... there are some great folks and some jerks. You will probably meet some good friends there but remember, you joined because of your common interest. Do your share and a little extra, pay attention to what the other guy wants you to do when he/she is running, and expect the same when you are running.
Get out of it what you can but don't expect it to be perfect. Some of these "core groups" you see have taken YEARS to develop.
Kinda like your best hunting buddy. May not be your best friend but it's who you want to be with that day.
JS
 

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I've given up on joining Retriever Clubs, there are 2 relatively close to me, one is just a bit too far, but they are a great bunch of guys, I will attend some of their events and training days, and help. The other one which is much closer, I have sent about 5 pm's to someone on this board who is active with them offering my help and haven't even gotten a response, at least a hell no we don't need your stinkin help would make me feel better than being ignored. :lol:
 

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I could feel all the love and joy in the air when I attended my 1st meeting at Lone Star Retriever Club. The 3 main members were Verdell Matter, Bill Schrader & Jerry Wickliffe. There just weren't enough hugs and kisses to go around.

Dubya
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BamaK9 said:
I have sent about 5 pm's to someone on this board who is active with them offering my help and haven't even gotten a response, at least a hell no we don't need your stinkin help would make me feel better than being ignored. :lol:
Dude! Ya cant join a retriever club online :? . And some folk cant figure out how to respond to a RTF PM 8) . You gotta find out where there events are by asking like here like this - "Anyone know of a retriever club in North Central Alabama" Or going to say the AKC web site http://www.akc.org/ and searching and finding these clubs like I just did-
Black Warrior Retriever Club of Alabama
Saturday, November 12, 2005 - Sunday, November 13, 2005 Held at State Cattle Ranch Greensboro, AL Entries Close: Friday, October 28, 2005 Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
Madron Ramey, Event Secretary 1075 Oak Grove Rd Springville, AL 35146-6838
(205) 467-2609
or
Lower Alabama Hunting Retriever Club Saturday, December 3, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005 Held at Baldwing County Farms Baldwin County, AL
Entries Close: Saturday, November 19, 2005 Event Status: Approved
Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
J. Scott McGaw, Event Secretary 12495B Myrtle St Fairhope, AL 36532-6605
(251) 928-1300
or
North Alabama Retriever Club Friday, April 8, 2005 - Sunday, April 10, 2005
Held at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Decatur, AL
Entries Open: Monday, January 10, 2005 Entries Close: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved
For additional information contact: Mrs. Sharon F. Batte, Event Secretary
11026 Crestfield Dr Se Huntsville, AL 35803-1066 [email protected]
(256) 883-9627
or
Montgomery Retriever Club Friday, December 2, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005
Held at Wadsworth Farm Prattville, AL Entries Close: Wednesday, November 23, 2005Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Pended
For additional information contact:Mike Crow, Event Secretary
Po Box 4160 Montgomery, AL 36103-4160(334) 269-2343 [email protected]

Then pick up the phone and call Madron, Scott, Sharon and Mike. Find out where they are and what they do and when they are having their next event. Then show up with your barn boots on and a can of bug spray to pass around and a smile on your face and ask what you can do to help. Be aggressive in your approach to finding a club. Be aggressive in your work at events and it will show the grizzled veterans you are aggressive about advancing your dogs. Sitting and waiting for an email reply is not a valid excuse as I have just spent five minutes and found you four clubs and contact numbers. There are more but I don't feel like cut and pasting them all. And this is just the AKC site. NAHRA and ukc/hrc have even more. Sitting and saying "oh they never got back to me" is lame, pick up the phone! :roll:
Ken Bora
 

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Welcome?

My first retriever club was a new club. It had somewhere between 30-50 members. I was enthusiastically welcomed & felt a part of the group. I volunteered to work at trials, serve as club secretary, whatever they needed. They took me up on it. I learned a lot, made great, lasting friendships, and really had a good time.

I later joined another retriever club in the area that had the small core group. I was also enthusiastically welcomed, put to work, asked to judge, served as field trial secretary & helped as chief cook-and-bottle-washer whenever needed.

When I moved to the midwest, I was welcomed. It takes awhile to prove yourself to people who have worked hard at putting on trials, tests, etc. for years, but it works.
 

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Great topic Ken!

The way I see it is there are basically two kinds of people in this world...givers and takers, producers and consumers, or whatever you want to call them.
The same types of people are involved in retriever clubs.

I have found that the "core" group primarily consists of the givers. They enjoy helping others and expect very little in return. It does however sometime become difficult for them to continue giving to someone that is viewed as a constant taker.

The core group should provide instruction and help to all new members and make them feel as welcome as possible. They should also access the new members needs and provide guidance to help them achieve their goals. In order to be successful, it must be a win-win situation for the club and the new member.

To get the most out of a club, new members need to show the core group that they are willing to learn, serious about dog training, not afraid to ask questions, and no stranger to hard work in order to really become accepted and become a vital part of the club.

For the most part, the more effort you put into your club, the more effort the club will put into making you a valuable, contributing member.
 

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At Black Warrior last weekend we could have used some help. I think we did a good job but it would have been nice to have a few more. I think its harder to be excepted on this forum sometimes rather than a club. I have accumulated over 50 all-age points in 05 and the only one that has given me any love has been Fast-Woody. :( . I know on here it is more important to be QAA or be a NDC but I think to Qual two to the national am and one to the national open meens a little. By the way all the points my dogs have recieved in 05 where by me as the handler.
 

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this is an interesting subject that will, no doubt, raise many different opinons for many different reasons.

i have trained both with clubs, and without clubs, for many years and have had the opportunity, as well as the interest, in training and studying, dogs and people from the "pack animal" perspective.

as pack animals we all strive for a position in our packs. this will range from the lowest pack member to the leader. many levels from family,work, recreation, and as members of communites, villages, towns, cities, counties, states, and countries.

major packs will intermingle with each other at different times as well with each other in the subpacks that form in each pack.

the range of emotions,including but not limited to, competitions, struggles, eruptions, complacency, squabbles, threats, challenges, backstabbing, cowardice, bravery, partnerships, singlular actions,coalitions, etc. have always fascinated me.

imo, clubs are a great way to help one decide where his strengths and weaknesses lie as well as establishing a general idea of where one might be located in any particular pack.

for those that have studied pack behavior, they recognize that the ability to fit in or not fit in any particular pack is really based on ones own personal makeup.

if one has a strong desire to join a particular pack the methods come naturally. those that seem to "come and go", is again, personal makeup that causes them to not be keen on the requirements of membership in that pack, for what ever the reason.

it is these individual intracacies that have kept me enthralled all these years and still do to this day.

i consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study so many pack animals, of so many different species, including human.

this page is a "gold mine" in pack behavior itself, or as some have reffered to it, "a club" :wink: :wink: :wink:

Thanx to All!
 

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kip said:
I have accumulated over 50 all-age points in 05 and the only one that has given me any love has been Fast-Woody. :( .
Who cared enough to name you Butt Munch???? :p :lol:
 

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joining a club

Kippy, Kippy, Kippy,
We have offered overwhelming support and encouragement to you and your Golden. How much more love do you want????
Lovin' regards,
Becky
 

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Ken Bora said:
BamaK9 said:
I have sent about 5 pm's to someone on this board who is active with them offering my help and haven't even gotten a response, at least a hell no we don't need your stinkin help would make me feel better than being ignored. :lol:
Dude! Ya cant join a retriever club online :? . And some folk cant figure out how to respond to a RTF PM 8) . You gotta find out where there events are by asking like here like this - "Anyone know of a retriever club in North Central Alabama" Or going to say the AKC web site http://www.akc.org/ and searching and finding these clubs like I just did-
Black Warrior Retriever Club of Alabama
Saturday, November 12, 2005 - Sunday, November 13, 2005 Held at State Cattle Ranch Greensboro, AL Entries Close: Friday, October 28, 2005 Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
Madron Ramey, Event Secretary 1075 Oak Grove Rd Springville, AL 35146-6838
(205) 467-2609
or
Lower Alabama Hunting Retriever Club Saturday, December 3, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005 Held at Baldwing County Farms Baldwin County, AL
Entries Close: Saturday, November 19, 2005 Event Status: Approved
Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
J. Scott McGaw, Event Secretary 12495B Myrtle St Fairhope, AL 36532-6605
(251) 928-1300
or
North Alabama Retriever Club Friday, April 8, 2005 - Sunday, April 10, 2005
Held at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Decatur, AL
Entries Open: Monday, January 10, 2005 Entries Close: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved
For additional information contact: Mrs. Sharon F. Batte, Event Secretary
11026 Crestfield Dr Se Huntsville, AL 35803-1066 [email protected]
(256) 883-9627
or
Montgomery Retriever Club Friday, December 2, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005
Held at Wadsworth Farm Prattville, AL Entries Close: Wednesday, November 23, 2005Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Pended
For additional information contact:Mike Crow, Event Secretary
Po Box 4160 Montgomery, AL 36103-4160(334) 269-2343 [email protected]

Then pick up the phone and call Madron, Scott, Sharon and Mike. Find out where they are and what they do and when they are having their next event. Then show up with your barn boots on and a can of bug spray to pass around and a smile on your face and ask what you can do to help. Be aggressive in your approach to finding a club. Be aggressive in your work at events and it will show the grizzled veterans you are aggressive about advancing your dogs. Sitting and waiting for an email reply is not a valid excuse as I have just spent five minutes and found you four clubs and contact numbers. There are more but I don't feel like cut and pasting them all. And this is just the AKC site. NAHRA and ukc/hrc have even more. Sitting and saying "oh they never got back to me" is lame, pick up the phone! :roll:
Ken Bora
I appreciate the hard work Ken :wink: Lower AL is 5hrs away, Montgomery is 3hrs away, I've trained quite a bit with some of the guys at Black Warrior but even they are 2 hours away, North AL for the most part is an inactive club as far as training days go, they just put on one trial a year, actually 1 guy pretty much does it. But thanks for the work, it just happens to be that I'm sort of in a dead zone as far as true "dog folks" are concerned. I have to travel at least 2 hours to get in on any training group which is ok for a weekend, but as you know, fido needs work every day :lol: . I've just gotten several guys some very well bred pups and they are putting them with a pro who is in my home town, so I'm hoping that is all about to change for the better :lol:
 

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I have accumulated over 50 all-age points in 05
Damn, you've had a good year and it's not over yet. Good going!

Virtual hug and a bandana on the way. :p
 

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I had a less than favorable experience with my first dog years ago at another club's training day. A friend and I went together. I was just trying to get my dog on real ducks. He had only seen pigeons and pheasants. I wanted to get a WC and my friend was working towards a JH title, and we were pretty clueless regarding retriever training. We kind of got a lukewarm reception. I don't think we stayed very long and ended up going elsewhere and throwing bumpers for each other's dogs. For a while after that I had bad case of white coat syndrome. We were in the process of starting our local LRC then and have tried to be welcoming to new people at our events. Even if that means taking Joe Newbie aside and giving his dog it's first experience with birds.


Gina
 

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Re: joining a club

Becky Mills said:
Kippy, Kippy, Kippy,
We have offered overwhelming support and encouragement to you and your Golden. How much more love do you want????
Lovin' regards,
Becky
I forget Becky, is Kip's Golden named Fluffy or Buff Buff?!? :)

M
 
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