Advantages of Joining our Club

Advantages of Dog Clubs

Dog clubs hold around 5,000 events each year sponsored by the AKC. If you’re interested in earning points for your dog, these types of dog clubs fit your needs.  AKC sponsored events are more structured and regulated by rules, but if you want to get into showing, agility, herding or field trials, and you are serious about promoting and improving your dog’s performance, this kind of dog club would be a good choice.  In addition to the more structured, regulated side, dog clubs can give you networking opportunities, advice and possible contacts that would not otherwise have.  Dog clubs are about building that relationship with your dog and having fun while doing it.

Another advantage of belonging to a dog club is that it gives you access to a lot of different people and dogs.  It’s a great place to take a new puppy to help him learn proper socialization skills. You will meet people who can help you learn the ropes if you are just getting into showing, competing in agility, or any other activity.  You can find a huge amount of expertise at a dog club, and most people are happy to help a fellow club member out.  Plus, it gives you quality time with your dog in an environment where everyone loves dogs.

Many dog clubs visit schools to help teach kids about responsible dog ownership. It’s an opportunity to introduce kids to different breeds, so they have a chance to meet a well mannered dog regardless of what his breed is. Clubs have had good success promoting responsible pet ownership, and if this is something you might like to get involved with, a dog club is the place to go.

Becoming a Member and Benefits of Being a SMDTC Member

The purpose of our club is to further the advancement of all dogs and to conduct obedience trials and sanctioned matches under the rules of the American Kennel Club.   All persons in good standing with AKC and who subscribe to the purpose of the club are eligible for membership.   Any person who becomes a member during the fiscal year will pay dues on a yearly basis as follows; April 1 to Dec 21 at $35.00 individual membership, $40.00 for a Family membership or $5.00 for a junior membership.  Applications received after January 1, will pay full membership dues but these fees will apply through the next fiscal year.   All members will be considered valid from the day the general membership votes them into membership. Becoming a member takes approximately two months (must be present at the second reading).   As an added benefit to new members that have paid for two classes at full price, these new members will immediately receive ACTIVE status for the first calendar year in which they become a member.  This initial ACTIVE status applies only to class enrollment for that calendar year.  New Active Members must work the required volunteer hours, attend meetings, and turn in the Volunteer Hour sheet by November 30 to become active members for the following year.

Active member status  is required  to  qualify  for discounted  classes at SMDTC, be given a key to  the  building,  and to  qualify  for the  annual title plaques.  New members must have taken and paid for two classes at full price either as a member or non-member before receiving discounted classes as part of the ACTIVE member benefit.

To be considered an Active Member of SMDTC:

  • An individual must have 24 volunteer hours of which 6 hours must be from meetings (4 meetings at 1 ½ hours each). Family membership has same requirement.
  • You will submit your hours worked to the Vice President no later than the last day in November. The Vice President will check the hours you have reported against meeting roll sheets and other indicators of times reported (spreadsheets for stewarding, instructor tracking lists for classes taught, etc.).  You can, of course, add hours for other activities you undertake for the club.
  • Hours do not carry forward from year to year.
  • The year is defined as January 1 through December 31. (If you know you will be volunteering for a club event in December, you may pre- report it.)
  • Traveling to and from events is not counted in the hours worked.
  • Instructors only count hours for the actual time a class meets, not for prep.
  • Extenuating circumstances will be handled by the Board for waivers (these should be presented to the Board in writing).
  • New members must meet the following criteria to achieve active status for the year joined:
Membership Starting Month Volunteer Hours Monthly Meetings
January  – March 24 hours served attend  4 meetings
April  – June 18 hours served attend  3 meetings
July-September 12 hours served attend  2 meetings
October – December 6 hours served attend  1 meeting

There are several ways to earn volunteer hours.  You earn 1.5 hours for every membership meeting you attend.   You can also earn hours by working our various trials, whether it be Agility, Obedience, Rally, or Tracking trials. No experience is ever needed to work at a trial, as we will train you.  Also, throughout the year, we have Agility, Obedience, & Rally “fun runs.”  These are usually held at our club building.  We have clean-up days at the SMDTC building & we often need help hauling equipment to & from trials from time to time.  Also, if it’s something you might be interested in, you can attend one of our assistant training sessions to learn what is required to assist our SMDTC classes.