Application Requirements for Recognition

Application Requirements for Recognition by the
Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc.

The purpose of the Bylaws & Regional Club Relations Committee is to serve the Board of Directors as a consultant regarding the Constitution and Bylaws of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) and to assist local, independent Bernese Mountain Dog Clubs in the development of their Constitution and Bylaws for recognition by the parent club and/or the AKC, with continued availability to serve as a resource for AKC Sanctioned and/or Licensed local/regional clubs seeking guidance in reviewing and revising their bylaws. In an advisory capacity, the committee shall act as a resource for new local/regional Bernese Mountain Dog clubs and shall provide guidance in the application process for recognition by the parent club. Applications from clubs requesting recognition by the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America shall be reviewed by the committee with its findings and recommendations to be submitted to the Board of Directors. All efforts and actions by this committee shall be expressly directed in working for the BMDCA in support of the club's vision, purpose, strategies and goals. (Approved by the BMDCA Board, July, 2012)

  •   1.  Have an Acceptable Name. A club's name should identify its geographic center of activity, that is, the area from which the club's membership is drawn. It should be readily recognizable to someone in another part of the country. The application should indicate the incorporation status of the club. Before a club incorporates, it should receive written approval of the name from the Club Relations Department of the AKC. Clubs should submit a Club Profile to AKC's Club Relations.
  •   2.  Submit an Acceptable Constitution and Bylaws. The club must be governed by a constitution and bylaws that provide for the democratic functioning of the club in all of its activities. The constitution and bylaws are to be modeled after the AKC's model for a local specialty club. These should be submitted to the Bylaws Chair of the BMDCA for suggestions prior to being submitted to the membership of the new club for a vote. This way, the new club has an opportunity to make changes BEFORE the Constitution and Bylaws are adopted. When the new club has made the suggested changes, the proposed Constitution and Bylaws should be voted on by its membership. Once accepted, a copy should be placed on file with the Bylaws Chair of the BMDCA.
  •   3.  Function as a Club Over a Period of Time. New groups must be in existence for an extended period of time, during which regular meetings, elections, and activities must have take place for a period of three years after which time they are eligible for BMDCA recognition. In addition to conformation events, Clubs should consider including performance (such as Draft and Herding) and companion (such as Obedience, Rally, Agility, Tracking) workshops/matches/tests. Exemption from three years of functioning as a club will be granted if accreditation by AKC has been given and the club has held a successful "B" match. Documentation, such as type of activity, date and a brief description of the event, is to be provided. All other application requirements are to be fulfilled as outlined.
  •   4.  Have Held Fun Matches as a means for club members to learn the details and mechanics of dog shows while providing an opportunity for inexperienced dogs to gain competitive experience. A record of these activities, including a brief summary of each event including address of the site, as well as problems and difficulties encountered, should be kept. The records should include the number of entries. A synopsis should be submitted with the application.
  •   5.  Have a Rescue Program. Have a rescue policy/procedure with contact information. Due to insurance and liability issues, the BMDCA does not require a rescue program, but does expect regional BMD clubs to provide contact information for the BMDCA's Rescue Chair and to network with neighboring BMD clubs that may have a rescue program in place. If the Club has a Rescue program, the Club must present a thorough annual record of timely reporting to the BMDCA Rescue Chair of complete rescue and rehoming activities in accordance with the Rescue Committee's report requirements.
  •   6.  Submit a Membership List. Clubs should keep accurate and up-to-date membership lists. When submitting the list to the BMDCA, it should include names and complete addresses of members in alphabetical order, year joined, as well as the letter designation "B" (Breeder - someone who has registered a litter within the past three years); "E" (Exhibitor - someone who has entered an AKC licensed event within the past two years); "DO" (interested Dog Owner - someone who, although not actively breeding or exhibiting, is a dog owner and active in the club); or "J" (AKC-licensed judge). [Since AKC will require for accreditation the year in which each person joined the club, this information should be maintained for future reference.] The BMDCA will consider members of the same household as one membership unit, and as such should be listed jointly rather than separately. In those situations where a new club has formed near an existing BMD club, the BMDCA will take into careful consideration membership duplications between the two clubs. While such may occur, it will use AKC's "Sample Constitution and Bylaws for Local Specialty, Field Trial and Hunting Clubs" as its criteria. Article I. Membership, Section 1. Eligibility states, "While membership is to be unrestricted as to residence, the club's primary purpose is to be representative of the breeders and exhibitors in its immediate area." The BMDCA has a high regard for the longevity of regional clubs and is emphatic in its support of existing BMDCA recognized clubs. "New" clubs forming near an existing, recognized club should be keenly aware that the BMDCA will expect a high percentage of its members to dwell within a relatively small geographic area.
  •   7.  Submit the Name of the Club's Newsletter. The name should be unique to that regional club to avoid duplication of names with another Bernese Mountain Dog club. The newsletter may be printed, electronic or posted on the club's website. Include sample copies of the club's newsletter. Contact the Regional Club Council Chairperson for a list of regional clubs and the names of their newsletters.
  •   8.  Provide a Record of the Club's Development. This record should briefly outline the club's chronological history (including the events leading to formation), activities, "fun" matches, meetings, rescue program, community events, and social events. Where applicable, include location and numbers involved. The keeping of such information should be on-going, as it will be invaluable to the club. In those instances where a club is forming near an existing club, the BMDCA will closely examine the events leading to formation and carefully consider the manner in which the "new" club was formed.
  •   9.  Establish and update on a timely basis a club website. At a minimum the website should contain an up-to-date copy of the club's Constitution and Bylaws; an up-to-date listing of officers and committee chairs along with specific contact information for each person; Membership requirements, membership application forms, membership renewal forms; Club history and geographic territory covered; Rescue and Rehome information; Breeder referral; Upcoming club events; and a "Contact Us" section.
  • 10.  Apply for recognition by the BMDCA Board of Directors in a letter to the BMDCA Bylaws & Regional Club Relations Chairperson accompanied by a hard copy of the foregoing documentation. Materials that are sent will not be returned, but will be kept on permanent file. Submit to:

D. Eugene Hamme, Chair
BMDCA Bylaws & Regional Club Relations
90 Mt. Shadyoak Ct.
Hendersonville, NC 28739
Phone (828) 693-9790; e-mail -
Approved by the BMDCA Board of Directors
April 7, 2014