My experience with the Danish-Swedish Farmdog Club of America (DSFCA) has been, for the most part, negative. I just want to post about my experiences so anyone else thinking of joining can see my point of view.
Back in January of 2009 I was looking for a Farmdog to buy. The first place I found on Google was the DSFCA. However, only one member of the DSFCA would even talk to me. And she told me that she would never sell me a Farmdog. I won’t name names, how’s that for polite? 🙂 The rest of the club was completely closed and was a like a brick wall. Needless to say, I was frustrated. Fortunately I found an awesome breeder (Stolta Ebbas) and imported Jet from Sweden in July 2009.
The day after I brought Jet home I was invited to join the DSFCA and the corresponding Yahoo Group. Now I don’t know about everyone, but it would seem to me that the only breed club that exists at the time would actually be willing to communicate with people interested in buying a puppy. However, that’s not the case with the DSFCA.
So time goes on and I start to talk about things like AKC-FSS and I get slammed down pretty hard. The people on the Board of Directors was not only totally against the idea, they were rudely opposed, and they let me know in no uncertain terms. No matter that the US Born Farmdogs were an isolated breed and not on par with the rest of the world. This worried me, mostly for any puppies Jet may have, as I felt that all US Born Farmdogs should be able to breed and show in in all FCI member countries.
Fortunately my words got the attention of some amazingly fabulous women, and I was able to connect with them! Finally, some people who understood what I was talking about!
Back to the DSFCA… I pretty much stopped posting on the boards and yahoo group because I was tired of being criticized, ridiculed, and pretty much flamed.
I was able to attend the DSFCA National Specialty in November of 2010. The show isn’t thrown by DSFCA, instead it’s put on by ARBA, and the DSFCA encourages people to attend. The DSFCA does fly in a judge from either Denmark or Sweden, which is nice. However, last November, the judge they had planned on bringing in became sick and couldn’t make it. So instead they got another judge. She was afraid of flying, and so she had to be accompanied by her husband. So without asking the membership, the DSFCA spent the money to fly in two people from Denmark for the specialty. Needless to say, that’s darn expensive.
The DSFCA hosts the judges in the homes of people who are showing in the specialty. So, the dogs who are showing are dogs that the judge has not only seen before the show, but the judge and the handlers have spoken at length and shared a residence, dinner, and sight-seeing before the actual show. That is a terrible breach of any code of ethics with any reputable dog show club. It can make the judge biased and should never be done.
During that show a couple of people entered spayed bitches into the Open Bitches Class. Hrm. These people have been showing for years, and it’s clearly stated on the ARBA website that Open Bitches is only for Intact Bitches, not spayed. The DSFCA BOD encouraged and supported this blatant breaking of the rules.
The DSFCA claims that they are too small to adopt a Code of Ethics for dog shows. (I won’t be pasting copies of any emails here, you’ll have to take my word for it, sorry.)
I think that any club that says they are too small for a Code of Ethics for dog shows has something seriously wrong with them. All clubs should have a Code of Ethics for shows! They should not be allowing conflicts of interest!
While all this is going on, myself and the other wonderful women I met have decided to form a new club. The DSFCA doesn’t promote education. They don’t hold seminars. They don’t put on shows. They don’t even talk to anyone interested in purchasing a Farmdog puppy, nor do they promote education about the breed. Actually, I’m not really sure what exactly it is they do but encourage people to enter an ARBA show every year and fly in a Danish judge. Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of bringing in a Danish or Swedish judge is great. But a breed club, in my opinion, should do a lot more than encourage people to enter one show a year.
Thus was born Danish-Swedish Farmdogs USA. So far it’s doing so many things! We hope to have webinars, seminars, education, sporting events, dog shows, etc! I’m really excited about it!
So anyway back to the DSFCA. We, the creators of DSFUSA, decided to invite the BOD of the DSFCA so that we could let them know what we were planning. We didn’t want to compete with DSFCA, instead it was our goal to compliment them. However, we were only met with criticism and anger and accusations of trying to ‘steal’ members from the DSFCA. But we don’t want to steal anyone. We don’t care if people are members of both clubs! None of the BOD of the DSFCA bothered to come to any of our webinars. We were just met with hostility and anger and pettiness.
Recently I discovered that I have been removed from the Farmdogs Yahoo Group that was run by the DSFCA. I was given no notice. I’m still a member of the DSFCA, and it was the primary form of communication by members, and the BOD, of the club. Hrmm interesting. I also found that my posting privileges to the DSFCA online forums has been revoked. I wasn’t told why, or that it would even happen. It’s all just gone.
I wonder if I’m being kicked out of the DSFCA? I guess it’s possible. But it would be nice to know why. The DSFCA does have a very small Code of Ethics on their website as of this writing, but nothing I’ve done has violated any of the points in the document. It doesn’t contain much about dog shows, and nothing about judging and interacting with the judge before the show. So I really don’t know why I’m being pushed out of the communication avenues.
I am most likely not even going to try to renew my membership with the DSFCA when the time rolls around again. It’s an opened and closed chapter of my life. Very short lived, really. And very unpleasant.
So, from the very beginning of my trying to deal with the DSFCA, to the very end (since this just may be the end of my relationship with them), they have been unfriendly, unsupportive, and downright rude. I can’t say I’ve had much good come from my relationship with the DSFCA. The only thing I’ve found were some like-minded people who have supported me with the AKC-FSS application. And, the best thing about these women, is the formation of the new club, Danish-Swedish Farmdogs USA!
So if you want to talk about Farmdogs, if you are interested in getting a Farmdog, if you like sports or showing or just having a Farmdog for a pet, please comment here or check out Danish-Swedish Farmdogs USA. We have an active Yahoo Group for people interested in getting a puppy (you don’t have to have a Farmdog yet!). We have regular webinars and meetings. We have a great club, and you don’t even have to own a Farmdog to join the club! You will find open and friendly people here.
So between January 2009 and now (February 2011) I’ve seen a lot of changes in the Danish-Swedish Farmdog programs in the USA. And I’m really excited to say that they are good changes, and I’m also proud to say I’ve been a big part of them! We’ve really opened up the community for the better!