Membership Guidelines for The Poodle Club of America

These guidelines are well detailed by the Board of Directors and at the present are outlined as follows:

A. Applicants must have been actively breeding and/or exhibiting Poodles for at least eight (8) years immediately preceding submission of their application.

B. Applicants must have bred at least four (4) litters of Poodles out of which at least three (3) Poodles have finished their American championships. Serious obedience participants will also be given consideration.

C. Applicants must have been active members of their local Affiliate Club (if any), otherwise a local all breed club for at least four (4) years immediately preceding submission of their application.

D. The applicant's breeding program must be characterized as being quality oriented as opposed to quantity oriented. Those whose livelihood depends on puppy sales shall not be considered for membership.

E. The applicant must demonstrate a desire to follow the Breeder's Guidelines as established by The Poodle club of America, Inc., including an active concern in their breeding program for inherited genetic anomalies of the Breed. They must demonstrate reasonable care in eliminating those anomalies from their breeding program and the Breed.


Photo courtesy Cathi Winkles

F. The applicant must be generally characterized as:

  1. Ethical in their business dealings with other persons
  2. Providing proper care for their dogs and the dogs of others who are under their care
  3. Setting a good example as a leader and mentor to those less experienced in the breed
  4. Exhibiting good sportsmanship and conduct

It is possible that an isolated incident may have occurred which brings one of the above four into question. An isolated or sporadic incident should not be weighed too heavily against an applicant.


G. Hobby breeders who have established their own distinct line shall be preferred. Those whose livelihood primarily depends on grooming, handling or judging will also be considered so long as all other requirements are met.

H. The most important objective for membership is to admit applicants who have acquired the expertise, knowledge of the Breed Standard and commitment to the Breed in order to make important Club decisions and lend future direction to The Poodle Club of America, Inc.

I. Applicants elected to membership are expected to be active in PCA by meeting one or more of the following criteria on an ongoing basis:

  1. Owning a Poodle entered at a PCA National or Regional Show
  2. Attending a function sponsored by PCA or the PCA Foundation
  3. Serving on a committee, on the Board of Directors or as an Officer of PCA or the PCA Foundation Advertising in a PCA catalog, or donation to PCA, the PCA Foundation, the PCA trophy fund, or to some other function sponsored by PCA.

The question often asked is why so stringent on membership requirements. The first response is there are at least 47 affiliate clubs through out America and the general feeling is that individuals should gain the knowledge about the breed and participation at the local level before moving on to the national club. It is at the local level that breeders and exhibitors can prove their knowledge and value to the breed. The philosophy of The Poodle Club of America, Inc. is "what can you do for the breed or club?" rather than what the club can do for you.

The Membership also votes on the breed standard. By having a knowledgeable membership we believe we can protect the breed standards. The Poodle has survived the experience of being the most popular breed in America for a number of years and they retained the characteristics that they are known for - the breed did not succumb to the problems so often associated becoming America's most popular dog.

The Board of Directors wants a knowledgeable, active membership that is interested in the betterment of the breed - not personal self-promoting individuals. Individuals that prove themselves in the "trenches" make better national breed club members.

Helen Tomb-Taylor
Corresponding Secretary (2002-2006)