How to Become a Member
The purposes of The Poodle Club of America, Inc., are to create, foster and promote the owning, responsible breeding and training of purebred Poodles in accordance with the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club and to do all possible to make the public aware of the breed’s natural qualities.
Functions of PCA
Members of the Poodle Club of America are, in general, veteran breeders, exhibitors and judges. They have, through years of experience, gained extensive knowledge about Poodles. It is their function, as members of the Parent Club, to define and preserve the Standard of the Ideal Poodle and to advance the general welfare of the breed. PCA has, at present, one or more business meetings a year, one of which precedes the National specialty. It is the deliberative and policy-making group for Poodle Activities.
There are three types of Membership
The purpose of the Individual Membership is to recognize individuals who demonstrated long term that they have acquired significant knowledge of the breed standard, have successfully breed and exhibited and have conducted themselves with good sportsmanship exhibiting good character in matters important to the Club and the Breed.
The purpose of the Associate Membership is to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a long term commitment to the Poodle beyond the role of conformation exhibiter and breeder. Examples include participation in performance/companion activities, extensive rescue work and other activities deemed worthy by the Board of Governors.
Across the country there are area, or local, Poodle Clubs, many of which are Affiliate Clubs of PCA. Area Poodle Clubs must first qualify with the American Kennel Club to hold point shows before applying for PCA Affiliate Club status. Each Affiliate Club is entitled to be represented by a delegate at PCA membership meetings. The Affiliate Club Council, chaired by the Second Vice President of PCA, meets once a year. Its emphasis is placed on education and helping clubs maintain their status in an ever changing dog world. . Many of the local clubs hold handling classes, matches and one or two specialty shows a year. In addition, many provide educational meetings, symposiums, lectures, news bulletins, breeder’s aids and social activities. Most of the members of PCA are, or have been, members of Affiliate Poodle Clubs.
Joining the Club
An individual who wishes to join PCA must have two members of the Club who have known him/her for sometime propose him/her for membership by letters to the Corresponding Secretary. Each of these members will be sent a sponsor form. When these forms are completed and returned to the secretary, the Applicant will be sent an application to be filled out and returned, along with a recent photograph. All applications, which have been completed at least 30 days prior to the meeting, will be presented by the Corresponding Secretary at the next Board of Governor’s Meeting. After this, it will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Membership Committee. After study and deliberation, the Membership Committee will submit its recommendation to the Board of Governors of the Club for final action. If sponsor forms and applications are not returned to the Corresponding Secretary within a two-year period, that application is dropped and the entire process may be started again at a later date.
Membership Guidelines for Individuals
Brief synopsis for Individual Membership in Poodle Club of America:
Applicant must be actively breeding and/or exhibiting for at least 8 years immediately preceding the submission of their application.
Applicant must have bred at least four litters out of which at least 3 poodles finished their American Championship.
The applicant must demonstrate a desire to follow the Poodle Club of America’s established breed standard and have demonstrated active concern for the elimination of genetic anomalies in Poodles. The applicant will be asked for proof of appropriate genetic testing.
Applicants must have been an active member of their local Affiliate Club (if any) or otherwise a local all-breed club for at least 4 years immediately preceding their application. The applicant must be generally characterized as:
- Ethical in breeding and exhibition
- Providing proper care for their dogs and the dogs of others under their care if applicable
- Setting a good example as a leader and mentor
The most important objective PCA has in looking for Individual membership is to find and admit applicants who have acquired expertise and knowledge of breeding and exhibiting poodles in order utilize their knowledge to make important club decisions, maintaining the breed standard and lending future direction to the Poodle Club of America.
Applicants who are successfully elected to Individual membership are expected to be active in PCA by meeting one or more of the following criteria on an ongoing basis:
- Owning or competing with a Poodle at PCA National or Regional events
- Attending a function sponsored by PCA or the PCA foundation
- Serving on a club or show committee, advertising in a PCA catalog, or a donation to PCA, PCA Foundation, trophy fund or some other function sponsored by PCA
The application process takes some time and will reveal a detailed part of your life with Poodles, as it should. The intent of the process is not exclusionary, rather to include all those who seriously dedicate their lives to bettering our wonderful breed! PCA is the caretaker of the Poodle in the United States, but is made up of caring and dedicated individuals with a common goal. If your goal aligns with PCA, we urge you to consider beginning the application process. Our club and breed is only as good as those who take the time and make the effort to make it all that it can be.
Membership Guidelines for Associate Members
These guidelines are well detailed by the Board of Directors and at the present are outlined below for Associate Members.
Associate Membership is for individuals that have conducted themselves with good sportsmanship and exhibited good character in matters important to the Club and the Breed. Applicants must have been actively competing at the PCA National Show and other Affiliate Club and AKC performance/companion activities for at least 8 years immediately preceding their application. Applicants with extensive work in another area deemed worthy by the Board (rescue, committee work, publications etc.) will also be considered for membership.
The applicant will not be considered for Associate Membership if they would be eligible for consideration for Individual Membership. Applicants cannot be actively breeding or intending to breed poodles in the future. Associate membership is not a step toward Individual Breeder Membership.
A. Applicants elected to Associate Membership are expected to be active in PCA by meeting one or more of the following criteria on an ongoing basis:
a. Owning or competing with a Poodle at PCA National or Regional events
b. Attending and working at functions sponsored by PCA or the PCA Foundation
c. Serving on a PCA committee, advertising in the PCA catalog, or making donations to the PCA trophy fund or
some other function sponsored by PCA. Also, donating to the Poodle Club of America Foundation.
B. Applicants must have titled at least 3 Poodles in AKC companion dog or AKC performance events and at least 2 of these Poodles must demonstrate a level of excellence by achieving titles in those AKC events offered by PCA at the National Specialty (Obedience, Rally, Agility, Hunt Test, Upland Test and/or Conformation). These titles must be at or above the mid level title for the event. Preference is given for those applicants who have achieved the highest title(s) available.
C. Applicants must have been active members of their local Affiliate Club (if any) or an all breed conformation and/or training club for at least 4 years immediately preceding submission of application.
The applicant must be generally characterized as:
a. Ethical in training and exhibiting their dogs.
b. Providing proper care for their dogs and the dogs of others under their care.
c. Setting a good example as a leader and mentor to those less experienced in those events in which they
d. 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 weighted too heavily against the applicant.
Individual competitors shall be preferred. Those whose livelihood primarily depends on grooming, training, handling, or judging will also be considered so long as all other requirements are met. The most important objective for Associate Membership is to admit applicants who have acquired the expertise and knowledge of companion dog or performance events related to Poodles. Associate Members are not eligible to vote or hold office.
The question often asked is why so stringent on membership requirements. The first response is there are at least 46 affiliate clubs throughout the United States and the general feeling is that individuals should gain the knowledge about Poodles and various events at the local level before applying to join PCA. It is at the local level that competitors 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 Board of Directors wants a knowledgeable, active membership that is interested in the betterment of the breed. Individuals that prove themselves “in the trenches” make better national club members.