History of the Alberta Bouvier Club
The Alberta Bouvier des Flandres Club was formed in June of 1978, by founding members Dyrl Campbell, Barrie and Bonnie Caskey, Diana and Stanley Case, Jim and Bonnie Curran, Wm. Dekort Jr., Randy and Linda Young, George and Sonia Kuperis, and John and Sonja Tummers.
One of the major reasons for the formation of a Bouvier Club at the time, was a new policy brought in by the Canadian Kennel Club, which no longer permitted Breed Boosters to be put on by people other than those of a recognized Dog Club. Prior to 1978, groups of fanciers could sponsor Boosters without formal Club status, and the Alberta Bouvier fanciers had held several. Each Booster had brought the Bouvier fanciers of Alberta in closer contact with each other and nearly everyone felt that a club would definitely help the improvement of the breed in the province. It was felt that no one individual could financially afford, never mind have the space, to own enough good dogs to do much for improving the breed. However, with the pooled resources, and exchange of information and ideas through the Club contact, much could be accomplished towards improving the quality of the breed as well as promoting it with the public.
Fortunately, most of the founding members of the Club were very dedicated to the Bouvier and were willing to be open minded in their willingness to help each other as well as new Bouvier owners.
Money of course was needed to finance Club activities. To start the Club, members donated money for some expenses, but soon membership fees brought in a more substantial amount of money, and with the help of donations from members, the Club was able to put on its first Booster in October, 1978 with the Northern Alberta Canine Association Dog Shows in Edmonton, Alberta. Mrs. Audrey Peach was the judge.
On September 16, 1979, the Club put on its first Sanction Match, in Edmonton. This match was not only a financial success, but it was so well received by the dog fanciers of the area, that the Club continued with a Sanction Match every fall for the next two years. These Sanction Matches were run according to the format of a Point Show, so that the Club members would be capable of properly running a Specialty Show, which was the aim.
On February 28, 1980, the Canadian kennel club gave its formal recognition to The Alberta Bouvier des Flandres Club.
In 1981 on August 1st, in conjunction with the Alberta Kennel Club Dog Shows in Calgary, Alberta, the first Bouvier Specialty was held. There were 44 Bouviers entered and Virginia Lyne was the judge. Best of Breed winner was Am. Can. CH. Sanche's Avanti, C.D. Since that memorable day, the club has held an Annual Specialty Show, alternating between Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. Judges have been obtained from Europe, the United States, and Canada.
The Club has an on-going Obedience Program. Obedience classes have done much to encourage many of the Alberta Bouvier fanciers to compete in Obedience Trials where they have been proving they can compete with the best of working dogs. In 1984 Alberta bred and owned CH. Oomingmak's E'Ben, C.D.X. was the 3rd highest scoring Bouvier in Canada. Obedience classes have brought Alberta Bouvier owners together to encourage each other in the training of their dogs. Prior to the Club's Obedience Program, few Bouviers attained the C.D. title, let alone their C.D.X. degrees in Alberta.
Another Club activity that helps bring members together and to recognize Conformation and Obedience Achievements is the Annual Fun Day and Awards Presentations. Attractive Awards are presented to members whose dogs have attained the title of Champion, Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent, etc. This event is usually held with a social get-together, puppy practice, Super-dog Challenge and barbecue. For the past several years the Club has held Conformation and Obedience Trials for fun and practice.
The Alberta Bouvier des Flandres Club will continue to promote the Bouvier des Flandres throughout its activities and its Newsletters to all members and newcomers, who are interested in this outstanding and versatile breed.
Reprinted from the Alberta Bouvier des Flandres Club's publication, "The Wonderful World of Bouviers", Edition 4.