Showsight Presents The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

SMALL IN SIZE, LARGE IN SCOPE THE PETIT BASSET GRIFFON VENDÉEN CLUB OF AMERICA by BOB COHEN

L ike any national breed (par- ent) club, the PBGV Club of America has many functions, plays many roles beyond the basic function of being responsible for the breed standard. PBGVCA organizes competitive and educational events for its members and others interested in the breed, including conformation events, hunt tests, agility, obedience and rally trials, and providing written education- al materials as well as presenting expert speakers on a variety of topics. Th e PBGV is not a common breed. It has been recognized by the American Kennel Club only since 1991, and its par- ent club is not large, having fewer than 400 members. But the PBGV Club is active and has members in 42 states and 6 other countries. Some parent clubs, especially those with very popular and long-recognized breeds, have di ffi cult membership require- ments. Not so PBGVCA, in which the majority of members are “pet people” who do not breed dogs or show them. Th e club encourages participation of members and enjoyment of our dogs in many facets. It presents many activities for its members as well as a comprehensive web site and a beautifully produced quarterly magazine, Saber Tails , which covers all aspects of owning and enjoying PBGVs. Saber Tails and Meet the Breeds events highlight the club’s interest in educating members and the public regarding PBGVs. Th e club has a combined national and regional specialty show in the spring every year, where we try to pull together as many activities as we can. Th e shows are rotated among three regions so that people in di ff erent areas of the country have an opportunity to attend and to participate.

Of course we have the traditional con- formation shows. After all, recognizing healthy dogs that best meet the breed standard is important in improving the breed, maintaining its health and vital- ity. We also showcase companion events, demonstrating that PBGVs can be trained to perform well in competitive events. When suitable facilities are available near our national specialty sites we love to have “IF THE BREEDER CANNOT TAKE THE DOGS BACK, THE PBGVCA RESCUE COMMITTEE STEPS

specialty we now have about a dozen hunt tests annually, in many locations across the midwest and east, where PBGVs can show their talent for finding scent trails and cooperating with each other in the hunt. Another important activity of the PBGVCA is breed rescue. Th e club’s res- cue committee has a network of members and friends across the country who check out reports of any PBGV that is in a shelter or needs a new home. Sometimes through illness or change in family circumstances a dog owner can no longer keep his or her dogs. If the breeder cannot take the dogs back, the PBGVCA rescue committee steps in, deals with any veterinary or socializa- tion issues, and seeks a new, appropriate home for the dogs. Dogs going through breed rescue will be spayed or neutered if necessary, be brought up to date on vacci- nations, and the new home is matched up with the individual needs of each dog. Th is can be expensive. Fortunately, closely allied with the PBGVClub of America is the PBGVHealth and Rescue Foundation. Th e Foundation, as a tax-exempt 501c(3) organization, raises money to support the activities of the club’s rescue committee, as well as health matters. Th us far the Foundation has always had the resources to pay expenses incurred on behalf of breed rescue including veterinary and other costs. Th e two organizations, although separate, cooperate with each other for the betterment of the breed. Hav- ing the Foundation available to financially backstop the e ff orts of the club’s rescue committee means that the committee can concentrate on what’s needed for the dogs without having to worry about financial resources. Th e Foundation also underwrites a health speaker, often a prominent veteri- nary researcher, at each national specialty.

IN, DEALS WITH ANY VETERINARY

OR SOCIALIZATION ISSUES, AND SEEKS A NEW, APPROPRIATE

HOME FOR THE DOGS.”

agility trials and hunt tests, which allow other aspects of our dogs to shine. PBGVs may not be the archetypical agility breed, but those short legs can run quite fast and the dogs enjoy training for and compet- ing in agility. Hunt tests are becoming a very popular venue for allowing PBGVs to show their stu ff . Aside from the national

244 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015

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