Regional Club Formation

Planning for...
Regional Bernese Mountain Dog Club Formation


A regional club must be governed by a constitution and bylaws that provide for the democratic functioning of the club in all of its activities. The American Kennel Club's " Sample Constitution and Bylaws for Local Specialty, Field Trial and Hunting Clubs" is to be used as the model. A copy is provided with this packet.

In regards to whether a club should have a code of ethics is often the subject of much discussion. The BMDCA's own Code of Ethics may serve as a model. However, AKC's views as stated in "How to Form an AKC-Accredited Dog Club," p. 6 should be carefully considered and is quoted as follows:

"Code of Ethics. The AKC does not require a specific code of ethics, but does expect all clubs and members to behave ethically at all times. If your club adopts a code of ethics, it should be used as an educational tool, and should not be tied to the disciplinary section of the bylaws. It is our experience that when bylaws and codes of ethics are linked, clubs become needlessly involved in disputes that have nothing whatsoever to do with the welfare of the club or of the sport."

Caution! While it is often beneficial to refer to already existent constitutions and bylaws from currently functioning kennels clubs, including that of the BMDCA, it should be remembered that many of these were adopted before AKC had prepared a model for clubs. For that reason, it is best to follow the AKC model. Additionally, there are some specific differences between the constitution and bylaws for a regional club and those of a specialty club with nationwide membership.

For example the quorum requirement for regional club meetings is 20 percent of the members in good standing while it is 10 percent for a national club.

AKC does recognize that some clubs may wish to modify or elaborate upon the suggested model. With that in mind the BMDCA, suggests consideration of the following points in boldface type.


Article 1. Membership,

Section 3. Election to membership. (To include)....The application shall state the name, address, and occupation of the applicant; and it shall carry the endorsement of two unrelated members in good standing....Applicants for membership who have been rejected by the club may not reapply within six months after such rejection and shall require the endorsement of two new sponsors who are unrelated and are members in good standing.

Important! If possible, please submit your club's Constitution and Bylaws for review and suggestions by the Bylaw Chair before submitting them for adoption by the membership. In the event that revisions need to be made, this eliminates the tedious task of the membership voting separately on each revision.

The Howison's