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How to form a Regional Bernese Club


The BMDCA encourages the organization of independent local Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty Clubs where sufficient fanciers of the breed exist to meet AKC requirements.

As centers of Bernese concentration grew across the country, local concentrations led to the establishment of a number of local clubs. Early associations of fanciers include the San Francisco Bay Bemers and the BMDC of Menomonee Valley (today, BMDCSEW). By 1987 the San Francisco Bay Berners, Finger Lakes, Greater Seattle, Nashoba Valley, Southeastern Wisconsin, and Watchung clubs had formed. On the 25th Anniversary of the BMDCA (1993) there were eighteen recognized Regional Clubs. Some earlier established groups had changed name, others divided into two; all provide important activities centered on Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Hikes, seminars, standard study, hosting national specialties, social events for dogs and people, any and all activities related to the well being of the dogs come within the domain of regional clubs.

The BMDC of Nashoba Valley (New England), for example, was the first to follow up on the BMDCA draft regulations, which were originally accepted in 1979. Their draft matches and reformulated regulations guided the way to the first BMDCA draft test, held in 1991 in Massachusetts. This led in turn to having a draft test feature in the 1992 National Specialty in Colorado. The Three Rivers BMDC emphasized the international character of our dogs by initiating European style judging at a fun match. Two regional clubs, Nashoba Valley and Watchung (New Jersey), were preparing to hold their own specialty shows in 1993.

A Regional Club Council coordinates these distinct groups under the umbrella of the BMDCA.

Interested in Forming a Berner Club?

Check out these resources
BMDCA Constitution and Bylaws
"Sample Constitution and Bylaws for Local Specialty, Field Trial and Hunting Clubs" by AKC
AKC's "How to Form an AKC®-Accredited Dog Club"



Conduct regular scheduled meetings and yearly elections.



Maintain a regional club website or social media site (update at least once a quarter).



Maintain communication with membership on events and notices through any of the following; newsletter, email, website and/or social media site.



Update regional club calendar events on the BMDCA events calendar at least once a quarter.



Ensure that the BMDCA Regional Clubs page is up to date with the club website and/or social media site link to include club officers and rescue contacts.



Maintain Club Insurance.



Maintain a Rescue program.



Maintain the club's state articles of incorporation 501c7.

​Regional Clubs - Continued Recognition

In June 2017, the BMDCA Board approved the following minimum requirements for Regional Clubs to maintain their BMDCA recognition status.

These requirements are intended to ensure that those Regional Clubs listed on the BMDCA website are functioning as a club and provide activities for Bernese enthusiasts within their areas.
Benefits of forming a Regional Bernese Club

Affiliation with the parent club shows cooperation at the local and national level in promoting the best interests of Bernese Mountain Dogs. A regional club is looked upon by the parent club as a valuable source of ideas at the grass roots level in keeping abreast of meeting the needs of Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Once recognized, the club is entitled to a representative on the Regional Club Council.

Supported entry at an all-breed show may be accomplished through requesting the BMDCA to support the entry of Bernese Mountain Dogs at a show selected by the regional club.

Recognized regional clubs are eligible to submit bids to host the BMDCA National Specialty. It has been through regional clubs that BMDCA national specialties have been held. This is an invaluable service to the breed. The BMDCA looks forward to the future when those clubs that wish to seek and achieve AKC-Accreditation and subsequent Licensing will host their own regional specialty shows.

The club is offered the continued support of the BMDCA and is encouraged to seek its assistance with regard to bylaws and other areas where the BMDCA may be of help.

Planning for Regional Bernese Mountain Dog Club Formation


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