Are there too many Dachshund Breed Clubs?
Most Breed Club officers and many of our club members will probably be following the discussions in the dog press about the Kennel Club’s Show Promotion Working Party and its assertion that there are some breeds where there are too many clubs.
In Ronnie Irving’s Our Dogs column this week he shows a simple table (below) listing the 8 breeds that were summoned to a meeting at Stoneleigh at the end of August and compares the number of clubs against their annual registration statistics.
I guess there is some logic in comparing clubs to registrations, but there will always be distortions caused by peaks and troughs in popularity.
I thought it would interesting to see how the number of Dachshund Breed Clubs compares with others in the Hound Group. The Scatter Diagram below shows the results for the Hound Group. Dachshunds have 17 clubs and just under 6000 registrations (2015). Our breed is the blue dot at the top-right of the chart. There are, as you would expect, plenty of numerically small breeds with few breed clubs. When you draw the statistically calculated line of best fit, it looks like the Dachshunds have the number of breed clubs you would expect for their current level of registrations.
I wondered if a better comparison would be the number of clubs against show entries. The show entry data I have readily available is Crufts entries. So, here’s the chart showing Crufts entries in 2016 vs. the number of Dachshund Clubs.
Once again, with the trend line, it is clear that the Dachshunds (the blue dot at the top-right) have almost exactly the number of clubs you would expect, when compared to their popularity at Crufts.
Perhaps you could argue that Crufts isn’t a good comparison because the entries include foreign dogs. Good point. So, I looked at the Houndshow 2016 entries as this is one of the most popular shows for Dachshund exhibitors and other hound people. Here’s the chart.
Can you spot a pattern emerging? Dachshunds are, once again, the blue dot at the top-right and the trend line shows we have the number of clubs you’d expect for the level of entries at the Houndshow.
It would be easy to cry “lies, damned lies, and statistics”, but in the absence of ANY good data to explain why there should be fewer Dachshund Breed Clubs, I will rest my case.
The other 7 breeds being challenged by the KC could (should) do a similar analysis. I have no idea what their data would show, but it might give them an evidence-base to argue what’s best for their breed.
The “market”, i.e. exhibitors, will decide if there are too many breed clubs. Those that cannot offer well-run shows or operate in a financially viable way will inevitably de-register. An interventionist approach, forcing clubs to merge, is likely to reduce the number of experienced volunteers serving on committees, reduce the number of Fun Days and Seminars, and reduce the opportunities for newcomers (exhibitors and judges) to participate in dog showing and its associated activities.
The breed clubs are the foundation of dog shows and provide a pathway for newcomers to attend general shows. Why would anyone want to get rid of them?