Club Formation & Early Matches/Shows
The Doberman Pinscher Club of Greater Dayton got its start on May 11, 1971, when 15 Doberman owners gathered for an organizational meeting at the home of John Thomas inBrookville,Ohio. Officers were elected, with the remainder of the group appointed as acting Board of Directors until formal elections could occur. Amazingly, after over 40 years, three charter members still belong to the club: Mrs. June Karns, Mrs. Marilyn (Krimm) Kohler, and Mrs. Mildred (Mid) Witham.
Originally named the Doberman Pinscher Club of Ohio, the club was re-named in January, 1972, at the direction of the American Kennel Club because the original name was too all-inclusive and did not reflect the true operating area of the club. The club was incorporated as the Doberman Pinscher Club of Greater Dayton with the State ofOhio as a non-profit organization on March 31, 1973.
The first board meeting occurred May 22, 1971, and the first general meeting was held May 25, 1971, with 15 charter members and 29 guests attending. The following month, at the June, 1971 meeting, the constitution and by-laws were adopted by the membership.
The make-up of the membership was well balance between conformation and obedience minded members … about a 60/40 split with obedience enthusiasts being in the slight majority.
The club held several members-only fun matches and picnics throughout 1971-72 which served to solidify the club and increase membership. The club’s first member’s match and picnic was held September 26, 1971, with an entry of 15 in conformation and 15 in obedience.
Several informal fun matches/fund raisers were also held, the first being held in conjunction with the Twin Base Canine Obedience Club (Wright-Patterson AFB) match on November 14, 1971, resulting in an entry of 70 Dobermans in conformation.
The club’s formation coincided with the beginning of the rapid increase of popularity of the breed, and within a year or two of start-up, the club bloomed to over 120 members, with an average monthly meeting attendance of over 60 members and guests. Meetings had to be held in a local union hall, and often lasted late into the evening.
The club received AKC approval for their first sanctioned B Match in February, 1973, and held that match on July 1, 1973, with 43 dogs in conformation and 25 dogs in obedience. Harry Kennady ofLouisville judged conformation.
The second B Match was held four months later on November 4, 1973, with Jim Dean judging an entry of 57 in conformation and George Pugh judging an entry of 22 in obedience.
A third sanctioned B Match followed in June, 1974, with Charlie Cooper judging 60 in conformation and Joe Anzivino judging 19 in obedience.
Both the AKC-required A Matches occurred in 1975, with Joe Roudonis judging 45 in conformation at one match, and Audrey Kibler judging 50 entries at the second match.
Our first AKC-sanctioned specialty show occurred on Friday of Memorial Day weekend (May, 1976) and was held at Wright-Patterson AFB outside of Dayton. Bob Moore judged 110 Dobes in conformation, and Max McCammon judged and entry of 30 in obedience.
We followed up the second year (May 1977), with Bob Wills in conformation (111 entries), Irma Dixon in obedience (20 entries) and Don Simmons judging an entry of 48 Dobermans in Sweepstakes.
In 1974, the club began publishing a members’ newsletter and established a Humane Committee for rescuing homeless and unwanted Dobermans. The newsletter has evolved over the years into the current email format with hard copies available upon request.
Due in part to the decline in popularity of the breed over the years (and subsequent decline in the number of Dobermans needing rescue) the Humane Committee fell by the wayside, and the club now supports local Dobe rescue services such as the Southwestern Ohio Doberman Rescue Service (New Richmond OH), and Hand-Me-Down Dobermans (Columbus OH). However, during its existence, the club’s Humane Committee was responsible for rescuing and placing almost two hundred Dobermans.
The impetus for forming the club in 1971 grew from a small group of obedience enthusiasts who owned Dobermans and met at each other’s homes to train their dogs. Once the club was formed, training classes in both conformation and obedience followed shortly thereafter.
By the Spring of 1972, the club was offering regular training classes in 10-week sessions, twice yearly. Early classes averaged ten dogs in conformation and six to eight dogs in each of three levels of obedience: basic (Novice), intermediate (Open), and advanced (Utility). One of our charter members, Bill Danckert, built a training barn consisting of a 60 X 60 heated training area with ante-room and concrete floors to enable the club to train throughout the winter months.
Within five years, attendance outgrew facilities, and the club began contracting withDaytonPublic Schoolsystem to use elementary school gymnasiums for conformation and obedience classes. During this period, conformation attendance dwindled and the club found it necessary, financially, to offer only obedience training, and it began accepting all breeds into the classes to help defray operating costs. This arrangement continued through the 1980’s, until the school system began consolidating operations and closing most of the older buildings they had been renting out.
From 1990 thru 1995, the club found an even better arrangement for training classes. The club partnered with the Centerville Adult Night School program to offer obedience training classes as part of their curriculum. Not only did the club have free facilities for training (in the high school gymnasium), it also enjoyed free advertising since the classes were listed in the night school brochure distributed to all residences in the district. Classes were offered twice yearly and averaged 35 dogs per session over the six years of operation.
However, in 1996, the school district decided to offer only academic courses in their night school program, and that venue, too, was lost to the club as a training facility.
Currently, the club does not offer training classes for Dobermans … for two main reasons: the high cost of renting a suitable training facility, and the decline in the breed’s popularity, leading to an ever-decreasing number of Doberman owners seeking obedience training for their dogs.