Overview of the ASSA
The American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA) was founded in 1929 at the Westminster Kennel Club show. The club’s first specialty was held in 1933. Much has changed since the early days of the club, but ASSA remains committed to protecting and advancing the interests of the breed. As described in ASSA’s Constitution and Bylaws, the objectives of the club are:
- To encourage and promote quality in the breeding of purebred Shetland Sheepdogs and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection.
- To encourage the organization of independent local Shetland Sheepdog specialty clubs in those localities where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of the American Kennel Club.
- To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Shetland Sheepdogs shall be judged.
- To do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and performance events.
All club members are expected to follow ASSA’s guidelines for ethical behavior. The guidelines can also help a prospective Sheltie buyer identify the qualities possessed by a reputable breeder.
As the AKC parent club of the Shetland Sheepdog, ASSA membership consists of both member clubs and individual members. The 70 ASSA member clubs across the country sponsor AKC-sanctioned matches, specialty shows, obedience, rally, agility, herding and tracking trials as well as educational events for members and the general public. ASSA member clubs are open to all—you don’t need to be an ASSA member to join an ASSA member club. Membership in your local club can also be an important first step in readying yourself for ASSA membership.Find a member club in your area to get information about a show or event you can attend.
The ASSA has approximately 900 individual members. Potential members must have significant experience in the breed before they can apply for membership.
If you have any questions about our organization, please contact our Corresponding Secretary (see Officers and Board section).
History time line of the ASSA
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