U.S. History of the Danish/Swedish Farmdog
The history of the creation of this US Farmdog breed club is a modern tale of lives that became significantly intertwined by the Internet. The idea to create an American Danish/Swedish Farmdog club began with conversations between three very different women who had individually imported a Danish/Swedish Farmdog as a family companion.
In 1996 Melody Farquhar-Chang wanted a dog just like the Danish/Swedish Chicken Dog in Bruce Fogel’s Encyclopedia of the Dog. Eventually, after a great deal of correspondence, she was able to import a Danish/Swedish Farmdog. Melody was told by the Danish breeder that this was the actual name of the breed. Agerhonen’s Flora (Flora) arrived in Cupertino, California in 1998.
In Seal Beach, California Brita Lemmon had also become interested in this breed through the same book. Unlike Melody two years earlier, she was able to do an Internet search to find a breeder. Lilian Christensen, a well-known breeder in Denmark was enthusiastic about helping her. Brita imported Gonzo’s Folmer (Vago) to in 2000. Lilian helped to put Melody and Brita in contact with each other.
Meanwhile in 2002 in Wyoming, Helene Riisgaard-Pedersen, was looking for the type of dog she remembered from her childhood in Denmark. With the help of a close network of breeders in Denmark, Helene was put in contact with Melody and Brita after she imported Javika’s Princesse Madeline (Maddy). These three women and shared a passion for their new dogs and began an email friendship that blossomed into the foundations for the DSFCA.
Melody, Brita and Helene were the founding board of directors for our club. They seriously began to work on creating a club in 2003. They drafted a constitution, mission statement and code of ethics while showing their dogs at an American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) show in Hayward, California in 2004. Melody had already produced two US-born litters using Danish sires. These offspring, however, born of pedigreed parents were not pedigreed themselves either in Denmark or in the USA.
All three women had maintained contact with the breeders who had helped them to originally get their dogs. These Danish breeders knew that they were actively showing their dogs with ARBA and working on creating a breed club. This connection helped the Danish breed club (Dansk/Svensk Gaarhund Klub) recommended that the Danish Kennel Club (Dansk Kennel Klub) accept ARBA as a US registry for US-born Danish/Swedish Farmdogs. Melody’s Kennel Flora’s third litter, by Gonzo’s Hannah became the first US-born litter with ARBA pedigrees.
One of the puppy buyers for Hannah’s pups was Sally Frankel. She had purchased, Flora’s Lady Eva Annelise (Anna). Her profession was web design. In 2004, she helped collect email addresses and guide the loose collection of US Farmdogs owners into a Yahoo forum group. She created our first web site and has remained as our webmaster. August15, 2006 the Danish/Swedish Farmdog Club of America became an official entity by achieving incorporation through the state of Delaware.
A decision was made to bring
in two more board members in
early 2006 to help with the
large amount of work that was
needed to bring the club officially
to life. Carol Lemmon
and Bruce Feller became the
fourth and fifth board members.
Later that year the first US Danish/Swedish Farmdog specialty event was held in Longmont, Colorado on September 2, 2006. The board of directors was able to raise money to pay for a special judge with deep knowledge of and experience with Farmdogs. Lars Adeheimer, a well-regarded Swedish Farmdog judge, agreed to travel to the US, then judge and critique the participating dogs.
We became an official non-profit group later in September 2006. Our bylaws were finalized by the spring of 2007. Our first membership drive was in the summer of 2007. Our initial membership was 33 members. Many were willing to join as Charter Members with elevated dues. These Charter Members gave the club welcomed capital which helped with initial set up costs, support for our website and for the execution of our second annual specialty event. (Charter Members are listed in the DSFCA Members Only section of this Website.
This second annual Danish/Swedish Farmdog specialty event was held in conjunction with ARBA’s Hollywood Classic dog show in Claremont, California on November 10, 2007. Again the club successfully arranged for a Danish judge, Wolf Braathen, to travel to the US and provide individual critiques for our Farmdogs. The DSFCA later held its the first annual general membership meeting at the Village Grille in Claremont at 7AM on November 11, 2007.
The Longmont and Claremont events were extremely successful events where the owners of Farmdogs from across the US had a chance to meet each other outside of our Internet forum. Our execution of the Longmont and Claremont shows, in addition to the quality of the show’s participants, have helped to strengthen the regard in Denmark and Sweden for US Farmdogs and this new club.