American Mixed Breed Obedience Registration
AMBOR Past, Present, &
Since this is the first AMBOR Highlights newsletter in two years and now that AMBOR is under new ownership, we thought it only fitting to take a look back at AMBOR's past, where it's at in the present, and where we hope it will be in the future.
AMBOR was founded in Minnesota in 1983 by Mona Porvaznik, then known as Mona Marshall. Mona saw that there was a need for a venue where mixed breed dog owners could show and title their dogs in the same way that most purebred dog owners were able to do. Back then the options to show mixed breed dogs weren't limited, they were non existent.
Owners that registered their mixed breed dogs with AMBOR could earn Obedience titles for their dogs by going to fun matches and by being judged under the same standards that purebreds were judged by at Obedience trials. AMBOR would recognize those legs & titles earned and issue titles certificates to their members.
As the word got out, AMBOR flourished. Membership requests came in from all over the United States. In those early years, with the help of some very dedicated individuals, AMBOR became a well respected organization throughout the Obedience world.
Starting in the late 1980's and culminating in 1994, AMBOR was instrumental in several changes that were to dramatically alter the landscape for mixed breed dogs forever. The first major happening was a negotiated arrangement between AMBOR, the Illini Obedience Association (IOA), and the Quaker Oats Company, allowing AMBOR qualified dogs to compete in the prestigious Gaines Cycle Regional & Classic Tournaments. In case you are wondering how Quaker Oats fit into these negotiations, the Quaker Oats Company was the sponsor of the Gaines Tournaments.
AMBOR members certainly took advantage of this new opportunity. Many showed their dogs in the Regionals, and the results let the Obedience world know that mixes were up to the challenge. In that first year of mixed breed eligibility, AMBOR was represented at the Gaines Classic by Tim Elkins and his Terrier mix, Max. Tim & Max placed 10th in Superdog and all of a sudden mixes weren't looking like such an underdog anymore.
Next an agreement was reached with the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) allowing AMBOR & MBDCA registered dogs to exhibit in their program.
The most significant development for mixed breed dogs was still to come. In 1994, after several years of negotiations, it was announced that an agreement had been reached between AMBOR and UKC that allowed all mixed breed dogs to compete in UKC events on a fair and equal basis under the UKC's Limited Privilege (LP) Program. Basically this meant that to be eligible to exhibit in the UKC companion events, the dog must be spayed or neutered and be registered with UKC. This gave mixed breed dog owners the opportunity to exhibit their mixes, not only in a national registry, but in the second largest registry in the world! All mixes competing would be categorized by UKC as “AMBOR” dogs whether they were actually AMBOR members or not. This is how the term “AMBOR” has pretty much become the nationally recognized acronym for “mixed breed dog” in any of the companion or performance events.
No organization to come along since this breakthrough period has excluded mixes from their programs. There is no single organization that has done more for the mixed breed exhibitor than AMBOR. Because of the efforts of those before us, today mixed breed dogs are allowed to exhibit on an equal basis along with purebreds in virtually all of the registries except AKC.
Over time AMBOR's position within the mixed breed community has evolved as circumstances have changed. We continue to offer an avenue for mixed breed dog owners, with no or limited options, a way to earn Obedience titles with their dogs via AMBOR titles. It is not such a large part of what AMBOR does anymore, but it is the very reason AMBOR was originally formed, and will continue to be an option available to our members. We also recognize titles earned in UKC, ASCA, and all of the Agility & Rally organizations that allow us to exhibit. In addition, through the use of our versa forms, AMBOR is able to issue titles for and recognize the accomplishments of mixes in other events such as Tracking.
Going forward, we want AMBOR to be an organization that is more responsive and more tailored to it's membership. That is why we want to know in what venues your are exhibiting in. We expect to be tracking and publishing rankings of AMBOR dogs from any of the venues that enough of our members are exhibiting in, as long as the information is accessible to us. In the future there will probably be some changes with regard to end of the year awards to reflect the added venues we expect to be following. If AMBOR members in any numbers are earning titles in any venue, we want to recognize those accomplishments.
One of the ways members can stay current about AMBOR events, find out what other members are doing, and check the AMBOR rankings & annual awards, is through the newsletter. We will be publishing the AMBOR Highlights four times annually. Since we are a national club, I may not get the chance to meet each one of you personally but I do hope to get to know about you by reading about what & how you are doing through the AMBOR newsletter. If you have submissions for the newsletter please contact Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another way members can stay current about what is going on with AMBOR is through the web site. If you're reading this you are probably aware of how to find us via the Internet. For those reading this from the hard copy version of our newsletter, our web site is www.ambor.us. We will be updating our web site on a regular basis so we encourage you to check back often to see what's new at AMBOR.
The third way to stay current with what is going on with AMBOR and how members are doing, is through the AMBOR Yahoo message board. You can join the AMBOR Yahoo message board by going to: groups.yahoo.com/groups/ambor, and then just follow the prompts to join the group. Or you can send an email to:email@example.com. There is no cost to join and we'd love to hear from you!
In 2002 AMBOR held it's first AMBOR National in Indianapolis. It was a great success and many of our members still feel this was one of their most memorable experiences with AMBOR. In 2007 AMBOR held it's second National event in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was another well run event and it was great to see all the AMBOR dogs that traveled from all over the country to exhibit at “their” National.
We hope to hold AMBOR Nationals in the future. 2008 is not a possibility, but 2009 is not out of the question. We have considered alternating the locations so that over time as many members as possible have the opportunity to attend an AMBOR National. Ideally in the future, we would be able to offer the AMBOR Nationals on a more consistent basis.
AMBOR is an independent organization that recognizes the accomplishments of, and represents the interests of, the mixed breed dog. We have no contractual ties to any other organization. That said, we do strongly recommend that our members support the organizations that have allowed us to exhibit in their venues such as UKC, ASCA, APDT, NADAC, USDAA, and others. Those that have allowed mixes into their programs on a fair and equal basis deserve our support.
We will continue to represent mixed breed dog owners rights to the best of our ability and will continue to push for fair and equal treatment in all venues. As I'm sure all of you are aware, the AKC currently has a mixed breed proposal they are considering. We intend to make the voice of the mixed breed dog owners be heard by AKC through our organization.
In addition to recognizing the achievements of mixed breed dogs in competition, we feel we can best represent the interests of all mixed breed dogs by promoting the mixed breed dog as a good family pet and to encourage the adoption of mixed breeds from shelters by responsible owners.
We are all too well aware there are many great mixes in shelters that will never find a home. AMBOR strongly advocates the spay or neutering of any mixed breed dog and we require it of any AMBOR registered dogs. In addition, we do not advocate the breeding of mixed breed dogs. We feel AMBOR can have a positive effect on this situation through the combination of promoting responsible dog ownership, advocating spaying or neutering your mix, bringing attention to the option of adopting a mix from a shelter, and publicizing the accomplishments of mixes in the companion and performance events.
Later this year AMBOR will be celebrating
its 25th anniversary. We are all proud to be a part of an organization that has
done so much on behalf of the mixed breed dog in the past. Our hope is that we
can continue to represent the interests of the mixed breed dog by continuing to
work toward knocking down the barriers that are still out there preventing mixes
from fair and equal treatment in all venues, and by promoting mixes as both a
family pet and competition dog.
AMBOR, P.O. Box 223, Anoka, MN 55303