Welcome to the World's Oldest Club dedicated Exclusively to the Working Bouvier!
NAWBA is a nonprofit organization formed to preserve, promote and advance the Bouvier des Flandres as a protective heritage working breed. NAWBA’s mission is to establish programs to verify the mental and physical attributes suiting the dog to his work, especially as a means of establishing the suitability of individual dogs for breeding purposes; to conduct working trials testing the protective, obedience, search, and herding capabilities of individual dogs as means of providing sport competition and demonstrating the working characteristics of the individual dogs; to conduct conformation exhibitions where Bouviers of proven working character can be evaluated for correct breed type (meaning the physical structure conducive to the quickness, agility and power of attack which is the breed heritage as a working dog); and to produce publications to advance the objectives of NAWBA.
NAWBA encourages training and use of the Bouvier for work consistent with the heritage and original function of the breed, including, but not limited to, protection work, obedience, tracking, and herding.
One of the perks of membership is the NAWBA Journal - an interesting, informative and entertaining collection of articles, pictures and commentary.
All who agree with these principles are invited to apply for membership.
The Founding of the North American Bouvier Association
The First North American Bouvier des Flandres Working Championship was organized by Dr. Erik Houttuin and held under the auspices of his working dog club, the Spirit of Franklin Schutzhund Club (DVG) on October 4, 1980 on his estate at Labadie, Missouri. Events included schutzhund, AKC oObedience, cart pulling, BV (Traffic Secure Companion Dog), and water rescue. Events were judged by Jean-Claude Balu, DVG-California and J. Heyman, KNPV-Holland.
Every year following the first working championship, a similar event was organized and held in various locations across the United States and Canada. At that time it was possible to involve AKC clubs in the presentation of the working events as the AKC and CKC had no formal policy regarding schutzhund. Presenting the annual event was much simpler as it would be held alongside of the formal conformation show. In one notable CKC in London, Ontario, Canada, two Bouvier conformation shows were being presented at the same time inside the building while the Schutzhund events went on just outside.
In 1986, at a meeting held in the Mid-west by Bouvier fanciers who were attending the Working Championship, the North American Working Bouvier Association was formed. As was fitting, Dr. Erik Houttuin was elected President and Martha Hochstein was nominated Vice President. All present expressed a desire to form a new club that would encompass all aspects of Bouvier training including obedience, schutzhund, herding, cart pulling, water rescue, conformation and grooming. We initially had 68 members. The more formal AKC and CKC clubs didn't answer all of the interests and desires of Bouvier owners. We had a tremendously enthusiastic membership which grew by leaps and bounds after the publication of the first quarterly magazine. The first Journal was produced in December, 1986 with Marion Hubbard as Editor.
In later years, the attitudes of the AKC and CKC have hardened against dog sports and have only been forced to include herding and other sporting events as dog fanciers demanded more than conformation. NAWBA serves a very important function in our dog community in that we are an informal club that responds to the membership's desires for training of our dogs in many different protocols. Our Constitution and By Laws protect the members from deletion of the original ideas that helped to form the organization. We are one of a very few non-profit clubs that tries to teach, train, and inform our membership.
from: NAWBA Championship Catalog 1996
Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa, CA