guild—an association of persons of the
same trade or pursuits, formed to protect the mutual interests
and maintain standards.
What would joining a Guild do for
me? Let’s begin with
the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition of the word
This is a basic explanation of the word but the word carries
so much more meaning for me.
Here is what I think of when I refer to my experience with a
stands for Group. A group provides you with like-minded individuals
to support your interest. They are your training buddies who
see what you look like out on the floor, what skills need improvement,
what moves show your dog to it’s best advantage, and what
is pleasing to an audience. By combining each member’s
talents and strengths, knowledge and skills, the group expands
the body of information available to each member. The group shares
knowledge and skills to support your efforts, celebrates your
accomplishments, understands your problems, motivates, consoles,
inspires, and becomes your best friends. The group is needed
to achieve all the opportunities of the CFF program. It takes
the combined efforts of every member to raise funds, put on matches
and trials, do demos and carry out the goals of CFF.
stands for Unity of purpose. The purpose of the guild is to
promote Canine Freestyle as defined by CFF and to promote and
support CFF as an organization. The guild provides an opportunity
to grow together in knowledge and skills within a discipline.
It offers opportunities to work together to achieve a goal, develop
skills in management, business, interpersonal relationships,
public relations, fiscal responsibility, the list is limitless.
The unity of purpose is shown best by the lack of competition
between guild members and the emphasis on sharing the joy of
freestyle and supporting each other and the CFF organization.
It is “all for one and one for all”.
stands for Leadership. The act of becoming a guild member
opens a world of opportunities for developing and practicing
leadership skills. There are many jobs to be done in any organization.
Whatever skills you bring to the group will be put to use in
carrying out the guild’s program. There are guild Officers,
committees, public relations, classes to teach, demos to organize,
fund raisers, scheduling, matches, show-and-gos, trials, records
to be kept, articles to be written, etc. Everyone has an opportunity
to contribute in his or her own way. Guild leadership can lead
to broader involvement with the national organization, serving
on committees, organizing special events, becoming a judge,
stands for Information. The guild is the place to learn about
CFF and freestyle. Here you learn to understand the CFF definition
of freestyle. Classes are available to help you train your dog,
develop attention, learn optional moves, etc. The Guild will
teach you how to choose music, choreograph a routine, and help
you to understand the standards of the organization, the requirements
for competition, and how routines are judged. The guild is responsible
for maintaining the standards of CFF and helping you to understand
and meet them through classes, run-throughs, adjudicated matches
stands for Demonstrate. Guilds are responsible for holding
true to the spirit and definition of canine freestyle and passing
it on. This is done by setting an example in many areas. Dogs
are treated with respect at all times. Positive training methods
are advocated. The focus is on showing your dog to its best advantage.
The relationship between dog and handler is the basis for all
freestyle training. This is what you demonstrate wherever you
go and whatever you do. When you take CFF training back to your
local clubs, friends, and other dog organizations you are setting
a higher standard of achievement.
When your Guild does demonstrations to promote CFF you are inspiring
others to train their dogs, to come and learn about the joy of
freestyle and to support the goals of CFF. We pride ourselves
in always putting the health and welfare of our dogs first, in
using good taste and family values in selecting music and choreographing
routines, and being professional in carrying out our commitments
to other organizations. We pride ourselves in being knowledgeable
about CFF and able to explain to others what it is all about.
We present an atmosphere for learning where there is no competition
among ourselves, only sharing and helping each other so that
each individual may reach his or her personal goals.
Freestyle is a difficult sport. Not everyone will be successful
in attaining titles but everyone will be successful in attaining
a deeper relationship with their dog. I like to think of it as
a journey with the possibility of a title at the end. I may never
get to the end but the experiences I am enjoying along the way
are what are important to me. My guild membership has given me
the opportunity to grow along with my dog. A guild is where every
newcomer needs to be.