Club History

The Berkshire Belgian Tervuren Club’s (“BBTC”) first informational meeting was held in 1975 (at the now defunct Student Prince Restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts) to determine if there was enough interest and desire to form a local breed club for the purpose of eventually holding independent specialties and seeking American Kennel Club (“AKC”) licensed club status.  The founding members were:  Edeltraud Laurin, Mr. and Mrs. Pitman, Dick Loescher, Dana Mackonis, Janina Laurin, Don MacManus, Jeanne Kowalewski and Carol Foy. 
Our first "A" match was held on the Ashford Town Hall grounds in Ashford, Connecticut with an entry of over 30 Tervuren judged by Mrs. Winifred Pitman.  The first Independent Specialty was held in South Windsor, Connecticut chaired by Dana Mackonis and was judged by Mrs. Patricia Weymouth of California with an entry of 100 Belgian Tervuren!  One of the first herding events for Belgian Tervuren was held in Portland, Connecticut and our first agility trial took place in the early 1990's in Goshen, Connecticut. The BBTC later joined with Springfield Kennel Club to be among the largest agility trials held in the United States! 
The Club has hosted four National Specialties for the Parent Club, the American Belgian Tervuren Club (“ABTC”) and several of its members have also gone on to serve on the Parent Club's Board, as officers or as Presidents.  When the legendary Morris & Essex Show was resurrected in New Jersey, BBTC immediately supported the show to become a part of history. 
In addition to performance activities, the Club has hosted many seminars and learning events for the area Belgian community. While its home turf, dictated by AKC and Club charter, has been the fifty mile radius of Hartford-Springfield, we have always welcomed members from most of New England and afar. 
Our members are active in much more to help get the word out about this intelligent and versatile breed!  Many have participated in parades at the "Big E" Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds; "Meet The Breeds" in New York for the AKC, as well as in local "Meet the Breeds" events across New England.  We also support Good Canine legislation by attending  hearings at the Connecticut State Capital.  Several members are avid therapy and Good Will Ambassadors with their dogs  “where ever the need may be”  at hospitals, retirement homes, etc. 
Click Here to View
The above link will take you a slide show on the history of the Belgian Tervuren.  This show resides on the Facebook page of the American Belgian Tervuren Club. 
Now in its 40th year of existence - with over 20 years of independent specialties (which included sweepstakes, obedience and in subsequent years, rally ) - the Berkshire Belgian Tervuren Club is the oldest and longest serving licensed Belgian Tervuren Club in the New England; and, aside from the  ABTC it is the oldest AKC licensed specialty club in the USA! No small feat in an ever-changing and moving population of owners and breeders of our beautiful breed in the Northeast.  Our membership crosses the breadth of New England while maintaining a local core. 
Our members have been among the most successful and many a future star, whether in breed, obedience, herding or rally found its start with one of its members at Club events.  Many people who have joined the BBTC have joined in with the “Family Belgian” to learn more about the breed they own and love and remain good friends of the Club to this day.
Interested in joining?  We’d love to have you!   Please contact:   Patti Murphy , Club Secretary.