The Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club, Inc. (MFGRC) was founded in 1984 by a group of golden retriever enthusiasts who came together in order to pursue ways of promoting and enjoying their goldens. We are currently a member club of both the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC). MFGRC is licensed by the AKC to hold conformation shows, obedience and rally trials, agility trials, and retriever hunting tests. We also hold Working Certificate/Working Certificate Excellent tests in accordance with the rules of the GRCA, and offers a breed/obedience match every year. In addition, MFGRC offers an ongoing slate of seminars, clinics and "fun days" to encompass all aspects of the golden retriever. We promote the versatile competition golden, the gentleman's hunting retriever, and the consummate family pet.
Our club is made up of nearly 200 members with varied interest and talents, many of whom choose to compete with their dogs in the following areas:
- Conformation: Dogs compete against each other at dog shows; a judge chooses that dog which, in his opinion, most closely matches the ideal standard for our particular breed. The goal of showing in conformation is to prove the quality of one's breeding stock, by attaining the title of "CH" (Champion) on their dog(s).
- Obedience: Goldens are very biddable and are generally easily trained. Young Goldens especially have abundant energy and require exercises in both body and mind. We highly recommend that all Goldens attend obedience classes with their owners. Time spent in obedience helps a dog and owner come together as a team. By working together they build a closer bond, which in turn allows both the dog and owner to better understand each other. Obedience trials test both dog and handler on a pre-determined set of exercises, where they are graded against a point system.
- Field: While Golden Retrievers are lovely to look at and do make excellent companions, the breed was developed primarily for hunting and therefore retain the drive and retrieving desire of a hunting retriever. Goldens make excellent upland hunters as well as retrievers of fallen waterfowl. Field trials, hunting tests, and Working Certificates allow the owner to display their dog's innate hunting instincts and trainability in simulated hunting scenarios.
- Tracking: Goldens possess remarkable scenting skills and their natural hunting instincts serve them very well in man-tracking tests. Tracking allows the handler and dog to work to track a "missing" person or set of dropped articles through natural or urban terrains.
- Agility: Agility is a fast-growing sport where dogs are required to complete an obstacle course consisting of jumps, tunnels, etc. in an allotted amount of time. Many owners begin agility training as a fun diversion from traditional obedience, and find it addicting!
- Rally: Rally is a sport which involves elements of obedience training placed in a "rally" type of course where dog and handler traverse through a numbered set of exercises and are timed and judged. Less strict than traditional obedience, many feel that Rally is an excellent "jumping in" point for the new competitor or dog.
- In addition to hosting competitive events and fun and educational seminars and get-togethers, we also maintain a puppy referral service which provides the public with a list of MFGRC members that have puppies available. Only breeders who have completed the four major health clearances on their breeding stock (hips, elbows, hearts, eyes) are listed with puppy referral. Members are also required to sign, and are encouraged to adhere to, the MFGRC Code of Ethics.
Golden retriever rescue efforts began as a committee of MFGRC in 1991, as a service to the breed and our community to place abandoned and neglected goldens and offer public education. In 1997, the Rescue group became an independent organization and was incorporated and is now called the Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc. (GRRMF).
MFGRC strives to not only serve the golden retriever breeder, trainer, and/or exhibitor, but the pet owner as well who just wishes to learn more about their chosen breed, and to meet and have fun with people with similar interests. MFGRC holds monthly meetings, typically held in the central Florida region, and invites guests to join.