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The Book of Ole Shep - Tales of Our English Shepherds

The Truth About the Registries

This article is taken from a larger article which was originally published in Stodghill's Animal Research Magazine Spring-Summer 1971 Issue on pages 16-17

In response to requests for information on how the registries got started, I have decided to print the following information so everyone will have a chance to learn the truth.

The Animal Research Foundation was set up in 1950 as the English Shepherd Club of America (ESCOA). By 1953, we had reached 108 members which included Mr. E.G. Emmanuel. That year we had an English Shepherd get-together in the mountains near a lake in Tennessee. Mr. Emmanuel came to this picnic and brought up the idea of an English Shepherd newsletter. He had a stencil duplicator and wanted to be the editor. This was supposed to be the official publication for the ESCOA, and I had a full-page ad in the first edition.

I was secretary-treasurer of the club and Mr. Search of Caromel, California was president. Mr. Emmanuel decide not a print the official news of the breed sent to him by the club. And after Mr. Search and I approached him on this matter, he responded in a way not becoming to a gentleman.

As secretary-treasurer I had set up a registry for the English Shepherd because we had been led to believe we could register with the AKC if our dogs bred true to type and color. The United Kennel Club (UKC) would register anything as an English Shepherd, so the ESCOA set up its on registry so that we could have better control over what dogs were being registered.

To make a long story short, Mr. Emmanuel was very active in the ESCOA, but his dogs couldn’t even pass inspection to be registered with the club. After he made a lot of promises about using his dogs in a breeding program and getting them in line with other ESCOA members, I made my first mistake by compromising and letting the ESCOA state board members talk me into registering Mr. Emmanuel’s dogs as English Shepherds when they could not even pass ESCOA inspection.

When Mr. Emmanuel wouldn’t print the official club news sent to him, Mr. search sent out a letter to all 108 members explaining why no club news was being printed. Mr. Emmanuel set up an election and tried to put me out of office. When he couldn’t put me out, he set up his own bootleg registry for the English Shepherd. Only 7 of the 108 original ESCOA members joined him.

Mr. Emmanuel kept printing material that wasn’t true, and people kept sending it to me. In the spring of 1958, Mr. Search asked me to start printing an official English Shepherd news. Because someone else might try to take over the magazine, I was to call it “Stodghill’s Magazine”. I had also received a letter from the AKC saying they absolutely would not register English Shepherds. So, I know how it feels to be pushed back.

Mr. Emanuel has really helped the ARF more than damage it, because I just worked harder. The AKC is the only registry I am trying to compete with because I tried so hard to get the English shepherd AKC registered. There wasn’t anyone to carry on the work I started, so I couldn’t just quit and let someone destroy the English Shepherd after I had built them up to one of the world’s best breeds. I promised to God when I set up the ARF that if He would give me the knowledge of how to set up the Animal Research Foundation the way it should be I would never put even the smallest breeder back. When I started, I was the youngest member of the ESCOA, but now I am one of the oldest. Over the years we have made a lot of progress.

I hope to keep the ARF set up so the home office will always be here in Quinlan, Texas, and eventually have a representative in many towns to help people fill-out registration papers and help put on ARF shows, obedience trials as well as stockdog shows. I am going to leave all my land to the ARF so we can always be here. I believe we should push obedience trials as they are easier to judge. All dogs need to have obedience trained. But pups should have schooling in working stock to develop that natural instinct before they’re obedience trained. They should learn to work on their own to make them better stock dogs that you can send after cattle or sheep and they will know what to do on their own without you being there to give them a command. The ARF is set up to help all breeders and enthusiast willing to work for the betterment of their breed.

by Tom D. Stodghill