History of Ladies' Dog Club
In January 1914, five ladies from the dog fancy met at the Lenox Hotel for lunch, during which the Ladies' Dog Club was formed. Thereafter, members met monthly for lunch at the Lenox. The objectives of the club were, and still are, to further the advancement of all breeds of pure-bred dogs, to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, obedience trials, and performance events, and to conduct such events. Formed as a private club with limited membership, there are presently 78 members, including 11 honorary members. In 1931, the club was incorporated, adopted red and white as its colors, and designed a club seal consisting of a dog collar with a tag inscribed with Ladies Dog Club 1914. In 1975, Ladies elected its first female delegate to the American Kennel Club.
The first show was held in September 1915 at Prides Crossing with an entry of 215 dogs. (Entries now average around 1800 dogs per show.) The following June, Ladies held its first AKC show in Lowell and, with the exception of 1941 and 1945, Spring shows have been held every year since. In 1985, Ladies added a fall show when it joined the Bay Colony Cluster. The June 2013 shows were its 123rd and 124th shows.
In 1936, Ladies' Dog Club members were enlisted by the Boston Evening Transcript to help generate publicity for the Eastern Dog Club Show to be held at Mechanics Building over the Washington's Birthday holiday. An impromptu dog show was held on Boston Common in mid-January. This was
repeated in 1938. In 1939, a Dogs of All Nations tableau was staged at the Hotel Statler with participants appearing in costumes with their dogs representing the dogs country of origin. The club has held similar events in the past, such as the Top Hat and Tails, a press party at the original Ritz-Carlton Boston to publicize the fall Cluster shows.
The early years of the Ladies Dog Club were highlighted by annual February luncheons at the Copley Plaza Hotel with female judges from the Eastern Dog Club show as guests. Currently, the club holds bi-monthly luncheon meetings in Wellesley, a Members Spring Puppy Match and Tea in Framingham, and a Members Fall Puppy Match and Luncheon in Duxbury.
Over the years, the Ladies Dog Club has contributed many thousands of dollars to various dog- related organizations including Liberty Bonds (WWI), Dogs for Defense and Defense Bonds (WWII), Seeing Eye Dogs, University of Pennsylvania Research Department, Tufts Veterinary School, Dog Museum of America, Breeder Referral Service, Red Acre Hearing Aid Dogs, ADOA, Canine Defense Fund, New England Dog Assistance Program, Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, Morris Animal Foundation, Angell Memorial Hospital, Mount Ida College, AKC Canine Health Fund, MSPCA, Greenfield Animal Shelter, NEADS, AKC/CAR Disaster Relief Fund, Mass. Vest-A-Dog, and New England K9 SAR.
Ladies' Dog Club celebrated its centennial in 2014.