Finland’s Retriever Association
Finland’s Retriever Association was grounded as a main organization for Finnish retrievers and retriever owners in 1963. It has nowadays over 5800 members. FRA has 20 local clubs which organize counselling, trainings and tests. In addition to the local retriever clubs, FRA consists of breed clubs and others clubs that have kennel activity.
Originally FRA was breed association for all retriever breed. Over the years, some breeds have grounded their own breed association. First, Golden Retrievers (Golden Ring ry) and Labrador Retrievers (Labradorinnoutajakerho ry) received their own association. In 2001, Flatcoated Retrievers (Flattikerho, new name Suomen Sileäkarvaiset Noutajat ry) started on their own. In 2012, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (Novascotiannoutajat ry) began as an independent breed association. FRA is still breed association for the two remaining breeds.
Advice and training
Both FRA and the member clubs give advice regarding basic and advance training as well as competing in different sports. Each retriever breed has breeding counselling and puppy register. You can find the FRA and the club phone numbers and contact persons in the Nuusku magazine.
FRA organizes trainings and educates the trainers and officers in the member clubs. The most important events are the annual trainings days and summer camp. The member clubs take care of training at a local level.
Shows and tests
FRA organizes a retriever show and different kind of tests and trials. Every year, there is championship completion in five different tests. FRA rewards annually the best show retrievers in every retriever breed. Also the best retrievers in different test types are rewarded at the annual spring meeting.
Annual summer camp is the meeting point for all retriever owners. The summer camp lasts about a week. During the summer camp, there are usually an unofficial retriever show and several official tests. Also basic and advanced training for different tests is on offer. In addition, many funny games and tests are arranged.
It’s useful to be a member
Anyone can apply membership from FRA’s membership secretary or a local club. In both cases you can become a member of a local retriever club, too. Every retriever owner or one that is thinking about becoming it should be a member. Every member receives all the Nuusku magazines published during the year. The new member also receives StarttiNuusku, a compendium including a lot of information for the puppy owner. It is important that the puppy owners get involved and get the guidance they need.
As a member you can make a difference
The member clubs choose in their annual meetings their board members and representatives for FRA’s annual spring and fall meetings. FRA’s fall meeting chooses the chairman and the board members for the association as well as the representatives for the Kennel Club. The member clubs and FRA have several officials and jobs in tests, trainings etc. Members are needed for these tasks. Doing together is rewarding and fun.
FRA has 20 local retriever clubs and they cover the whole country. The clubs organize in their own area basic and advanced training. They also organize shows, tests, club meetings and other activities. Each member can find the information about the events in member newsletters, which are published by the clubs.