Q: Why should I support the AWMA instead of another IPO organization?

A: The AWMA is responsible for ensuring that the Malinois has a voice in the sport and that there is a platform for representing the breed at the national and international level. It is the only organization that is devoted to the breed. If you support the Belgian Malinois as a working breed, you should belong to the AWMA. If you compete with a Malinois in the sport of IPO, you should belong to the AWMA. If you plan on competing at the national or international level with a Malinois, you should belong to the AWMA. If you breed Malinois that are destined for sport homes, you should belong to the AWMA and encourage your puppy buyers to do so as well.

Q: What relationships does the AWMA have with national and international organizations?

A: A preface to this answer is that the AWMA believes strongly in collaboration and minimizing redundancy. This is why we do not have a breed registry (the FCI will only recognize AKC registrations from the US) and why we do not focus on conformation (the focus of the AKC breed clubs within the AKC). This allows us to focus on preserving the working ability of the Belgian Malinois through IPO.

AWDF - The AWMA is a full voting member in the AWDF. This allows us to share authorized judges, have our titles recognized by the other AWDF clubs, and send AWMA members to the AWDF IPO and FH Championships. Placement at AWDF qualifier is the avenue to competition at the FCI World Championships.

FMBB - The FMBB is the world federation for Belgian Shepherd Dogs. The AWMA is a member of the FMBB, and as such, sends teams to the FMBB Championships. IPO competitors can be any Belgian breed (selection criteria for the team are on the website). We assist the Belgian community in the US in selecting an agility team. The Mondio team is selected in cooperation with the United States Mondioring Association (USMRA) because they are responsible for Mondio in the US.

AKC/ABMC/BSCA - The AWMA has cordial and cooperative relationships with the American Belgian Malinois Club and the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, leading to agreements through the AKC for the listing of AWMA event-earned titles on AKC pedigrees. Because the AWMA does not provide agility events, eligible breed club members can declare for the AWMA FMBB agility team. A member of the BSCA or ABMC could be on the AWMA FMBB teams but would need to be an AWMA member because that is part of the declaration requirements.

Q: Are there advantages in forming an AWMA club?

A: There are several advantages. As an AWMA club you have access to reduced event insurance. Club dues are less than nearly any other organization. You may use any accepted FCI or AWDF member club judge and any qualified helper at your trials. You may use an event like a training seminar to substitute for your annual requirement for a trial without losing your full club status. We welcome all competitors with a current AWDF membership - they are not charged additional fees and all competitor's scores will be posted regardless of the handler's affiliation. If you use an AWMA judge you are entitled to a $100 rebate from the organization.

Q: What are the requirements to form an AWMA club? Do all members have to own and train Malinois?

A: AWMA clubs are open to all breeds. You need three AWMA members (they do not need to own Malinois) to form a club and a set of by-laws. The application can be for a full member club if you have experience hosting trials and there is no requirement for an affiliation trial. Contact your Regional Director for their approval and send the application to the AWMA secretary for review. See the information and application form here: http://www.workingmalinois.org/index.php/form-a-club

Q: Who can enter AWMA trials and are AWMA titles recognized by other IPO organizations?

A: Anyone can enter an AWMA trial if the dog has a valid FCI recognized scorebook, and if the handler is in good standing with a current membership in an AWDF recognized organization (see AWDF member clubs on the AWDF website). Titles earned in AWMA trials will be recognized by all AWDF member organizations (and internationally) with the exception of titles used for breed surveys in other breed organizations. If you are planning to use titles earned at an AWMA trial for a breed survey it is best to check with that organization to determine if titles will be accepted.

Q: As an AWMA member, am I eligible to enter other AWDF member club trials?

A: Yes. As an AWMA member you may enter any other AWDF member club’s trials with your AWMA scorebook and membership. Note that UScA has an additional charge for non-members to enter their trials. There are also restrictions by some clubs for membership in their organization to enter their regional or national events.

Q: I have a scorebook issued by another organization. Will it be accepted at an AWMA trial?

A: As per FCI rules, there is one scorebook per dog and that scorebook from an FCI recognized organization must be accepted at all AWDF member club trials. You do not need a scorebook issued by the AWMA to enter an AWMA trial.

Q: If I have membership in another AWDF member club, may I enter an AWMA trial?

A: Yes. The AWDF requires that entry in any AWDF member club’s trial requires current membership in an AWDF member organization.

Q: To enter a trial, does my membership need to match the organization that issued the scorebook?

A: No. Because the scorebook goes with the dog, it may have been issued by an organization different than the current membership of the handler. The only exception is that DVG requires that membership in their organization remains valid to use their scorebook. If the membership lapses that scorebook is no longer valid.

Q: Do I need to be a member of the AWMA to obtain an AWMA scorebook?

A: Yes. Membership is required to obtain an AWMA issued scorebook. This is also true for all other AWDF member clubs; membership is required to obtain one of their scorebooks.

Q: If I need both membership and a scorebook, do I have to wait for my membership card to arrive?

A: No, enter "pending" in the member number field on the scorebook application and we will get the process started. And you can do both electronically, including payment, from the website.

Q: I have a breed other than a Malinois. Can I get a scorebook for my dog through the AWMA? Will it list the breed in the scorebook?

A: Yes. If you are a member of the AWMA you may obtain a scorebook for your dog regardless of breed. If your dog is registered with an organization that is recognized by the FCI (AKC registration is fine) and you submit that information with your scorebook application your dog's breed will be listed on the scorebook. If your dog is not registered or if the registry is with a non-FCI recognized group it will be listed as a mix.

Q: I have a Malinois that is registered with a non-FCI recognized organization, or is not registered. Is it possible to get a scorebook that lists my dog as a Malinois and not as a mix breed?

A: Yes if you are an AWMA member and purchase your scorebook through the AWMA. There is an application form for a Working Privilege Listing on the scorebook page on the website. You will be asked to provide clear photographs of your dog and other information. If your dog resembles a Malinois it will be listed as such on your scorebook. The AWMA is the only organization that will do this; all other AWDF organizations require that the dog be registered with an FCI-recognized organization.

Q: What is the purpose of a scorebook bond and how can it be used?

A: From our policies and procedures:

"Competitors who do not present a scorebook prior to the beginning of the trial (temperament test or beginning of the first phase) will be required to post a $50 refundable scorebook bond. The bond will be refunded upon presentation of the scorebook, which must be within 48 hours of the completion of the trial. If no scorebook is presented within the allotted time frame, the $50 is forfeit, and the AWMA will issue a scorebook in the dog’s name listing the dog as a mix and showing the trial results, which will be mailed to the handler. "

Also note that only AWMA members may post a scorebook bond for entry into an AWMA trial. In other words, if the competitor presents a membership card from any other AWDF member club as part of their entry, they cannot post a scorebook bond. This is because the AWMA cannot issue a scorebook to someone who is not an AWMA member. This competitor would not be able to enter the trial because they do not have a scorebook (and cannot post a bond). Scorebook bonds are not a good solution for not ordering your scorebook prior to the trial. In these circumstances, the scorebook must be issued, then sent to the AWMA secretary for entry of the scores, forwarded to the judge for their signature, and finally sent back to the handler. Save the extra $50 and avoid this hassle and inconvenience to everyone! Plan ahead and order your dog's scorebook well in advance. As soon as you have determined that you think you may want to enter a trial some day in the future, order your scorebook and keep it in a safe place. Then be sure to take it with you to the trial so you are not in the situation of having to post a bond.

Q: Which scorebook number should I use when I enter a trial?

A: In the upper right corner of an AWDF member club issued scorebook you'll find at least two numbers. One is the AWDF number and the other is the number written in by the issuing club. You should use the number that was issued by the club that sent you the scorebook. If you have an older AWMA scorebook that was "stamped" by UScA, they also wrote a number in that corner. In the past you would need to use the UScA number if you entered one of their trials. Now that stamping is no longer required, you should always use the number that was provided by the club that issued the scorebook regardless of the affiliation of the club who is hosting the trial.

Q: What titles can be offered at AWMA trials and what rules will be followed?

A: AWMA clubs can offer all available FCI titles, including protection only. The AWMA does not offer the AD. A listing of the titles a club will offer at their trial is posted on the AWMA website with the trial listing. The AWMA follows the posted FCI rules, with any clarifications on the AWMA website. The only deviation is that an individual may show three dogs instead of two at any individual trial.

Q: Is it possible to have my dog's AWMA IPO titles listed on their AKC pedigree?

A: Yes! The American Working Malinois Association, the American Belgian Malinois Club and the Belgian Sheepdog Club of America have collaborated to create a program where working titles can be recorded on your dog's AKC pedigree. As per restrictions from the AKC, only AKC registered Belgian Malinois and Belgian Sheepdogs are eligible to record titles through this program, and titles must have been earned at an AWMA event. At present, titles that can be recorded are BH, IPO1, IPO2, IPO3, SchH1, SchH2, SchH3. The titles must have been earned since 2000. See the information here: http://workingmalinois.org/index.php/record-a-working-title

Q: What are the requirements for entering the AWMA IPO National Championship? How does this affect qualifying for the FMBB?

A: From our policies and procedures:

Entering the AWMA National IPO Championship - All FCI registered Belgian Shepherd Dogs with an AWDF recognized scorebook will be allowed to enter, along with any dog that has an AWMA issued AWDF scorebook that lists the dog as a Belgian Malinois, regardless of whether it is FCI registered or not. Handlers must be current and valid members of the AWMA (as approved July 20, 2011). This means that we allow all Belgian Shepherds (including Belgian Sheepdogs, Tervurens, and Laekenois) with an FCI recognized registration to enter if they meet the above qualifications. If these dogs place in the top 4, they are eligible to represent the AWMA at the FMBB IPO Championship. Non-registered Malinois with an AWMA WPL listing/scorebook can enter, but they are not eligible to compete at the FMBB as per their requirements of FCI recognized registration. We will also allow entry by competitors from other countries who meet the above qualifications, but they would not be eligible for the FMBB as per requirements by the FMBB for residency in the country of sponsorship.