Ten reasons to join the JRTCA that have nothing to do with showing:
1. You will get a good, and sometimes useful, publication. Most issues have a story or two, or an article or two, on working terriers. Considering the diversity of the JRTCA, the editors do a pretty good job of speaking to all terrier interests. This is a house organ, not Newsweek, but at 68 pages or so, it's a pretty nice job and often has a health tip or two as well. Research on bronze medallion dogs in True Grit helped me assemble the data on the average size of American working dogs in North America.
2. Picture ads in every major off-the-shelf dog magazine telling people NOT to get a Jack Russell terrier without doing more research. The "unselling" of this breed to "Wishbone" and "Eddie" wannabe owners is a very useful thing if you care about working terriers. I consider this important (and expensive) work worth supporting. No other breed or Club does this; I am very glad the JRTCA does.
3. An excellent web site ( www.terrier.com ) that presents the full range of interests in the Jack Russell terrier. A very nice job and full accolades to the web master. Interactive quizzes help make sure people know what they are getting into with a hunting terrier, and a FAQ section provides more information. Again, this is the kind of effort no other breed or Club does, and it is no small effort.
4. Status is given to working terriers in the show-ring-world which, in turn, brings more people into the working world. A special page or two at the front of the magazine is always devoted to working terriers, the highest JRTCA awards go to working terriers, and a dog in the field is always featured on the cover. Since the dog-show world is mostly about status, the elevation of the status of real work by the JRTCA encourages more "show people" to hunt at least once or twice. Some of these folks have decided they like hunting better than showing -- a very positive thing, and the way hunting with terriers has actually been established in the U.S. Without the JRTCA there would not be much terrier work in the U.S.
5. A working terrier program that has a full page-and-a-half of working judges complete with addresses and phone numbers listed. It may not be enough, but it's more than exists anywhere else on the planet. It's amazing that so many people have signed up to be working judges considering how thankless a job it is. Going out with a working judge is not the only way to learn how to hunt, of course, but it's how many people actually do.
6. A ready supply of Deben locator boxes, Deben collars, and fox nets that folks can order on the Internet, pay by credit card, and receive in 2-3 days. Break a collar on a Sunday, and another will be in hand by Wednesday or Thursday. The JRTCA will sell locator boxes, collars and nets to anyone, and prices are fair.
7. A registry which discourages inbreeding. Some would argue about the value of this in some situations, but without a doubt it is a good thing for the long-term future of the dogs.
8. JRTCA Rescue which does a highly commendable job of housing and finding homes for dogs that deserve stability and love.
9. A code of ethics and various rules to discourage breeding too young, working too young, etc. Some may sneer at rules, but in fact a code of conduct (think Ten Commandments) is not such a bad thing to have on paper.
10. The past and the future. If terrier work has taken hold in the U.S. it is because of the JRTCA, and if it is going to spread (or be defended) it will be because of the JRTCA. Membership dues is a small thing to pay for all of the above.