Kennel club

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1901 poster advertising a dog show at the Mascoutah Kennel Club. Mascoutah Kennel Club dog show 1901.jpg
1901 poster advertising a dog show at the Mascoutah Kennel Club.

A kennel club (known as a kennel council or canine council in some countries) is an organization for canine affairs that concerns itself with the breeding, showing and promotion of more than one breed of dog. [1] [2] Kennel clubs became popular in the mid 19th century. All-encompassing kennel clubs are also referred to as 'all-breed clubs', although "all" means only those breeds that they have decided to recognize, and "breed" means purebred dogs, not including dog hybrids and crossbreeds or mixed-breed dogs. A club that handles only one breed is known as a breed club . [3]



Kennel clubs maintain breed standards, record pedigrees, and issue the rules for conformation dog shows and trials and accreditation of judges. They often serve as registries, which are lists of adult purebred dogs and lists of litters of puppies born to purebred parents. A kennel club manages all these aspects of the dog breeds it claims to represent, either directly or through its member bodies.

Today's kennel clubs specialize in working dogs or conformation show dogs. In today's parlance, dog clubs for mixed-breed dogs are gaining ground and are now sometimes categorized as kennel clubs. The original purpose of a kennel club, however, was the breeding and showing of conformation bench purebreds, and this remains the most widely accepted definition. Widely known kennel clubs such as The Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, and the Canadian Kennel Club each offer k9 events and training programs as well as dog registration services.


By the mid-19th century, ownership of selectively bred dogs was common among the affluent throughout Europe.

Kennel clubs were founded from the necessity to bring order out of chaos to the sport of public competitive dog exhibitions. [4] The first dog show in England was held in 1859, which was a social affair held by English aristocrats to raise funds for charity. [5] [6] They grew in popularity over fourteen years and were held in a rather ad hoc manner.

In 1859, the first dog show society came into existence in Birmingham, England. Within three years, the Société impériale zoologique d'acclimatation  [ fr ] held the first dog show on the European continent in Paris, exhibiting a range of breeds, although the definition of guarding a breed remained open to interpretation.[ citation needed ]

Recognizing the necessity for the establishment of a governing body with punitive powers, MP Sewallis Shirley, called a group of well-known fanciers together and The Kennel Club was formed. In April 1873 a small group of people had a meeting in a three-roomed flat, which led later that year to the Kennel Club's first show at The Crystal Palace with 975 entrants.

The first general meeting of the Kennel Club took place in Birmingham's Great Western Hotel in December 1874. During the same year, one of the first important actions of the club was to publish a stud book, which contained the pedigrees of 4,027 dogs that had won prizes at shows in the previous fourteen years. Rules were formed and classifications established.

In 1881, the French Société Centrale Canine was founded, followed by the Italian Ente Nazionale della Cinofilia Italiana (ENCI) in 1882, and the American Kennel Club in 1884. The United Kennel Club was established in 1898. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale was formed in 1911, under the auspices of the Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, French and German canine societies. The new kennel club rules reflected that pedigrees must be registered with their respective club.

Clubs acted as a court of appeal to set and maintain standards. They successfully popularized the sport of dog showing and elevated it from venues such as bars and public houses to fashionable locations. Through a kennel club, people could obtain pedigrees for their dogs, which were included on permanent registers. Kennel clubs have had more influence on the development of dog breeds than any other factor since the original diversification of dogs according to function.

International kennel clubs

Nations that have active groups of dog breeders and people who practice the hobby of dog fancy usually have their own national kennel clubs, often affiliated with those of other countries. Most kennel clubs have reciprocal arrangements and dogs registered in one country can be re-registered in another country if the dog is imported.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale represents over eighty countries and has ties to many countries' major kennel clubs. There may be reciprocal agreements or understandings between affiliate members of the FCI.

The major, most widely accepted kennel clubs for English-speaking countries are:

See also

Related Research Articles

Dog breed Group of closely related and visibly similar domestic dogs

A dog breed is a particular strain or dog type that was purposefully bred by humans to perform specific tasks, such as herding, hunting, and guarding. When distinguishing breed from type, the rule of thumb is that a breed always "breeds true". Dogs are the most variable mammal on earth, with artificial selection producing around 450 globally recognized dog breeds. These breeds possess distinct traits related to morphology, which include body size, skull shape, tail phenotype, fur type, and coat colour. Their behavioural traits include guarding, herding, and hunting, and personality traits such as hypersocial behavior, boldness, and aggression. Most breeds were derived from small numbers of founders within the last 200 years. As a result, today dogs are the most abundant carnivore species and are dispersed around the world.

American Kennel Club

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. In addition to maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official forming of the AKC, the National Dog Show and the AKC National Championship. The AKC is not affiliated with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Barbet (dog) Dog breed

The Barbet is a breed of dog; it is a medium-sized French water dog. It is listed in Group 8 by the Société Centrale Canine, the French Kennel Club and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Fédération cynologique internationale (FCI) is an international federation of a number of national kennel clubs. It is based in Thuin, Belgium.

<i>Australian National Kennel Council</i>

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) is the coordinating kennel club of Australia. The ANKC is a member of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

The Kennel Club The official kennel club of the United Kingdom

The Kennel Club ("KC") is the official kennel club of the United Kingdom. It is the oldest recognised kennel club in the world. Its role is to oversee various canine activities including dog shows, dog agility and working trials. It also operates the national register of pedigree dogs in the United Kingdom and acts as a lobby group on issues involving dogs in the UK. Its headquarters are on Clarges Street in Mayfair, London, with business offices in Aylesbury.

Dog show A dog show, judging dogs on their appearance

A conformation show, also referred to as a breed show, is a kind of dog show in which a judge, familiar with a specific dog breed, evaluates individual purebred dogs for how well the dogs conform to the established breed type for their breed, as described in a breed's individual breed standard.

Dog breeding

Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected dogs with the intention of maintaining or producing specific qualities and characteristics. When dogs reproduce without such human intervention, their offspring's characteristics are determined by natural selection, while "dog breeding" refers specifically to the artificial selection of dogs, in which dogs are intentionally bred by their owners. Breeding relies on the science of genetics, hence a breeder who is knowledgeable on canine genetics, health, and the intended purpose of the dogs attempts to breed suitable dogs.

Working dog Dog used for work

A working dog is a dog used to perform practical tasks, as opposed to pet or companion dogs.

A breed registry, also known as a herdbook, studbook or register, in animal husbandry and the hobby of animal fancy, is an official list of animals within a specific breed whose parents are known. Animals are usually registered by their breeders while they are young. The terms studbook and register are also used to refer to lists of male animals "standing at stud", that is, those animals actively breeding, as opposed to every known specimen of that breed. Such registries usually issue certificates for each recorded animal, called a pedigree, pedigreed animal documentation, or most commonly, an animal's "papers". Registration papers may consist of a simple certificate or a listing of ancestors in the animal's background, sometimes with a chart showing the lineage.

Dutch Shepherd Dog breed

The Dutch Shepherd is a herding dog of Dutch origin. They were used by shepherds and farmers who needed a versatile dog, with few demands, and a dog that was able to adapt to a harsh and meager existence.

The Irish Kennel Club or IKC is an organization dedicated to supporting dog breeds and their owners.

Purebred dog

A purebred dog typically refers to a dog of a modern dog breed with a documented pedigree in a stud book and may be registered with a breed club that may also be part of a national kennel club.

Championship (dog)

Championships are awarded to dogs who have passed through a process of selection at dog shows. Traditionally, a championship was received at a conformation show, but championships are now offered for dogs who have attained a high degree of perfection in other dog sports as well.

Société Centrale Canine

The Société centrale canine or in full Société Centrale Canine pour l'Amélioration des Races de Chiens en France and abbreviated SCC was founded in 1881 and is made up of regional clubs and breed clubs, and coordinates and regulates activities and connections between governmental groups and dog clubs, as well as activities through the Fédération cynologique internationale, where it was one of the original five founding member organizations in 1911.

The Kennel Club of India is a registry of purebred dogs in India. As well as maintaining a registry of pedigrees, the club promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including annual dog shows and specialty shows. The Kennel Club of India is a member of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Malaysian Kennel Association is a registrar association of purebred dogs in Malaysia that was inaugurated in 1925. The association promotes breeding and exhibition of purebred dogs and formulation of dog show rules. The MKA acts as a dog club for dog lovers. It is the only dog club in Malaysia that is affiliated and has reciprocal agreements with the following international leading canine bodies; the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the Asian Kennel Union, the American Kennel Club, and The Kennel Club.

Svenska Kennelklubben

Svenska Kennelklubben is a Swedish organization dedicated to purebred dogs, and dog owners. It was formed on 13 December 1889 by a group of noblemen and hunters with the aim to maintain the capability of good hunting dogs. According to its charter, the goals of the organization are "to create interest in, and promote, the breeding of mentally and physically healthy purebred dogs that are adequate in terms of working and hunting and that have a favorable appearance".

Raad van Beheer op Kynologisch Gebied in Nederland is the official kennel club of the Netherlands. Founded in 1902, it currently represents around 200 breed clubs with 150,000 members, and is a member of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Confederação Brasileira de Cinofilia or CBKC is a Brazilian kennel club confederation based in Rio de Janeiro. The confederation is affiliated with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), being the only representative of this system in Brazil.


  1. "Definition of KENNEL CLUB". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  2. Hanson, Michele (15 March 2016). "Stop buying pedigree dogs. Stop breeding them. Stop these awful practices - Michele Hanson". the Guardian. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  3. "The Many Benefits of Breed Clubs". petcentric. com. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. "Most dog breeds emerged from a shockingly recent moment in history". Business Insider. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  5. "Creature comfort: Why London's first dogs' home was met with howls of" . Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  6. "The First Dog Show" . Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. 1 2 "Registration papers & problems". The Dog Press. Archived from the original on 9 March 2009.