With over 1,700 members and 218 breeds recognised, the Kennel Club (KC) is the official kennel club in the UK and the oldest recognised canine club in the world.
History of The Kennel Club
It was founded in 1873 by British politician Sewallis E Shirley at a time where there were no consistent rules around the organisation of dog shows.
After organising the First Grand Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs in London in 1870, Shirley enlisted twelve gentlemen to create what was to become the Kennel Club. One of their first tasks was to create a Stud Book, also known as a breed registry. The first volume was published in 1874 and was accompanied by the very first set of rules for judging and exhibiting dogs.
The Kennel Club is the organisator Crufts since 1891 - an annual international canine event consisting in a championship, a trade show and several canine activities such as agility and flyball. This event is the largest of its kind in the world and lasts for four days. Since 1991, Crufts has been taking place in Birmingham.
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The activities of the Kennel Club
The Kennel Club does more than organising events. The organisation is active in many ways to promote, protect and register dogs. KC also acts as an educational center and offers lots of resources to dog owners, vets and people working with dogs such as owners of dog kennels.
Protection and promotion of the health and welfare of all dogs.
The mission of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust is to promote the health and welfare of all dogs through funding research work into canine diseases and supporting local canine charities, shelters and organisations. It also promotes the training and allocation of support dogs and launches regular campaigns to lobby against legislation that can negatively impact dogs.
In partnership with Agria Pet Insurance, KC offers specialist pet insurance to dog owners and breeders designed to cover specific risks such as breeding risks during the gestation and birth.
Voluntary register for pedigree dogs and crossbreed dogs
The Kennel Club is responsible for maintaining the registration system that allows owners to register their breed and crossbreed dogs. 250,000 dogs are registered each year in the UK across the available three registers - the breed register (for pedigree), activity register (to enter KC’s licensed canine events) and the petlog registration (a database for microchipped pets). The register also handles the changes of ownership and issues breed certificates.
The registration is mandatory to be able to take part in the activities organised by KC. It also gives owners access to a wide range of resources and offers them the possibility to get involved in local events and campaigns.
The Kennel Club organises or licences a wide range of canine activities for dogs going from agility, canicross, bloodhound trials, flyball, rally and lots more. Some activities are only opened to pure breeds while some can be enjoyed by all dogs. The KC lists all the clubs and events on their website.
Education for dog owners and people working with dogs
The KC provides resources to vets about veterinary practices and client information, along with videos, podcasts, reports and publications on dog health. Dog owners and breeders also have access to a wide range of articles on many health issues and breeding advice. Own a boarding kennel? With the kennel club, you can step your game up in providing the best possible service.