If you want to enter pedigree breed shows with your dog, take part in national dog sport competitions, or have a say about the policies and direction that drive dog ownership in the UK, you will need to join The Kennel Club.
Whether you own a pedigree dog or a mixed breed, a Kennel Club membership provides a lot of rewards and benefits. In this blog post, we will explain a little more about what The Kennel Club does, the advantages of membership, and why you should consider signing up.
What is The Kennel Club?
The Kennel Club is the UK’s formal umbrella organisation for dog breeders and owners, which fulfils a number of important roles.
The Kennel Club’s core goal is to improve the health and welfare of all dogs, and promote responsible dog ownership. This mission is broad and far-reaching, incorporating hereditary and health improvement campaigns for all UK-recognised dog breeds. It also encompasses dog breeding, ownership and good practice and protocols.
Additionally, The Kennel Club hosts and oversees the world-famous Crufts Dog Show, which can only be entered by registered dogs and owners. They also manage the Assured Breeder Scheme to promote responsible dog breeding, and guide potential puppy buyers to choose the right breeder.
Why join The Kennel Club?
The advantages of membership will largely depend on what you do with your dog, or what you plan to do in the future, but here are some of the general advantages of joining The Kennel Club below.
1. Gain access to exclusive resources and special Kennel Club events
While The Kennel Club provides a lot of free advice and resources for dog owners, joining gives you a higher level of access to data and information that may be useful, and which isn’t available to the general public.
You will also get a monthly copy of The Kennel Gazette, and copies of The Kennel Club’s annual report and breed health reports to help you to stay in the know. Additionally, you will also be given the opportunity to attend a Kennel Club open day or tour in London, followed by afternoon tea, as well being provided with an annual copy of The Kennel Club yearbook.
2. Enter your pedigree dog in breed shows
If you own a pedigree dog or puppy and want to enter breed shows, your dog and yourself will need to join The Kennel Club first.
Pedigree dogs cannot be shown in Kennel Club shows, including qualifiers for Crufts and other prestigious events unless they are registered. Registered members can access the full showing and events portal to find out about shows and qualifying heats, to help you to plan your showing year.
You will also be able to participate in shows like Discover Dogs hosted at ExCel London, which we attended as an exhibitor.
3. Take part in Kennel Club events and competitions like heelwork and canine sport
Whilst your dog must be a registered pedigree to take part in breed showing, dogs of any shape, size or type can get involved in canine sport, obedience and other activities. The agility and heelwork to music events at Crufts and other large dog shows are usually even more popular than the breed classes.
If you’re starting to get involved in canine sport, or are ready to start competing in formally organised competitions, a Kennel Club membership will give you the inside track.
4. Have your say and influence policy
From the associate membership level upwards, Kennel Club members can vote on the policies, protocols and management of the organisation itself, guiding and influencing the future direction of the organisation and how it works.
5. Benefit from a range of discounts and loyalty schemes
Kennel club members are issued with their own affiliate loyalty card, which gives access to a range of special offers and discounts, including 10% off tickets to Crufts and the popular annual “Discover Dogs” event.
You also get 10% off all Kennel Club merchandise and printed publications. Many other organisations also offer generous discounts to Kennel Club members too.
6. Join the Assured Breeder Scheme or register pups
If you breed pedigree dogs, you will need to register them with The Kennel Club to receive their formal breed paperwork. This enables potential buyers to determine the dog’s pedigree status, and is essential for entering Kennel Club shows.
Dog breeders are also encouraged to join The Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme, which provides guidance and care protocols for breeding healthy litters, and provides an additional layer of assurance and security for your potential puppy buyers. There are also companies who are encouraging careful breeding, like Tailwise who aim to eliminate puppy farming by matching dog buyers with certified and trusted dog breeders.
7. Get your kids involved too
The Kennel Club also offers a special membership programme for young people aged 6-24, called the Young Kennel Club.
Young Kennel Club members can take part in special Kennel Club events. This includes workshops, training days and shows, and even compete at dog shows like Crufts in special young handler classes.
How to join The Kennel Club
There are three basic levels of Kennel Club membership. The first level is affiliate membership, which is open to all, then associate membership, which involves appointment by committee, and finally, full membership, which is granted by means of election.
You can find out more about Kennel Club membership and join online here, and check out this link for the Young Kennel Club too.