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The Kennel Club Rules Governing Dog Showing

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 24 Mar 2012 | comments*Discuss
Bylaws Kennel Club Local Council

The world of dogs, be it the varied professional pursuits or the day to day routine of the pet owner, is governed by many rules and laws.

A Good Citizen

It’s easy to train your dog to be a good citizen. They don’t have to perform clever obedience tricks or be able to do a thirty minute sit stay. Simple things like walking on a lead, not jumping up and barking at people while you are out walking will make him a pleasant dog to be associated with. If you are keen to progress with this simple training the Kennel Club has a good citizen scheme whereby any dog can take his good citizen test and be awarded a medal. In these anti dog days it may be a good idea to have your dog carry this certificate as any person with a grievance against you or your dog will look silly making accusations against a trained dog!

Be wary of neighbours if you own a dog if your dog barks alot and you have a dog hater next door, the first person to pay you a visit if your neighbour should complain, will be the local (council paid) dog warden. They will be sympathetic to your plight as long as you have not broken any bylaws.

So don’t leave your dogs shut in the garden all day long – if this tends to happen why not purchase a kennel run where your dog is safe and has shelter from the elements along with a supply of clean water (remember you may need planning permission for this though).

Pick up after your dog and leave your garden smelling sweet. A paved or gravelled area for the dog can be kept tidy and clean. Even if you have a hosepipe ban in your area it is still easy to pick up after a dog and then use a watering can with disinfectant to clean the spot. If water is in shortage why not buy a water butt or divert used water from your washing machine?

Local Bylaws

It is well worth checking out the local bylaws concerning dog ownership as they can vary drastically from council to council. In some areas a dog is not allowed into parks and public areas whereas a few miles away in another council district an owner can let a large number of dogs run off lead at will.

Show and Sport Etiquette

Within any canine competitive sport there are etiquette rules to be followed. Some are simply politeness; others are in keeping with the competition rules. You will gradually learn about these as you progress within the canine world. Ringcraft and breed events will show you how to act while in competition.

Breeder Information

Breeders who falsify information when registering puppies or knowingly sell or breed without following Kennel Club rules are open to disqualification from ever breeding again. They can also be prosecuted in court by buyers and have their licenses taken away by their local council.


Officers and committee members should be like Caesar’s wife – beyond reproach! No one should consider working on a committee if they feel it will benefit their own career in the dog world. We serve on committees to help our favourite breed – nothing more and nothing less. Unfortunately this is not always so and we can often read or be told about corrupt treasurers who have falsified club accounts or officers who make deals with members of other committees so that they can swap lucrative judging appointments.

If you ever come across one of these people it is your duty to report them to the Kennel Club before the whole dog game comes into disrepute. It is no good reporting the matter to your breed club as you may not know how deep the corruption lies – also many clubs like to bury any bad press as it can affect their clubs standing within the canine world.

The Dog Show Judges

Even before a person has their first judging engagement they have to have abided by the rules of the Kennel Club. Records of their training, breeding, stewarding and personal achievements must have been scrupulously kept. These records form the backbone of a judging CV.

A judge must be honest when accepting an appointment; they must also judge honestly not accepting bribes, swapping appointments or placings for future appointments. When accepting an appointment a judge must also provide a written critique for the society offering the appointment and this must also be sent to the canine press. The Kennel Club now prosecutes any judge not honouring the part of their contract that requires them to write a critique.

The Kennel Club – the Final Word

If you have broken a law of the land you will have to go to court and face the consequences. If you have broken a rule connected with showing, breeding, judging and any other activity licensed by the Kennel Club you will have to face a panel of your peers and take the consequences. The Kennel Club has the power to ban you from breeding and competing – perhaps forever. It can ban your dog and all of its progeny. It can stop you from ever being an officer, committee member or general member of a club depending upon what rules you have chosen to break.

Consider how you would feel if this was to happen to you? Perhaps dog showing is just a small hobby, but think – if you like to have an occasional litter of puppies, judge a few times each year and exhibit your dogs most weekends a ban from the Kennel Club could seriously affect your pocket and your lifestyle let alone lose you the respect of fellow dog lovers.

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