Club administration

Dog jumping over jump
Yulia Titovets © / The Kennel Club

The Kennel Club offers clubs the opportunity to register as a club or apply for listed status. Both have separate criteria they need to meet. Find out more below.

Register your club

The Kennel Club registers clubs and societies which can represent particular breeds, disciplines or activities, either on a regional or national basis. These societies must agree to abide by The Kennel Club regulations for registered societies and must be formed with a committee and membership structure.

The Kennel Club registration of canine societies is not mandatory, although it offers many benefits in terms of eligibility to hold licensed events, access to The Kennel Club's information, promotion and safeguarding of standards. There are about 1,800 registered societies registered in the UK holding over 3,000 licensed dog shows a year - a thriving community all dedicated to our primary objective "to promote in every way the general improvement of dogs".

How to apply for registration of title

If you think you would like to begin the process of applying to register your club or society with The Kennel Club the first steps are to collate the information listed below, complete the required paperwork and return this with the current registration of title fee of £100 to The Kennel Club.

The following paperwork should be completed:

  1. Registration of title questionnaire
  2. A list of current members
  3. Details of the society's financial status
  4. A copy of the proposed constitution/rules of the society that must comply with the requirements of the board, see our guide to the formulation of rules of canine, breed and training societies
  5. Support letters from registered societies (if available)
What happens next?

If, after giving initial consideration to the application, the committee decides that it may proceed, it will be advertised in The Kennel Club Journal and subsequently reconsidered together with any objections which may have been received from registered societies.

Applications for registration of title will only be successful if the committee considers that the proposed society will fulfil a function which is not met by any other existing registered society. Applications will be refused if The Kennel Club considers that the area or the breed with which the society is concerned is already adequately catered for or if objections lodged by existing societies are considered valid. It must be stressed that the final decision rests with the board of The Kennel Club.

If your society is already registered but you have a question or if you would like more information about becoming a registered society, please email the society and show services team or call 01296 318 540.

Registering your club - frequently asked questions

These concern queries on the licence application, the schedule's contents, and the actions prior to and on the day of the show:

1. Do stakes classes have to be included within the number of classes on a licence application form?

No, they do not.

2. Can a judge donate a prize for best in show, reserve best in show, best puppy in show etc?

There is no objection to a judge donating prizes/prize money. However their name cannot be used to advertise such in any paperwork for the show i.e. schedule/catalogue or advertisements.

3. Do we have to schedule an any variety not separately classified (AVNSC) class at our open show judged on the group system?

Yes, a show that schedules more than one breed must provide a minimum of 16 classes which must include an open class for each breed and, if the show is judged on the group system there must be at least one AVNSC class, unless a class for every breed eligible for classification is provided.

4. Do rosettes need to be a specific colour for 1st to 5th placings?

No, societies can choose whichever colours they wish.

5. I am a show secretary for a breed club. My breed is not one that is traditionally docked. Do our schedules still need to carry the docking statement?

Yes - as any dog of any breed might have to have its tail amputated due to trauma (the dog is then classified as docked) and confirms the commitment that only legally docked dogs are eligible for The Kennel Club's licensed shows.

6. Do I need to return an entry for an exhibitor who has applied for an authority to compete (ATC) but not yet obtained it?

All dogs resident outside the UK must be issued with an ATC number from The Kennel Club before entry to the show/event can be made. All overseas entries without an ATC number should be returned to the exhibitor.

7. Can we still weigh Miniature Dachshunds at our shows?

If Miniature Dachshunds are to be weighed, a notice informing exhibitors of such must be included at the beginning of the relevant breed classification.

8. We have made an error in our schedule. We have put in four classes for Bulldogs, but our judge is only eligible for three, can we drop one of the classes? Our show is in three weeks and entries have closed.

No modifications may be made to the schedule except by permission of the general committee of The Kennel Club, which must then be followed by an advertisement in the canine press is possible. However, due to the time constraints in these circumstances, you are not permitted to drop the class, but must find a replacement judge that is eligible to judge the four classes scheduled.

9. I have printed my schedules but omitted junior handling. This class is an 'enter on the day' class. May I put a slip in the schedule informing exhibitors that we are scheduling it?

As it is enter on the day, yes you may include this slip in the schedule. We would also advise a media release/or breed notes in the event that an exhibitor does not receive the slip.

10. Can we extend our closing date for entries?

You may extend entries as long as no less 14 days before a show. You must inform The Kennel Club in writing if you do intend to extend entries, so that we may update our records accordingly.

11. What do we do if someone who hasn't entered the show turns up on the day, claiming that their entry was lost in the post? Do we have to allow them to enter?

Entries from exhibitors claiming undelivered entries have been correctly posted must be accepted on the day of the show. Such claims will have to be substantiated to The Kennel Club, which will request documentary evidence, subsequent to the show.

12. What happens if there is a biting incident at our show?

This type of incident must be reported to The Kennel Club as soon as practically possible after the show and in any event it must be detailed in the post show report/incident book. The Kennel Club will investigate the incident accordingly.

13. We hold a championship and open show each year. We no longer want to hold an open show and would like to focus on the championship show only. Is this ok?

There is no specific requirement of the number of shows you must hold. The holding of any type of competition or show is at the discretion of the society. It is a matter for the club committee and membership how the club fulfils its aims and objectives (as written in its constitution). However if you wish to cease running a show you must provide a written explanation to The Kennel Club for the decision.

Secretaries' calendar for registered club

Below is a timetable of when information is required by The Kennel Club. 

January

Maintenance of title fee: a fee payable to The Kennel Club for continued registration/affiliation

  • A reminder to societies is published in the October and January editions of The Kennel Club Journal
  • Fees must be paid by 31 January by cheque unless the society has a direct debit arrangement
  • £50 (cash/cheque or single card payment)
  • £45 (direct debit)
  • £20 (cash/cheque or single card payment) - only for branches or ringcraft societies 
  • £18 (direct debit)- only for branches or ringcraft societies
  • Societies are responsible for the payment arriving at The Kennel Club by 31 January
  • In the event of any change to the society's account details, the direct debit should be re-confirmed
  • Societies with branches must pay their branch fees at the same time
July

Annual returns: information required confirming the society is operating in accordance with The Kennel Club regulations

  • Reminders for annual returns are published in the January and July editions of The Kennel Club Journal
  • Annual returns must be submitted by 31 July and must include the following information:
    • A list of current officers and committee members with their contact details
    • A copy of the annual statement of accounts certified in accordance with the rules of the society and approved at the last annual general meeting of the society
    • A copy of the current constitution/rules, highlighting any proposed amendments for which approval from The Kennel Club is required
    • The number of members of the society as at the end of the society's financial year
    • A declaration of matches held in the previous year and details of those proposed in the following year. Permission from The Kennel Club is not required to hold matches
    • Societies with branches must also submit a list of registered branches, together with contact details of the secretary and chairman of each branch
    • Judges' list and code of ethics (a requirement for breed clubs only)

Note: health declarations are no longer part of the annual health returns process. It is the role of the breed health co-ordinators who are now responsible for submitting an annual health report each year to The Kennel Club. Please email our health team if you have any further questions.

Agricultural and municipal societies

  • A list of current officers and committee members of the canine section with their addresses and telephone numbers
  • A copy of the annual statement of accounts of the canine section
  • A copy of the current constitution/rules of the canine section, highlighting any proposed amendments for which permission from The Kennel Club is required

Field trial societies HPR levy fee

Societies that have permission to run open hunt, point and retrieve (HPR) stakes have to pay a levy of £30 towards the HPR championship. The deadline for the levy payment is at the end of July.

September

Field trial societies Spaniel levy fee

Societies that have permission to run open cocker spaniel or open any variety spaniel (except for Spaniel [Cocker]) stakes (or both) have to pay a levy towards the Cocker Spaniel and the Any Variety Spaniel (except Spaniel [Cocker]) Championships.

If a society has permission to run open Cocker Spaniel stakes the levy fee is £50. If a society has permission to run open any variety Spaniel (except for Spaniel [Cocker]) stakes the levy fee is £75. If a society runs both stakes the levy fee is £125. The deadline for the levy payment is at the end of September.

November

Applications for championship status: applications are printed two years ahead in the November edition of The Kennel Club Journal.

Listed status

The concept of a listed status club was originally considered for the discipline of agility but following its successful implementation, it was considered that the format would also be of benefit to other Kennel Club disciplines.

Listed status allows those who do not want to undergo the full requirements of running a registered society to run shows licensed by The Kennel Club. It is now available for those who wish to run agility, canicross, heelwork to music, obedience, rally competitions or ringcraft training.

Previously, many unaffiliated clubs and groups 'borrowed' licences from registered clubs to run shows, however there was little recourse for competitors should something happen. In general, The Kennel Club would prefer a show to be licensed, rather than not. This safeguards and provides support to all those involved at a show, whether they are competing, organising or judging.

What is listed status?

Listed status is a type of registration with The Kennel Club for groups or individuals, that enables them to hold training and Kennel Club licensed shows/competitions without the requirements that a fully registered club must adhere to.

By becoming a listed status club, your club will receive support with competition administration and club management as well as having access to a wealth of information on every conceivable dog matter.

Benefits of gaining listed status
  • Association with The Kennel Club's brand
  • Publicity through The Kennel Club's database, enquiries and website
  • Minimal club administration i.e. no need to submit annual accounts, list of club members, or have a committee structure
  • Access to The Kennel Club's services and free advice from the office
  • Compliance to the relevant discipline's code of conduct as well as The Kennel Club Code of Conduct
  • Eligibility to hold open shows/competitions
  • Annual certificate of being a listed status club
How to apply for listed status?

Listed status options

There are a number of different routes to listed status. Read further information about how to apply for listed status and the benefits of doing so.

Listed status club for training purposes
  • Association with The Kennel Club brand
  • Publicity through The Kennel Club's database, enquiries and website
  • Minimal club administration i.e. no need to submit annual accounts, list of club members, or have a committee structure
  • Access to The Kennel Club's services and free advice from the office
  • Compliance to the relevant discipline's code of conduct as well as The Kennel Club Code of Conduct
  • Eligibility to hold open shows/competitions
  • Annual certificate of being a listed status club
Listed status club to hold training
  • A statement outlining the club's commitment to canine welfare which is to be signed and dated by the applicant
  • Third party liability insurance, a copy of the certificate to be submitted to The Kennel Club
  • First aid provisions, in line with the size and number of expected attendees
  • Two supporting references; the first letter confirming the applicant(s) training experience written and signed by an experienced dog trainer i.e. Kennel Club championship judge from relevant discipline (obedience for rally/heelwork to music) or trainer/instructor accredited by The Kennel Club for relevant discipline
  • The second letter must be submitted by a local dog warden/environmental health officer to confirm the safety and suitability of the premises/ground(s) being used for the purposes of dog training
  • Joining fee (detailed below)
Listed status club for training purposes and to be able to hold licensed competitions/shows
  • A statement outlining the club's commitment to canine welfare which is to be signed and dated by the applicant
  • Third party liability insurance, a copy of the certificate to be submitted to The Kennel Club
  • First aid provisions, in line with the size and number of expected attendees
  • Two supporting references; the first letter confirming the applicant(s) training experience written and signed by an experienced dog trainer i.e.:
    • Kennel Club championship judge from relevant discipline (obedience for rally/heelwork to music) or trainer/instructor accredited by The Kennel Club for relevant discipline
    • The second letter must be submitted by a local dog warden/environmental health officer to confirm the safety and suitability of the premises/ground(s) being used for the purposes of dog training
  • A show management profile and risk assessment to show evidence of suitability to hold an event licensed by The Kennel Club. This must also include a reference from an experienced/established committee member from a fully registered club
  • Joining fee
  • Completed listed status club application form
Licence fees
  • Initial enrolment / joining fee: £20
  • Annual renewal: £51 (£48 direct debit)
  • Additional discipline / renewal of additional discipline: £15

Discipline

Type of show / competition

Listed status club

Obedience

Limited

£25

Obedience

Open

£60

Heelwork to Music 

Open

£60

Heelwork to Music 

Premier

N/A

Agility

Limited

£25

Agility

Open

£60

Rally

Open

 
Listed status - frequently asked questions

1. How can payment be made for becoming a listed status club and for annual renewal?

Through direct debit or cheque initially, but payment for annual renewal would be by direct debit only.

2. What needs to be submitted on an annual basis to The Kennel Club?

  • A statement outlining the club's commitment to canine welfare which is to be signed and dated by the applicant
  • A copy of the third party liability insurance certificate
  • Renewal fee (payable by direct debit)

3. When is the annual renewal date for submissions and payment?

Each year from the date the listed status club was registered.

4. How many guarantors need to be present at a listed status club show?

The minimum requirement will be the one person as named on the licence.

5. Is there a limit on the number of shows a listed status club or fully registered club may hold?

No, but if there is a significant detrimental effect on the show calendar as a whole, then the Board will reserve the right to review the number of licences issued to a particular show organiser.

6. Will The Kennel Club regulate the cost of entry fees?

No, the KC has never regulated the cost of entry fees.

7. How do we manage entry forms?

Entry forms must be completed for all dogs entered, including those entered on the day. They must be retained by the show organisers for 12 months from the date of the show and forwarded to The Kennel Club on request.

8. When is the closing date and can entries be accepted on the day of the show?

The closing date for entries to classes at shows must be at least 14 days before the date of the show. Entries from competitors claiming that missing entries have been correctly posted must be accepted on the day of the show as per the regulations.

9. Who can apply to have a listed status club?

Any club, group or individual.

10. Do you need a committee structure?

No.

11. Will The Kennel Club reduce its governance of fully registered clubs? 

No, we are of the view that the current stipulations are the minimum necessary requirement to safeguard a club's membership.

12. Will I/we be inspected by The Kennel Club? 

No, the reference submitted by a local dog warden/environmental health officer to confirm the safety and suitability of the premises/ground(s) being used for the purposes of dog training, will be the only inspection of the training venue. If you plan to hold a show, field officers will be sent as is the standard procedure for all shows licensed by The Kennel Club.

13. Why are heelwork to music (HTM) shows that hold Kennel Club qualifiers called 'premier'? 

A similar premier type of show already exists in showing and agility and it would be in keeping with current range of shows The Kennel Club has to offer. 

14. There are two different types of HTM shows - what do these entail and what are the differences? 

  • Premier HTM shows:
    This is a new name for shows that have qualifying heats for any of The Kennel Club's major events. This could be for Crufts or any future Kennel Club qualifying event. Organisers can schedule their choice of official categories and classes. Societies running premier shows will be fully registered organisations only. 
     
  • Open HTM shows:
    Organisers can schedule their choice of official categories and classes, except for qualifying heats for any of The Kennel Club's major events. Societies running open HTM shows will be fully registered organisations or the new listed status club.