About the Young Kennel Club

YKC volunteers group photo

We aim to provide young people with a place to train their dogs and compete against members of a similar age (aged 6-24). 

We owe our existence to the vision of one person: Daphne MacDougall. Daphne was instrumental during the 1980s in convincing The Kennel Club that young people needed a club and a voice of their own within The Kennel Club. 

All this began with one person's vision and has gone on to be a great organisation for young people to be part of.  

1985 - The Kennel Club Junior Organisation began

In 1985 The Kennel Club founded the first membership organisation for young people. We were not called the Young Kennel Club back then, instead we were known as the "Kennel Club Junior Organisation" or "KCJO" for short. 

Back then the country was split into eight regions, with The Kennel Club’s Board appointing a leader for each region to organise their own activities, with a number of national competitions throughout the year. 

1986 - Shaun McAlpine award
One of the highest accolades available to Young Kennel Club members is to win the Shaun McAlpine award. The memorial trophy was donated to the Junior Organisation in 1985 and started to be awarded in 1986. Shaun McAlpine was a junior who was utterly dedicated to the world of dogs and unfortunately his life was tragically cut short. Each year at Crufts, the Shaun McAlpine trophy is awarded to someone who has contributed to the canine world and has played a major role in a number of canine activities. 
1998 - Dedicated Crufts ring
1998 was the first year the KCJO had a dedicated ring at Crufts. 
2001 - Name change
2001 was the year when the Kennel Club Junior Organisation changed its name to what we are today: the Young Kennel Club. 
2002 - Young Kennel Club volunteers
We first sent some of its senior members on a development course called Outward Bound in the summer of 2002. This course was designed to develop Young Kennel Club senior members, helping them to become team leaders and inspire the next generation. 
2005 - Fetch and Cinnamon Trust

August 2005 saw the very first edition of the Young Kennel Club's magazine ‘Fetch’. All members of the Young Kennel Club receive a copy of Fetch throughout the year. 'Fetch' is full of fun stories and competitions for Young Kennel Club members to get involved in. 

2005 also saw the start of the partnership between the Young Kennel Club and the Cinnamon Trust. This charity enables elderly people to retain the companionship of their own pets by organising volunteers to step in to assist with walking and general pet care. The Young Kennel Club and the Cinnamon Trust began an award to recognise the dedication of young people. 

2005 - Young Kennel Club supports an agility competitor in Junior Agility World Championships
In 2007, we started supporting an agility competitor for the first time in the Junior Agility World Championships who then went on to win Gold. 
2008 - Artists and Britain's Got Talent

In 2008, the Young Kennel Club started to recognise budding artists, by creating an Artist of the Year award. The winners have had their artworks displayed at Crufts, and more recently, they have been on the the front cover of Young Kennel Club’s competitor catalogue. 

In 2008, the Young Kennel Club saw its first member achieve greatness on the TV. Kate and Gin made it to final of 'Britain's Got Talent'. 

2012 - Britain's Got Talent Winner

In 2012, we saw our second member achieve greatness on television. Ashleigh and Pudsey also appeared on 'Britain's Got Talent' and won! 

2016 - Junior Agility World Championships and 25 years of Young Kennel Club

In 2016 we sent a team to the Junior Agility World Championships in Slovakia for the first time. Since then a strong team has been present at the championships. In total they have received 12 Bronzes, 3 Silvers and 4 Golds

The Young Kennel Club celebrated 25 years at Crufts during this year. All the previous and current Chairman attended to mark the occasion. 

2018 - Young Kennel Club member writes book
During 2018 Young Kennel Club member Charlotte-Louise Page launches her book 'Handling to Sucess' which is based on how to handle your dog in the handling and stakes classes.