Little Bits of History

April 4

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 4, 2017

1873: The Kennel Club is founded. Unable to find consistent rules for the up and coming new attraction, dog shows, SE Shirley and twelve of his friends started the club on this day. The Victorian Era was a time of hobbies and an Englishman’s love of dogs and hobbies meant new events, dog showing and field tests. The first recorded dog show was held at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1859. There was explosive growth in the activity and in 1865 the first organized Field Test was held at Southill. The former was a more urban activity while the latter appealed more to the rural gentleman.

The founders of the Kennel Club were interested in the events being run fairly and honestly and they were also concerned with the welfare of the dogs on display. Their original scope was to monitor events nationwide. The following year, the first Kennel Club Stud Book was published and it listed the results of all Dog Shows and Field Tests from 1859 onward. It also listed the rules for running the events. This book has been published yearly since 1874 and now provides results for all Championship Dog Shows, Field Trials, and other dog activities (Obedience and Agility).

Another aspect of the Club was to have a register of dogs in order to identify them properly. Beginning in 1880, a list of registration records was printed which would ensure each dog was uniquely identified and has served useful as a pedigree process. Today, there are over 200,000 dogs registered with the Kennel Club yearly. But pedigree is not enough if the dogs are poorly cared for. The first set of ten rules contained two rules concerned with the dogs’ health. A veterinary inspector was to be present at all shows with over 200 entrants and dogs were to be withdrawn if they showed any symptoms of contagious disease. Since 1949, the Kennel Club has also invested in veterinary and scientific research to improve the health and welfare of dogs.

The Kennel Club is the oldest recognized kennel club in the world. There are seven groups of dogs (hound, working, terrier, gundog, pastoral, utility, and toy) with 211 breed recognized, the last breed to be added was the Turkish Kangal dog in 2013. They license dog shows throughout the UK but operate only one show themselves. The Crufts conformation show, held since 1928, attracts dogs from around the world. It is held each March in Birmingham. They also hold an event, Discover Dogs, each year in November in London. Scruffs showcases crossbreed and mixed breed dogs.

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. – Josh Billings

Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail. – Kinky Friedman

I don’t really understand that process called reincarnation but if there is such a thing I’d like to come back as my daughter’s dog. – Leonard Cohen

I know of nothing more moving, indeed semi-tragic, than the yearning helplessness in the face of a dog, who understands what is said to him, and cannot answer! – Bayard Taylor

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