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Why Form A Club?

People who love dogs come from all walks of life, but their love of dogs gives them a strong common bond. Studies have shown that people who are actively involved with their dogs live longer, happier lives and take better care of their dogs, too. Clubs give dog lovers a place to get together, educate each other, and enjoy the company of their dogs.

Getting Started

Before you start a club. Pre-Requisites before applying to become a UKC Club

Membership. UKC recommends a membership that includes enough active members to properly conduct an event. Conformation and Performance clubs should have at least 5 members, 3 of which must have experience in the event type(s) the club is applying for. Experience includes but is not limited to; earning titles in the type of event the club wishes to be licensed, working as a steward (especially table steward), event secretary, chairperson, or any other member of the event committee.

Nosework clubs must have a minimum of 10 members, five of which having dogs with Nosework titles. Promote the idea that your members are first and foremost, hosts at your events. When you travel to neighboring club’s events, they are the hosts. Everyone takes their turn.

Geographic Area. UKC recommends that you consider population density when determining the geographical area that your club will serve. If there is already a UKC club in your area, be sure that there are enough interested people to serve two clubs before you decide to form another. If your geographical area is already served by a strong club in one event such as agility or obedience, and your group is interested in conformation, you may choose to form a separate club; however, it may be more beneficial to merge your two groups into a larger organization that can be licensed for both events. UKC encourages our clubs to be as versatile as we want our dogs to be.

Activity. If your geographical area is already served by a strong club in one event such as agility or obedience, and your group is interested in conformation, you may choose to form a separate club; however, it may be more beneficial to merge your two groups into a larger organization that can be licensed for both events. UKC encourages our clubs to be as versatile as we want our dogs to be.

Name of the Club. Be sure the club’s name will properly reflect what the club is interested in and the events they wish to host. Naming a club “The Dog Obedience Club” may not best reflect a club that is wishing to host Conformation, Nosework, and Drag Racing.

Mission Statement. What is the club’s goal? How does the club plan to be involved in their community? Is the club looking to preserve a breed or be a multi-breed club?

Clubs Affiliated With Other Registries. Many clubs enjoy hosting events from more than one registry. Becoming a UKC-affiliated club is easy for a club that is already up and running. All you need to do is write a new Constitution and Bylaws in accordance with our format, give your new club a name, learn our UKC rules, and submit an application for UKC recognition.

Financial Cost.
Financing an event can be hard for new clubs, especially clubs that are not familiar with the costs involved with holding an event. Some examples of costs associated with new clubs include:
1. Club Insurance
2. Judge expenses
3. Licensed equipment for events – cones, rings, jumps, etc.
4. Ribbons and prizes
5. Venue
6. Office supplies – binders, copying expenses, sign printing

It is a good idea for clubs to do some fundraising to build their treasury before hosting a licensed UKC Event. Holding matches can be a way to raise money while club members can practice running an event. Encourage the club to come up with ways to fundraise money for the club’s treasury.

Things To Consider

a. Before Contacting UKC. Hold some preliminary meetings. Discuss the types of events you wish to hold and your profit status. You should have a list of possible sites for your events. It is best if you already have some leaders in place: a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, at a minimum.

b. New club packet. Download and complete the club application, the club bylaws and membership list form. The bylaws provided are required to be signed and adopted by all new club applicants.

c. Code of Ethics. It is not mandatory for a club to have a Code of Ethics but we recommend them, particularly for single-breed clubs. The purpose of a Code of Ethics is to set an ideal for breeders and exhibitors to live by. UKC must approve all Codes of Ethics prior to adoption by a club.

Breeders Code of Ethics!
    d. Membership List. When you send in your club application, code of ethics and the proposed constitution and bylaws; you will also need to send a list of members with names, addresses, daytime phone numbers and email addresses. The members with experience in the events being applied for will need to be indicated on the membership list that is submitted.

    e. Club Resume. A brief history detailing your club members' expertise in conducting fun matches, community events and other similar activities. If your club wants to be licensed for more than one type of event, it is important to show that your club and its members have some experience with different events. Please include any club members’ experience with holding the position of Event Secretary, Event Chairperson, Ring Steward or any expertise with booking venues or contracting judges. A club member's experience showing, judging, or involvement should be included in club resume.

    Recognition By UKC

    UKC must approve the club’s submitted application and supporting documents and if approved will begin the procedure to become a UKC provisional club.

      • Click here for procedures on licensing for New UKC Clubs and Provisional Clubs.
    Special Requirements For Performance Clubs. Clubs applying for licenses for performance events are required to provide proof that the equipment they intend to use for their events complies with UKC specifications and that the equipment is in good condition. UKC reserves the right at any time to inspect equipment used or intended for use in UKC performance events.

    National Breed Associations

    National Breed Associations hold the responsibility of being the guardians of their breed. It is a serious mission that should not be undertaken with frivolity. Forming a National Breed Association requires much deliberation, hard work and exceptional organization. National Breed Associations must have a clear, defined goal and a unified, long term vision for the breed, its enthusiasts and the Association itself. Members of a National Breed Association should be able to articulate the Association’s purpose and should be proud members of the organization. UKC feels that the requirements set to become a national breed association reflects an organization with dedication and experience within a breed and would be a source of knowledge and insight to anyone looking for breed information.

    National Breed Association Requirements

      • Minimum of 100 years of collective experience among members. Members with this experience should provide their resume to be included with the National Breed Association’s application packet.
      • Minimum of 200 UKC titles including but not limited to Champion titles, Hunt titles, and Performance titles.*
      • Minimum of 100 UKC Bred by Champions.*
      • Membership distributed nationally in a minimum of 25 different households.
      • Membership must own a minimum of 150 UKC registered dogs of this breed.*
      • Minimum of 5 breeders with documentation of breeding 3 generations of registered dogs of this breed. The dogs may be registered with any acceptable registry.
      • Annual Publication to be sent to the members and to UKC electronically or by mail.
      • The Association must offer educational opportunities to members and the public.
      • Must hold a National Event specifically for the breed every 1-2 years.
      • A Code of Ethics in which all members must be held accountable. The Association’s Code of Ethics must include that all breeding dogs owned by members must be UKC registered and all litters must be UKC Litter Registered whenever possible.
      • When applying Associations must present resume for the Association, complete with its mission statement, the reason why the Association is interested in becoming the National Association for this breed, and the Association’s plan for growth.


    Associations will be accepted under a provisional status for a maximum of five years. To be considered for a full national license and to obtain a National Charter with UKC, the Association must show continued growth in UKC registration and participation in UKC events. The growth of the Association can be presented to UKC in numbers of litters bred and registered, numbers of titles earned and an outline of the Association’s activities to promote growth and breed education since the Association was licensed under a provisional national status.

    *Different requirements may be applied to an Association of a rare breed, as determined by UKC.