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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.

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Types Of Clubs

Hunt Clubs – Hunt clubs are governed by UKC’s hunting and Field Operations department. These clubs offer a number of breed specific competitive hunting events such as coonhound bench shows, nite hunts, beagle field trials, pointing breed field trials and Hunting Retriever Filed trials.

Dog Event Clubs – Dog Event Clubs are governed by UKC’s Dog Events department and include Conformation, Junior Showmanship, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Dock Jumping, Terrier Racing, Weight Pull and Lure Coursing. Dog event clubs can be either single breed (specialty) clubs or all-breed clubs. Both types of clubs may be licensed for any single or multiple breed event for which they are licensed.

National Clubs

One specialty club for each breed may be designated as the UKC National Breed Association. The responsibilities of a National Breed Association include:

1. Promoting and encouraging the breeding of better and finer purebred dogs by educating club members through a regular newsletter, seminars, internet web sites, etc. It also includes supporting health-related studies related to the club's breed.

2. Promoting the breed and increasing its popularity in a responsible manner.

3. Encouraging club members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as established and approved by the United Kennel Club as the standard by which the breed shall be bred and judged.

4. Educating and publicizing the high standard of excellence of UKC registered dogs of the club's breed.

5. Conducting UKC-licensed events, including at least one conformation event every two years. (UKC National Breed Associations are strongly encouraged to host performance events in conjunction with conformation events.)

6. Promoting good sportsmanship in the training and exhibition of dogs.

7. Encouraging the formation of subordinate regional specialty clubs.

8. Maintaining regular contact with members and UKC by means of a regular newsletter.

9. Providing UKC with updated membership rosters each year, as well as updated lists of officers/directors following each election.

10. Educating judges about the essential elements of the club's breed.

Getting Started

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 community is already well served by the club or clubs in existence, we recommend you get involved with the existing clubs first before starting a new one.

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.

Number Of Members. To get started you will need at least 5 people to form a UKC club, but UKC prefers to see a club with more than 5 because it is true that "many hands make light work." At least 3 of the 5 people needed to form a UKC club must have experience in the event-type(s) they would be applying for.


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.

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 the club application and the sample constitution and bylaws. The constitution and bylaws can be modified to fit your club's needs. The fewer changes you make to the sample that is provided however; the easier it will be to approve.

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.