From its foundation with Osmond Priaulx (well known in sporting circles) as President, the Club flourished, recording a membership of 206 in the first year. The first show, in March 1902 was held over two days and judged by Theo Marples, Our Dogs Editor. It was a great success, and at the next show that August Spratts provided benching. Registration of births and transfers began in 1903, and from then until 1948 matings were also recorded, the dogs being identified by name and by sketches. Trophies were purchased (in those days with francs) some of which are still awarded today.
Many officials served for a considerable time, such as Augie Allain, Secretary from 1903 - 1945, Treasurer from 1912 until his death in 1945 and responsible for hiding many of the trophies from the German forces during the Occupation. The Club continued until 1939 with many incidents, problems and challenges, but ceased activities during the war, resuming in 1946 with a bank balance of £74. A great deal of "rebuilding" took place over the following years. May 1947 saw the first post-war show. For many years, dogs were vetted before entering the premises by the late Pierre Blampied MRCVS. Some dedicated officials and committee members served for lengthy terms of office, helping to reinstate the Club so that it again flourished.
The Island Dog Training Club is affiliated to the Guernsey Kennel Club. The Shetland Sheepdog Club, Golden Retriever Club, German Shepherd and Aurigny Dog Club (in Alderney) were affiliated, but due to falling numbers these sadly disbanded.
The UK outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001 forced the cancellation of the Spring Open Show and postponement of the Centenary Show (which was open to UK exhibitors) until June 2002. Held over two days, this was one of the Club's most successful events, the Kennel Club allowing Group winners and Best Puppy in Show to qualify for Crufts 2003.
The Guernsey Kennel Club maintains its own registration records independently from the UK Kennel Club. Registration of your dog is a completely separate matter from you joining the Club as a member. If you intend to show your dog its registration must be completed at least one week before the date of the show.
If your dog was born in the Bailiwick, your breeder should have completed the registration formalities, and you need only transfer ownership to your name. Your breeder should have given you the form for this. If you wish to show in the UK as well your dog will need to be re-registered with the Kennel Club.
Dogs imported from the UK are usually already registered with the Kennel Club (UK), but must be re-registered with the Guernsey Kennel Club if they are to be shown here. For this, we need the KC Owner's Certificate (given to you by the breeder), a three generation pedigree (not the five generation pedigree suggested by the Kennel Club as this does not provide registration numbers), a completed import form and registration fee.
If you are considering breeding a pedigree litter within the Bailiwick and are unfamiliar with the GKC rules on registration you should contact the Registrar.
For further help and information on all matters relating to registration,
please contact the Registrar, Mrs Lynn Ozanne (252904).
If you think you might be interested in showing your pedigree dog, whatever the breed, come along to the Guernsey Kennel Club's weekly ringcraft class - contact Linda Sharpe (07781 410751) for details. Here you will have the opportunity to learn how to present your dog to its best advantage. You will be taught how to move and stand your dog, and he or she will be able to get used to being handled by a judge. You will meet Club members who will be happy to offer help and advice on all aspects of showing, grooming and dog care in general.
You don't need to be a member of the Guernsey Kennel Club to show your dog locally (except for the Members' Show), but it must be registered with the Club, and you must enter in advance. Shows are held four times a year on Sundays (there are also seven a year in Jersey) and are judged by two UK judges. The week before a show the Club often holds a match (a 'friendly' afternoon show) as a warm-up. Shows run from 9.00 am - approx. 5.00 pm. You don't have to stay all day, but many people like to make a day of it to see how friends and rivals get on and to enjoy the climax of the Best in Show judging.
Judging takes place in two rings, for Sporting and Non-Sporting breeds. Classes are formed according to the group system (Gundog, Hound, Terrier, Toy, Utility, Working and Pastoral) and the age and experience of the dog. Several dogs of a particular breed will compete against each other in their own class, but if you have an unusual breed your dog will be entered in Any Variety Not Previously Classified (AVNPC) together with any other single breeds. Dogs are not judged directly against each other, but against their own breed standard, as set down by the Kennel Club, so that it is possible for a judge to say that a Beagle, for instance, comes closer to the Beagle standard than the Greyhound next to it does to its standard. Rosettes are awarded to first three places and cards to Very Highly Commended (5th place).
Following the breed classes judging for Best in Group is held, the winners of which go through to compete for Best in Show. After the group judging, Any Variety (AV) Classes take place, in which all breeds in the group compete according to age and experience. From here, dogs are chosen to compete for Best Junior in Show, Best Yearling in Show, Best Novice in Show, Best Brace in Show (two exhibits of the same breed belonging to the same owner) and Best Veteran in Show. There is also a Best Team in Show class. There are many trophies to be won for various categories. All Group Winners, Best Puppy in Show, Reserve Best Puppy in Show, Best Junior in Show and Best Veteran in Show at Open Shows qualify for Crufts the following year.