The E.A. Kennel Club registers and keeps records for pedigree dogs bred in East Africa.
There are Kennel Clubs in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. All pedigree dogs have recorded parents and grandparents and if they are imported into the country they come with records from the country of origin.
We also run Dog Shows (for pedigree registered dogs) twice a year and have a Showground where different breed clubs carry out Shows and training classes.
We also have information on how to care for, train or obtain a pedigree registered puppy.
They do not keep dogs on the premises but can put people in contact with breeders who have puppies available. Members are sent a newsletter twice a year with relevant information on imported and exported dogs and informative articles on all aspects of keeping dogs in Kenya.
How the E.A.K.C Was Born
The East Africa Kennel Club was born on 18th October, 1919 at a Dog Show held at the old Nairobi Racecourse.
Dogs had been exhibited somewhat informally in Kenya at least since the foundation of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society in 1902 – without a Club or Rules to govern the proceedings.
After the Show 13 enthusiasts decided to form an East Africa Kennel Club ‘For the purpose of Breeding and Exhibition of Thoroughbred Dogs’. It was agreed to adopt the English Kennel Club Rules and Regulations and to apply for Affiliation. 13 people were present at this meeting. The first Committee Meeting was held three days later at the Norfolk Hotel, where East Africa Kennel Club Annual General Meetings were traditionally held for the next 55 years. On 3rd December, 1919, Local Rules were adopted and Officers elected. Mr. Greswold Williams was the first Chairman.
Early Shows were held at the grounds of the Norfolk Hotel, the old Nairobi Racecourse – of which only the name ‘Racecourse Road’ remains today – as well as Jeevanjee Gardens and the Polo Ground at Nakuru.
Many Shows were held in conjunction with the Agricultural Society Shows, a custom which continued into the 1930s.
Affiliation with The Kennel Club, London was established in 1921,
Outbreaks of distemper curtailed activity between 1921 and 1923 with Shows resuming in 1924. It was not until 17th October, 1925 that the first Championship Show was held in Nairobi. The Committee decided upon a charge of Shs. 6/- per entry. Some 75 dogs were benched, they included 12 Cocker Spaniels, 10 Smooth Fox Terriers, 9 Alsatians, 8 Airedales, 8 Sealyhams, 7 Bull Terriers, 7 Pointers, 6 Greyhounds, 1 Wire Fox Terrier, 1 Springer Spaniel, 1 Great Dane and 1 Scottish Terrier.
East Africa Kennel Club Membership in 1925 had risen to 50. Best in Show and Best Import was Capt. Taylor’s Alsatian ‘Baldo von Mannhof’. Best Bitch and Best Countrybred was Cat. H.E. Waller’s Pointer ‘Farmington Fairy’.
In discussion of the Show at the following Annual General Meeting it was suggested that the Club should endeavor to get an all-round judge out from some other country for future Championship Shows since the difficulty in appointing local judges for such a small canine community was extreme. The Chairman pointed out, however, that it would cost about 300 pounds to the Club which had a credit balance of Shs. 20/- in the bank. It was not in fact until 1950 that the Club welcomed its first judge from overseas for a Championship Show, Mr. Alex Dalzell from Ireland.
Formalizing its long-standing association with the Agricultural Society, the Club in 1952 obtained its own permanent Showground on the Society’s land in the area called Jamhuri Park, a few miles from Nairobi City Center. Development, completed in 1954, includes a Gate-House, Veterinary Inspection Buildings, Restaurant and Bar,Official’s Pavilion, EAKC Office, Staff Quarters and Stores, together with rows of covered benching, it has changed little over time. There are two spacious grass rings, two fenced grass rings for obedience tests and a separate exercise field. The tree-shaded complex in its park-like setting is considered by many overseas visitors to be one of the most attractive dog show venues in the world. As Membership of the E.A. Kennel Club has become increasingly international in character more dogs have been imported as well as those imported by enthusiastic local breeders, with a resultant improvement in quality. Entries for Shows now average about 200 dogs for All-Breed Championship Shows. Club Membership is currently about 300.
Judges for EAKC Championship Shows now regularly come from abroad with Best in Show awards equally divided between imports and countrybreds. Casual visitors to the Showground may not realise that dog shows are only the ‘shop window’ so to speak of the East Africa Kennel Club, which is also the official canine governing body and dog registry for Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
At its offices at the Kennel Club Showground the Club provides the facilities for Registration, Transfer, Maintenance of Pedigree Records and all attendant documentation, without which internationally recognised breeding and exhibition could not exist. To conduct the office work and maintain the Showground the Club employs a permanent salaried staff of four. Much of the Show organisation is, however carried out on a voluntary basis by Officers and Members of Council, elected by the Membership.