Dogs ACT

ACT's Native Bird Emblem Gang-Gang CockatooACT's Native Bird Emblem Gang-Gang Cockatoo

DogsACT (Australian Capital Territory) is Australia's only dog controlling body which has always elected its Council annually from its membership. Additionally, the Canberra Kennel Association has never had auspices with the National Capital Agricultural Society.

History of DogsACT

In 1913 Canberra was founded and formally named the capital of the sheep farming district of NSW. Despite the National Capital Agricultural Society existing since 1944, it was not until 1948 that Canberra Kennel and (sheep) Trial Association was formed to satisfy local interests.

In 1951 the Canberra Kennel Association (CKA) separated from the National Sheepdog Association and became the controlling body for the ACT. In 1957, Canberra had a sudden increase in population when it became Australia's National Capital and all the Federal Politicians began to call Canberra their home. By 1961 the CKA had a new constitution which made it the sole controlling body for the ACT, with its members elected annually. In 1974 when the workload of keeping the Stud Book became unmanageable, it joined the RASKC (NSW) in-house computer system[1].

Dogs ACT finds a Home

Since its early days, the CKA retained close links with the National Capital Agricultural Society on whose ground they always conducted their "Royal' Show. When the use of the National Capital Agricultural Society's ground was dug up for re-development, the area previously used by the CKA was lost. It took until 1987 for the CKA to finalise the permanent lease of some of the original site to develop a purpose-built venue suitable for dog activities. This consisted of 12 dog rings with trees for adequate shade, a new toilet block with shower facilities and a kitchen. The building also also housed the CKA office and Meeting rooms with large windows and verandahs which look out across the dog showing area. Indeed a venue to be proud of!

Today the controlling body for the Australian Capital Territory trades as 'DogsACT'.

The Future of Australia's Pedigree Dogs

Australian Kelpies 1912Australian Kelpies 1912

The future of Australia's pure breed dogs is built on information about our pure breed dogs from 1862. Until 1998 when the ANKC began co-ordinating pedigrees digitally, records relied on surviving hand-written paper pedigrees and Show catalogues. Because Australia never had a Stud Book, our records rely on surviving hand-written paper pedigrees and surviving Show catalogues. Because Australia never had a Stud Book, only when this breed information is collected and added to the ANKC computer, will our Australian Stud Book be complete.

For Australia, the digital age and air travel has opened up endless possibilities for our pedigree dog world without the tyranny of distance. Today, we can exhibit competitively overseas as well as using top international stock by artificial insemination to combine with ours. What a long way we have come!

References and Further Reading:

[1] 'An Historical Record of Australian Kennel Controls' published ANKC, Ascot Vale Vic 1988. Canberra Kennel Association W.L. Hoffman OAM. Pages 21 - 26