Dogs SA

Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat - SA's Native EmblemSouthern Hairy Nosed Wombat - SA's Native Emblem

Dogs SA (South Australia) was the home of one of our Australian dog world's most colourful characters, Mr David Roche. With a natural eye for a dog as well as everything else of beauty, his collection of decorative arts and furniture became legendary. Members of Dogs SA were so appreciative of his personal input into their dog world that after his death, their home was re-named 'David Roche Park'.

History of Dogs SA

Royal Adelaide Show Catalogue 1923Royal Adelaide Show Catalogue 1923

In 1863, a Poultry Society was founded which, in 1887 became the South Australian Poultry and Dog Society. In 1901, it was re-named the SA Poultry and Kennel Club which today, still conducts shows, making it one of the oldest Dog Clubs in Australia.

However, in 1914, when the South Australian Canine Association (SACA) was founded, the SA Poultry and Kennel Club refused to affiliate. Consequently, SACA consisted of two delegates from each of the Clubs that did agree to affiliate. That is why SACA then considered itself to be the 'controlling body'. As such, SACA allocated all their affiliated Club's show dates and judges! But they failed to keep the pedigrees or even name the breeds of competing dogs. This left room for allowed crossed-breeds to compete!

By the late 1930s the South Australian Kennel Association (SAKA) had been formed, electing their own executive from delegates of their affiliates. SAKA also had a somewhat consistent honorary Secretary[1]. But despite the number of Clubs, there was no co-ordination between them. Additionally, the only Stud Book available to register their dogs was Queensland's 'Canine Stud Book of Australia'. That is why in South Australia, dogs competing at shows often included cross-breeds as well as other dogs whose breed was guesswork! Despite this, by the late 1940s the chaotic dog world of South Australia expanded very quickly, especially as new breeds were introduced.

Auspices with the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RAHS)

In the 1950s when the SAKA came under the auspices of the RAHS, the name was changed back to SACA. The RAHS provided an office and Registrar without charging any rent[2]. But it would be 1961 before their RAHS (Royal Show) catalogues were in line with the rest of Australia. Finally not only were the exhibitors, their dogs also named complete with their age, sire and dam and the breeds were put into recognisable Groups.

In 1979 when a motion to become incorporated body was passed by the members, the SACA broke away from the South Australian RAHS.

Dogs SA finds a Home

In 1983 the SACA purchased an office in Thebarton to manage its affairs and began recording their Litter Registrations. In 1983 SACA also purchased 17 acres of land at Kilburn just 10km from the Adelaide CBD. In 2013, this wonderful venue became known as 'David Roche Park' in memory of their famous member. Today the controlling body for South Australia trades as 'Dogs SA'.

References and Further Reading

[1] Dogs SA official website 2013

[2] 'An Historical Record of Australian Kennel Controls' published ANKC, Ascot Vale Vic 1988. South Australia by Bob Lott Pages 87-88.


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