About Dogs Australia






Dogs Australia is a not-for-profit organisation advocating for the preservation of purebred dogs through ethical breeding.

It champions the highest standard of animal welfare through education and fostering dog-loving communities.

Internationally recognised and established in 1958 as the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), the organisation promotes responsible dog ownership; maintains the ORCHID* heritable canine diseases database; funds research into canine diseases; and supports state and territory-based member bodies.

Dogs Australia promotes breed conformation shows and community sports for dogs that fulfil a breed’s natural instincts.

You can visit the Dogs Australia website by clicking here.


The history of Dogs Australia (formerly Australian National Kennel Council). 

The first meeting to consider forming an Australian National Kennel Council was held at the Royal Agricultural Society’s Showgrounds, Sydney, on the 14th April, 1949 during the Royal Easter Shows.

A lengthy Agenda included such items as reviewing the Constitutions and Regulations of all State Controlling Bodies, the unification of Breed Standards, recognition of Judges’ panels, Championship Certificates, recognition of suspensions and other penalties, allocation of Challenge Points, plus a variety of other issues.

It was not until a meeting in Sydney on 7th April, 1958 that the draft Constitution, then suggested as that of the “Australian Kennel Club” was put to the delegates from Canberra, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

It was ultimately resolved at this meeting:

  1. That an Australian Kennel Club be formed; and
  2. That enquiries be made by each governing body as to how such an organisation might be constituted to promote co-operation between States.

It was at the next meeting in Melbourne on the 25th September that the name was changed slightly and it was resolved that the “Australian National Kennel Council” be formed.

It was agreed at this meeting that a National Stud Register be introduced. A further vital resolution was added - “That the Australian National Kennel Council be constituted so that it is empowered to act only as a co-ordinating and recommendatory body” The motion expressed the general attitude of member bodies at that time.

A formal Constitution was approved. One of the major difficulties in drawing up a Constitution of this nature was to provide a set of rules which could serve the National Kennel Council but at the same time provide the flexibility essential in a recommendatory body, as distinct from an overall controlling body.

On 30th March, 1959, the North Australian Canine Association made an approach to be admitted as a member. Another significant happening at this meeting was that Mr A Howie became President, a position he held for the next 27 years until he resigned in 1986 and was replaced by Mr J G W Head OAM, who held the position until 1997. Mr Hugh Gent OAM has been President since 1998.

Over the next 28 years the Australian National Kennel Council regularly met in Sydney at Easter during the Royal Easter Show and in Melbourne in September during the Royal Melbourne Show.

As the Australian National Kennel Council gradually moved in character from an “advisory” towards a “co-ordinating” body, many changes have been made to rules and procedures.

At the ANKC Meeting held in Melbourne on 23.9.81 it was resolved that a Subcommittee be set up to prepare a Standard Constitution with a view to making the ANKC a Co-ordinating Body. The new Constitution was adopted on the 22.9.82.

This change of Constitution enabled many decisions to be made which would previously have been rejected. It also led to wide discussion on various issues and areas where the ANKC might take control or take over the improvement of certain activities.

The discussions relating to the future role and operations of the ANKC continued with a variety of options being considered and investigated.

By the new millennium it was generally considered that the ANKC needed to become a legal entity. Several options were considered and work began on a new constitution to achieve this goal.

At the ANKC meeting held in Sydney on 17 October 2010 it was resolved that the draft constitution be accepted (subject to minor clarifications) with 1 July 2011 being the implementation date.

The delegates met in Sydney on 12 February 2011 for the acceptance of this constitution and the official signing of documents to create the new company.

It was unanimously resolved that the Council be incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 (C’th) (the “Act”) as a company limited by guarantee under the name AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL KENNEL COUNCIL LIMITED.

On 1 July 2011 the documents were officially lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian National Kennel Council Limited became a reality.

There can be no doubt that the Australian National Kennel Council Limited has developed co-operation between the 8 Controlling Member Bodies and made a large contribution towards improving dog showing, breeding and other canine activities in Australia. The ANKC Ltd / Dogs Australia will now continue this work.