February 22, 2024

Dog Kennel Club

  • The Kennel Club of Harare organizes training for dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes on Saturdays and Sundays
  • We train a number of disciplines from basic puppy socialization, good manners, obedience, and dog jumping & agility.

  • Some people like to just get basic training for their dogs, and others decide they want to do it competitively. For the latter, we organize a number of shows throughout the year where dogs compete against each other in the various disciplines
  • On the June 3-4, the Kennel Club of Harare will hold their annual championship show. This year we celebrate 120 years of the Kennel Club, so we plan to make it a big event. We have invited three judges from South Africa to officiate at this year’s show.
  • At the championship show, we will hold a number of disciplines:
    • Obedience (Sunday 4th morning): there are five levels of obedience, and dogs must start from the first level (“beginners”) and over the years make their way to the top grade (“C-Test”). We currently have only two dogs qualified to compete in the top grade. If they score more than 95% on their test, they get a qualifying certificate. If they earn three of those under three different judges, they become Obedience Champions. In obedience, dogs are asked to walk nicely in heel position around a course that is provided by the judge on the day. They also have to retrieve various articles. In all classes, they must stay in a sit and down position for an extended period of time without the dog moving. In the top grades, the dog must stay and not move for 10 minutes while the handler is out of the dog’s sight!
    • Agility & Dog Jumping (Saturday 3rd morning): this discipline involves the dog negotiating a series of obstacle courses consisting of jumps, hurdles, tunnels, see-saws, A-frames, weaving poles, suspended tyres, etc. The judge on the day sets the course and the time allowed, and the dog that completes the course with the fewest faults and fastest time wins the class. There are three grades of difficulty and, like obedience, earning qualifying marks in the top grade three times under different judges earns the dog the title of “Champion” in that discipline. Agility is a fun discipline that dogs love – what’s not to love about running around and having fun with their owners! – and that all dogs can do.
    • Canine Good Citizen (Saturday 3rd ): this is a non-competitive test of good canine ownership and basic dog manners. It is offered in three levels: bronze, silver and gold (with an additional entry level for puppies under 12 months of age). A dog must be assessed and successfully pass all elements of each level before proceeding to the next. It is open to all dogs, and entries can be accepted on the day so we encourage as many entries as possible. Handlers must demonstrate that they and their dog can deal with common everyday situations, such as walking past other dogs, greeting new people, walking on a loose leash, recalling to the handlers, etc. Dogs that pass all elements of the test are issued with a certificate and rosette from the Zimbabwe Kennel Club.
    • Breed/conformation (Sunday 4th): this is open only to pedigreed dogs registered with the Zimbabwe Kennel Club. Dogs from each breed are assessed against each other and the best specimen of the breed is awarded the best of breed certificate. Dogs winning five qualifying certificates under different judges earn the title of “breed champion.” The winner from each breed then competes against winners from other breeds in the same group (herding group, working group, sporting group, etc). The winner and reserve from each group then compete against each other in the final line up – known as the “Grand Challenge” – for the title of Best in Show.
  • The show is open to all spectators and we will have catering and an open bar on both days, so everyone is welcome to come watch. Only dogs entered in the show, however, are allowed.
  • Dogs who want to compete in the disciplines or breed show need to enter by the closing date of May 20th. Those who want to enter canine good citizen can do so any time before the show or even enter on the day itself.

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