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For the Love of Dogs

By Barbara Briggs-Anderson | Historical Photos by Julian P. Graham Loon Hill Studios

On the Monterey Peninsula, dogs are cheished and beloved members of our families. In fact, dogs have been honored by the Del Monte Kennel Club (DMKC) since 1908. The club is also known as the "Classic of the Pacific," and was first used by the Ladies Kennel Association. The 1908 dog winners’ names were sent to the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Championships were awarded.

In 1924, SFB Morse established the DMKC as a private organization with events held at the Hotel Del Monte. Events were by invitation only. The 1924 annual dog show was an elegant two-day affair held on the front lawn at the Hotel Del Monte (today the Naval Postgraduate School). In 1937, the Obedience class was added to the dog show with a total of 400 dogs participating, and in 1938, cash prizes were given.

After 1946, the DMKC event was moved to various venues, including the Mission Ranch parking lot (1946 to 1948)—at which time inebriated people from the Mission Ranch bars would stumble into the dog show rings—The Lodge at Pebble Beach (1949-1968), the Monterey County Fairgrounds, Cal State Monterey, Laguna Seca Recreation Area, and Carmel Middle School (2008 to present day).

In 1950, DMKC was opened to the public and in 1952 was permanently unbenched—that is, the handlers and dogs may leave after they have shown—as it remains today with Conformation and Obedience classes held as a community service by educating people about dog behavior, breeds, and well-being. In 1966, the DMKC was incorporated as an AKC-licensed club and in 1969 an AKC delegate was elected. Over the years, the Del Monte Kennel Club, Inc., has grown from the original 20 breeds in 1908 to a maximum of 500 dogs today with prizes in Rally, Conformation, Obedience, and separately held Agility Trials.

To view more photos from the For the Love of Dogs archive, visit


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