In recent years, the work of the UK Kennel Club to safeguard breed health and welfare has accelerated, partly due to the threat of legislation which could adversely affect some of our long established breeds and also as part of the ongoing desire to encourage the breeding of healthy dogs and to promote participation in canine activities.
As a means of achieving these aims, the UK Kennel Club has looked to its own publications to see how it can directly convey the message to everyone involved in the sport.
Firstly, there has been a universal addition to the Breed Standards, so that the Faults clause draws attention to the breeding of healthy dogs. The Faults clause in every Breed Standard now reads:
‘Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.’
Secondly, the UK Kennel Club requires registered societies to print the following health statement in all judging books, to raise judges’ awareness of the need to promote healthy specimens in the show ring:
‘In assessing dogs, judges should penalise any features or exaggerations which they consider would be detrimental to the soundness, health and well being of the dog.’
The UK Kennel Club continues to review its publications, not least the Breed Standards, and in recent months amendments to several standards have been considered in order to amplify the need to breed healthy dogs.
The UK Kennel Club Breed Standards are available on their website: