The Kennel Club, following recent publicity covered extensively on this site, has agreed to review all breeding standards for each and every single pedigree dog species listed for Britain.
The new and justifiably tough approach was highlighted yesterday as Pekinese breeders were informed that the ‘flat face’ considered desirable in the past is no longer acceptable due to the breathing problems they inherently imply. Flesh that used to cover this dog breed’s muzzle is now in its throat due to breeding to meet the pedigree standard. Other breeds will also be affected by this close attention to ‘face standards’ now, such as the bulldog, the mastiff, the German Shepherd, the Clumber spaniel, the basset hound and the St Bernard.
The Kennel Club will also be tackling the hot subject of ‘incestuous inbreeding’. This was mentioned in the BBC documentary and is when breeders breed a mother and son or brother and half-sister.
It will be interesting to see the results at next year’s Crufts as the new rules, which will cover 209 dog breeds, will be in place in time for next year’s Crufts dog show, organised by the Kennel Club.
In future, they say that breed judges will only choose the healthiest dogs as prize winners. The Kennel Club has also asked the Rural Affairs Secretary, Hilary Benn, to quickly push regulations through Parliament to provide the club with power to take action against breeders who either do not comply with the health standards when selling puppies or those who do make the dog’s health their number one priority.
The pedigree dog club has certainly come under much fire recently, and so it should, as at long last there has been publicity about how their breeding rules encourage breeders to breed dogs that will consequently have poor health and deformities. It is unbelievable that the practice has been allowed to go on for this long.
Thanks to coverage from the BBC and the reaction of the public, the Kennel Club has been forced to take action. It is funny how they initially said they were already doing all that they could to improve dog’s health and yet all of a sudden, since the RSPCA and the Dog’s Trust severed links with the club and the BBC threatened to stop televising Crufts, they have found much more they can do.
Regardless of their reason, we applaud the Kennel Club for taking action. It is better late than never after all.