The following article was printed in DOG WORLD (weekly canine newspaper)–26/9/2008

LAST WEEK I mentioned David Payne’s idea of a two-tier registration scheme, based on ‘breed health certification’ (BHC) for dogs who have been tested in the schemes relevant to that breed. Here he goes into a bit more detail: 

“Class one Kennel Club registrations will be for litters from parents who have both been breed health certified, having obtained the full BHC criteria. “All other KC registrations will be for litters from parents where either one or both have not been breed health certified, not having obtained the full BHC criteria. “Litters registered before one or both parents obtained BHC create the possibility of requests for the upgrading of an existing normal registration for dogs from such litters, to class one when both parents finally do achieve BHC. The KC would need to decide its policy on this possibility – a time limit may need to apply. This has revenue earning potential. 

“Class one registered dogs, if they are to be used for breeding, must obtain BHC to enable their own offspring to be eligible for class one registration.” David is a German Shepherd Dog breeder and gives the following examples of what the BHC criteria might contain: “Microchip/tattoo number, to be vet checked before all health tests and DNA tests. “Kennel Club DNA parentage test. At present foreign DNA parentage tests may not be compatible. “Other DNA tests, particularly for canine diseases, may become available; these can be considered for inclusion.  

“BVA/KC hip score, a maximum total of 25 with one side being no higher than 15. A recognised foreign hip grade designated a pass or acceptable for breeding would be accepted, and noted on the pedigrees. “BVA/KC elbow score with a maximum total, or a recognised foreign elbow grade designated a pass or acceptable for breeding. “Haemophilia test (males only). “No line-breeding closer than 3:3 – this means no common ancestors closer than the third generation, and then only one on each side of the pedigree. The line-breeding of a dog to be included on its pedigree.  

“Only breed Standard recognised colours will be accepted for class one registrations. White, blue, liver/brown, brindle, and other non breed Standard colours would be unacceptable for class one registration. “Physical and mental soundness, as well as working ability and functionality, are very important to the future of the GSD breed’s wellbeing. However the existing breed council breed survey may be more appropriate for dealing with these aspects. “KC breed health certification would be completely independent from the survey and is primarily for the purpose of improving the health of pedigree dogs.

“These proposals would require the approval of the breed council, GSD League and BAGSD to obtain both their input and their unified support and co-operation.” David feels any proposals would need to be presented to the KC by the time the GSD organisation meet the KC on Nov 28 and says that “every effort should be made by our national breed organisations to ensure there is clear and informed communication throughout our breed regarding proposals sent to the KC for their joint deliberation, and also on the outcome of the meeting.” The same could equally be said of other breeds which will be meeting the KC to discuss the way forward.  

Perhaps the KC is dead set against any changes to the way it currently accepts registrations, though this is of course a key element in the arguments of those currently attacking the club. If it were prepared to look at possible changes, then David’s idea could perhaps be the basis of a new concept which might go some way towards satisfying the critics.