Mrs Wendy Stephens
Mr Percy Elliott
Vice Presidents
Mr Jack Oliver
 Mr George Woods
Mr Roy Allan

Founded 1919
Member of the WUSV
World Union of GSD Clubs
Acting Chairman
Nikki Farley

Carole Lister
Warrant Wood Farmhouse
Warrant Road, Tern Hill,
Market Drayton. TF9 2JA

Tel: 01630 638540

The GSD League Letter to the Kennel Club - re: The KC "Undertaking"


28th March 2010

Dear Kathryn 

In response to the Kennel Club ‘Undertaking’ issued to the German Shepherd Dog Breed Clubs allocated Championship status, I write to inform you that the German Shepherd Dog League of Great Britain recognises that from 2012 it will no longer be allocated Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for the German Shepherd.  The Club put the decision to its full membership and it was a unanimous decision not to sign the ‘Undertaking’. 

The Club however does intend to conduct its Championship Show 2010 strictly adhering to Kennel Club rules and any other Kennel Club event we may wish to hold will adhere strictly to Kennel Club rules. 

We had hoped that there would be some central ground upon which discussion could take place but, after all attempts by the GSD Partnership failed to achieve another meeting with yourselves and all further negotiation appeared to take place only through the media, and our letter to you dated December 2009 received no reply other than an acknowledgement of receipt, it was decided that there was no other option but to take this stance. 

Our membership decided that the health of our Breed should be paramount in everything that is required both in showing and breeding, and that is an area which we appear to have difficulty reconciling with those requirements asked for by the Kennel Club.  We have long advocated for our members that all animals should be identifiable through tattoo or microchip and that any health test has no relevance if the animal cannot be identified, an area which the BVA has now covered.  We also feel that DNA testing for parentage should be implemented at the earliest opportunity to ensure accuracy of pedigrees for future generations. 

 We have also for a long time advocated that all animals should be health tested before breeding an area still to be covered by the Kennel Club even in its own flagship ‘The Accredited Breeder Scheme’. 

One area in the ‘Undertaking’ that our members found abhorrent was the idea that, having asked what in our opinion are top Specialist Judges to judge our shows we were then expected to tell them how to judge. 

This was highlighted most emphatically in the last few weeks where trial by television took place on not only our Best of Breed winner at Crufts but the Judge, appointed by yourselves, who gave him this award.  This should never have been allowed to happen and we hope that a full and unconditional apology will be sent to both the dog’s owner and breeder and the Judge – Mr Robert Kinsey.  It should also be accompanied by an apology to one of our Senior Citizen Members who was asked to remove herself and her puppy from not only the display team she was asked to work in but the show itself.  It was humiliation in the extreme. 

We will continue to hold events under the rules and regulations of the WUSV in order to promote healthy German Shepherds both in show and work, which we feel are of more importance and mean more than the award of a Challenge Certificate that can be awarded to any animal whether or not it has had any health checks or even had them and received poor results.  We also consider that the awarding of Challenge Certificates to puppies can only have a detrimental influence on our late developing breed. 

We do however feel that there is still room for discussion on the way forward for our breed, the German Shepherd Dog, and would always be willing to talk to the Kennel Club in the future. 

Yours sincerely 

Nikki Farley

Acting Chairman