In 2008 a programme called "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" made serious allegations against several breeds of pedigree dogs. The German Shepherd Dog was briefly mentioned in the programme. The Kennel Club, who took part in the programme, were unprepared for the tone of these allegations and were made to look incompetent and to have a lack of care for the health and welfare of KC registered dogs. As a result of these allegations the Kennel Club reviewed several Breed Standards and sent out provisional new breed standards to the various Breed Councils.

German Shepherd clubs and leading breeders have always been passionate about the health and welfare of our working breed so the Breed Council, representing about 25 Kennel Club registered breed clubs, and the two national clubs, the German Shepherd League of GB and the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs formed an alliance called the German Shepherd Partnership to represent the breed as a whole at discussions with the Kennel Club. The partnership had some concerns about these changes and arranged meetings with the KC to discuss and clarify parts of the proposed new breed standard. Unfortunately, the KC refused to have any discussions and changed the subject of these meetings without any notice to the delegates. The new breed standards were brought in without any consultation.

Early this year each KC registered club holding Championship Breed Show status was presented with a 10 point document which the Kennel Club refer to as the "Undertaking". Each club was required to sign the "Undertaking" or lose, forever, the chance to hold Championship Breed Shows from 2012 onwards. The points include;- an admission that the breed is unsound, that clubs will not run any event under the rules of any other organisation (i.e. the SV or the WUSV) without the express permission of the Kennel Club and that judges and stewards must be "under contract in writing" to abide by the regulations regarding "double-handling". Shortly after the "Undertaking" was issued a number of clubs, who have a large obedience membership and hold Championship Obedience Shows, asked the Kennel Club if they would have their Obedience CC's withheld. The Kennel Club refused to confirm or deny that Obedience CC's would be affected.

On 20th February 2010 the Breed Council held an emergency meeting of member clubs and members of the GSD Partnership to discuss the "Undertaking".  It became a heated discussion but eventually it was decided that, as the home of the Breed is Germany and a large number of those present had strong ties with the SV (German National Club) and both national clubs were members of the WUSV (World Union of German Shepherd Clubs), that item 9, regarding events under the rules of other organisations, was unacceptable (and probably unlawful under monopoly laws). The "Undertaking" was sent back to the KC with the request that if item 9 was removed most clubs would sign. Unsurprisingly this request was refused.

The Chairman and Secretary of the GSD Club of Devon were still unsure of the advice to give our members and the rest of the committee and it was decided to have informal discussions with other breeders and officers from other clubs at Crufts. At Crufts it became clear that most of the clubs which had signed had done so to protect their Obedience CC's and, while at the show, we had a glimpse of the future...... The judge for German Shepherd Dogs had FOUR stewards sitting at the side of the ring with clipboards making notes on his performance and, apparently, the soundness of each dogs hindquarters (I have since heard that these stewards could not agree on soundness!). The Best of Breed at Crufts was Clokellys Lagos owned and bred by Carol Keen, a member of our club. Lagos had been trained at our club since he was a puppy and we all knew him and his siblings well. He was a deserving winner and we were all very happy for Carol. This was shortlived as on the Crufts programme on the More4 channel they showed slow motion footage of Lagos (moving absolutely correctly) and Caroline Kisco, the Secretary of the KC, spent several minutes rubbishing him, a dog which had been chosen by the KC appointed judge as the Best of Breed. Needless to say, after much criticism, the Kennel Club issued a press statement denying that they had any control over the content of the More4 production. In our opinion, if the KC Secretary does not represent the opinion of the KC then who does? We have since noticed that the judges selected for Crufts in 2011 and 2012 both favour the "Alsatian" type.

Over the last couple of weeks we have consulted the breed members of our club and discussed this important issue with the committee. The outcome of this is below.


The Kennel Club have singled out the German Shepherd Dog from all of the breeds mentioned in the programme "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" and have taken no action against other breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Boxers which have serious, even life threatening, genetic problems.

In our opinion the Kennel Club want to revert to the old "Alsatian" type with all its problems in health and temperament, despite the "Alsatian's" dwindling gene pool (these are still owned by many with influence in the Kennel Club!) at the expense of the German or International type which is recognised worldwide. The "Alsatian" is laughed at in Germany, the home of the breed due to its swan-neck, sagging back and over-angulation. The Kennel Club refuse to drop the incorrect name "Alsatian" from its name for our breed, it is "German Shepherd Dog" worldwide NOT "German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian)".

The Kennel Club will go to any lengths to keep hold of its monopoly on purebred dogs including unlawful actions, threats and outright lies.

Lastly, the disgusting treatment of Mr Bob Kinsey, the German Shepherd judge at Crufts and Carol Keen with her beautiful Best of Breed, Clokellys Lagos, just to make a political point was unacceptable. 

The Officers and Committee of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Devon have decided, unanimously, NOT to sign the "Undertaking".

James Apps, Chairman