Friday, 13 November 2015

KC to register crossbreeds - fur-real this time!

On April 1st this year, I ran a cheeky April Fool  claiming that the KC was to launch a register for crossbreed dogs.

It prompted the usual outcry from the purists who don't want the KC to have anything to do with zee feelthy mungrels. 

As it happens,  I knew at the time that such plans were in the pipeline. Not because I have much inside info. Not because I'm prescient. Because it's a no-brainer.

As I wrote back in April:

  • it is important that the Kennel Club is seen as a modern, inclusive organisation, representing all dogs.
  • an increasing number of responsible cross-breeders produce health-tested puppies that deserve their support
  • pedigree/health-test information for crossbreeds is of clear value to both breeders and buyers.
  • an inclusive register detailing a dog's ancestry regardless of breed will be particularly useful in the outcross projects that are necessary in order for some breeds to survive.
  • registering crossbreeds will provide an additional revenue stream for the Kennel Club

But then in June, the-then Chairman Steve Dean, who had been leading the march into inclusivity was ousted and Simon Luxmoore replaced as Chairman on a "core values" ticket.

Dean felt strongly that if the KC is to be taken seriously in the modern age it needed to be about all dogs, not just purebred dogs (as in fact is stated in the KC's constitution).

“This has been our stated mission for many years now, and yet some members clearly believe we should narrow the focus of our efforts to purely the registered purebred dog," he wrote in the June issue of the Kennel Club Journal.

This, said Dean, was an "isolationist approach" which would not allow the KC to speak authoritatively on canine issues "unless members are content to limit our remit to speaking only about health and inherited diseases in the pedigree breeds.

“The world of pedigree dogs has a vast array of experience and knowledge that can be used across the spectrum of dog ownership. The practical skills we bring to the table on breeding, genetics, training, socialisation and husbandry are extensive and form an important part of the public debate on dog ownership.

The KC, he felt "should stand up for all dogs whatever their origins."

The stance enraged the diehards who simply don't want the KC to have anything to do with mutts. They even want breeders who produce purebred dogs in non-standard colours to be chucked off the Assured Breeder Scheme.  Dean got the boot.

Many rejoiced - including dinosaur judge Jean Lanning who at the KC's spring AGM had proposed (and won) a motion to review the KC's acceptance/promotion of crossbreeds. (Essentially, she wanted them out; unhappy even about them being registered on the KC's activity register.) Lanning also criticised the acceptance of imported dogs which may contain "alien" blood, and suggested that recent concern about purebred dog health was a veterinary plot.

As reported in DogWorld:

[Lanning] feels that there are many thousands of dogs who on the whole lead pretty healthy lives if they come from good breeders, but she “finds it sad that a very small elite section of the veterinary profession appear to many of us to be far away in remote ivory towers, often advocating that some of our most cherished pure breeds should be crossed out to a different breed.” 
She instanced horses from the Spanish School of Riding and the Chillingham cattle which have been bred for centuries without fresh blood, and mentioned the plight of the wild cat, whose demise is threatened by interbreeding with the feral cat.

I think many thought Dean's departure might spell the death-knell for inclusivity. Certainly, some saw Simon Luxmoore's comments regarding the future as an indication that any plans to register crossbreeds would be put on the back-burner.

But no.

Sense has prevailed and, as DogWorld reveals this week, the issue was discussed at the KC's recent SGM, with the KC view clearly being that the KC must reform.

If it is to represent all dogs and have credibility with Government and the wider public, the KC must consider the cultural shift and large increase in crossbred dogs over the last few years,” said General Committee member Gerald King. “The issue cannot simply be ignored, especially from a health standpoint. 
“The KC’s outlook should be to ensure it is involved in all aspects of dogs while continuing to strongly promote pedigree dogs.”
This is genuinely good news - and exactly where I would like a modern Kennel Club to be.  I know there are moves afoot for Scandinavian KCs to embrace crossbreed dogs in this way, too.

Equal rights for crossbreeds brings with it the promise of equal voting rights for crossbreed owners/breeders... and that will bring about a paradigm shift within the Kennel Clubs.

It's not that I think the KC is a good thing... it's that I think this move will help it to become a better thing.

The KC's Twitter feed already reflects where it's going.

There will be some who see the KC  taking the crossbreed shilling as a commercial move. And while it is of course that, it is not just that.  The KC knows the writing on the wall otherwise - that it will be seen as increasingly irrelevant  if it doesn't embrace the wider dog population. 

Dog World asked judge Jean Lanning for a comment in response to the news. She professed to being "quite sad" that she had not been invited to any of the working party's meetings or updated on its progress.

“Registration of purebred dogs is dying and entries are falling – all quite likely because of designer dogs,” she said. “It’s time to re-educate the public, tell them that there’s nothing better than a well-bred dog with no health problems. "

No argument with that.


  1. Wouldn't this hurt the KC's relationship with the FCI?

  2. Does the KC have a relationship with the FCI?

    1. Yes. They accept each others registrations.

  3. "Registration of purebred dogs is dying and entries are falling – all quite likely because of designer dogs"

    When the money leaves then it is time to be inclusive of where the money is going.

  4. Goodbye pedigreed dogs make way for the healthy oh so cute never will die or get sick chiweenie..what a boon this will be to the
    'puppy farmers' so easy to breed and sell these mutts .. oh sorry "crossbreds" and now you can register them too..
    cannot wait to see the chiweenie bred to the doxipoo or the Dalpoo bred to the Pointypoo.. won't they be "just adorable"/

    1. bestuvall, better to be a Bullshit, than be full of it. LOL

    2. That would be a Bullshihtz to zu..

    3. Spell it how you like bestuvall, that's just pedantics.

    4. Bestuvall, still better than being full of the stuff though.LOL

    5. you obviously have no sense of humor. on the other hand this is a huge boon to people who want to breed street dogs and give them some credibility by having them in a registry.. we have that here in the USA only they have their own separate registries that only the foolish pay any attention to. The AKC has some events for crossbreds.. but they must be spayed or neutered to participate.. probably the only time I agree with mandatory spay/neuter as I feel all people should make their own decisions on what to breed .. and how to breed it.. It really does not affect me or my dogs.. keep calm and breed mutts as many as you want as often as you want..have at it..what I do not understand is why this affects anything that people believe on this blog.. don't you all believe that the KC is worthless and of no use? So what's the big whoop if people can or cannot register crossbreds?

    6. By your rant bestuvall, it is you that is lacking in a sense of humour. So a dog to compete and against a purebreed must be de-sexed to do so. You do know you contradict yourself when you say, "as I feel all people should make their own decisions on what to breed .. and how to breed it" when agreeing with de-sexing dogs so they can compete and show how full of it you are.

      I could go on, but I can see by your comments, my time would be better spent hitting my head against a brick wall.

    7. The KC and AKC have always been a big boom for unscrupulous dog breeders. Neither do a home check when registering pups, or a parent check either. The criteria to register a dog with the KC and AKC, a lot of dogs could already be registered with them that are mutts on the purebreed register. That is one of the reasons they won't bring in mandatory DNA for dogs registered with them. When they done it with racing greyhounds in Canada, they found out a lot of dogs, did not have the ancestry that were on their registration, the same as when Weatherby's who over see the TB horse register found out when they introduced DNA registering of all foals.
      To be honest you would have to be a fool to think that the KC or AKC registry for a dog is worth more than the paper it is written on as well. Some fools though bestuvall, will believe anything that is written on a piece of paper with a few registry numbers and some embossing.

    8. Americans and their right to...bear arms amongst other ridiculous backward historically rooted ideas that are having disastrous consequences today.

      What right allows you to think pedigree dogs shouldn't be spayed and neutered but cross breeds should be to compete under the AKC?

  5. Well, to name just a couple differences b/w KC breeds & the Spanish Riding school horses:
    1. The horses came from a very diverse founding population,
    2. They're bred for function, not for looks.

  6. The thing is, they don't have to accept cross breeds into the register and such a move will not improve things sufficiently in the long run any way........ All they should be doing is ALLOWING their members to breed UNREGISTERED cross breeds!!!

    This would also increase membership and interest in the pure breeds, make the K.Cs inclusive, create an environmental input into breeding practices, change the K.C culture, create interest in dog sports and greater community involvement,and open dialogue to finding real solutions to real concerns that should be shared at a community level.

    If the K.Cs simply hope to solve this by registering cross breeds as well, its not going to have the same effects. Or even desirable ones for those of us not members.
    Direction is still set by the K.Cs with no environmental input and THAT is where the problem lies.

    Its actualy a step closer to the end result inadvertantly set in motion with the ruling that members not breed unregisterable dogs- To take dogs out of their environment. That dogs do not belong in the environment, but in the K.Cs.

    It will be seen that such an "innovation" only gives more power and influence to the K.Cs and their ideal that breeding is only undertaken by registered K.C members.

    Thats the biological blue print set up by their constitution. To take dogs out of the environment. My research shows we are much closer to that end result than any can see. It gains momentum and it scares the crap out of me.

    We need, urgently, a qualified biophysicist to who understands Hendrick Gomers theories of natural law to apply them to the K.Cs . Its a thesis to earn a Doctorate and change the way we see the world to a much more effective perspective.

    It is still a closed shop with the K.Cs leading direction. Only we won't even have the cross breeds and unregistered to fall back on when the K.Cs continue to meet their own needs and not the communities.

  7. Who really cares about the KC, apart from a few green-wellied, nose-in-the-air, purple-rinsed individuals who need a forum in which to be queen/king. The rest of us are happy to love our dogs, warts 'n all, breed apart.

  8. How i see it, is that a pedigree is nothing more that a label put on to set of particular genetic traits. These traits were achieved by cross breeding somewhere down the line. All pedigree dogs are just as much cross breeds as any mongrel, and every mongrel is just as much the dog a pedigree is. I have had both pedigree and Mongrels and loved them all. The KC really means nothing to me at all. we can argue good and bad points of both types all day long. People just need love the dog for being a dog and forget pieces of paper.

  9. Registration with the KC has been the death knell for all working breeds. Look at the Labrador, the spaniels, the collies, the livestock guard dogs, etc. There are plenty of studies which show that crossbred dogs are healthier and live longer. If the KC wants to register the purebred parents of F1 generation Designer dogs, and have them health tested, fine. Other than that I see very little point in this move.
    I agree with Anonymous above.

  10. I too, used to believe in "leave 'em to it, their problem,"

    As long as I could get cross breeds and chose my own dogs its all good eh?

    Only it turns out that the K.Cs have had, and continue to have a huge impact on both the direction of the species as a whole, and our views to dogs and ownership culturaly. The effects are subtle and insidious, but very damaging to the species as a whole, and to our culture.

    The easiest example is health testing- Only 50 years ago, the need to health test unregistered dogs before breeding would have provoked shock.

    Only 50 years ago, apart from a few irresponsible owners, few would consider breeding an entire bitch that did not demonstrate clear value and good health. If unregistered, such a mating would not have occurred with profit in mind.

    These are cultural changes that have a cause, still at work. And while K.Cs members say they deplore both examples and seek to prevent them, its always going to be through self promotion of the K.Cs and devaluation of alternatives-Yet almost example given is also present within K.C membership as well.
    Its environmental.

    The environment doesn't need to be eliminated/prevented, just reshaped. Only the organizations claiming to have most responsibility are unable to respond to the needs of their environment. Their responsibility is seen to be to a pedigree, not the practices that create them.

  11. We would be mad to entrust the K.Cs to meet our needs breeding cross bred dogs while they continue to judge a dog 1st not on whats in front of them, and its value,
    but on the membership status of the breeder and the dogs verification certificate of being bred under that membership.
    Assigned a description that must not deviate,and being judged ONLY by a single opinion according to to its best match of that description. Not by any value it might bring to its keeper.

    That is not what decides for me if a dog is worth breeding or keeping.

  12. They already accept crossbreeds onto their register - 95% or so of dogs on pedigree dog registers worldwide are the result of recent crossing in the last 100-150 years. They are as much a 'designer dog' as an 'oddle' or 'poo' cross.