Why did the Kennel Club introduce the Assured Breeder Scheme
The Assured Breeder Scheme was introduced to raise the standard
of breeding and to help puppy buyers ensure that they are given the
best possible chance of buying a puppy that will lead a happy,
The KCABS reinforces the basic concepts of responsible breeding
practice, which includes ensuring that breeders take all of the
required health tests for their breed. By bringing all responsible
breeders - who believe in and subscribe to these values - together
as one group the Kennel Club empowers puppy buyers to make the
right buying decision and to distinguish between responsible
breeders and those who deliberately commit themselves to less.
What makes Assured Breeders better than any other
Assured Breeders have all agreed to follow basic good breeding
practice. This includes agreeing to give their dogs the required
health tests for their breed; permanently identifying dogs if their
progeny are to be registered under the scheme; following guidelines
about the maximum age and frequency of litters and providing
post-sales advice to their customers. There are also many
recommendations that Assured Breeders are advised to follow and
vast numbers of those on the scheme often go above and beyond these
requirements. Every Assured Breeder is confident of his or her
credentials and agrees to allow a Kennel Club Breeder Advisor to
check their premises, so that we can ensure that these standards
This is not to say that there are not responsible breeders who
are outside of the Assured Breeder Scheme - but there are also
irresponsible breeders, who deliberately and cynically commit
themselves to lower standards and who for those reasons choose not
to be a part of it. By buying from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder
puppy buyers have the assurance that they are not helping to line
the pockets of such breeders or risking the future and health and
welfare of their puppy.
Will buying from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder increase my
chances of giving my puppy a happy, healthy life?
Absolutely. Kennel Club Assured Breeders have agreed to take the
necessary steps that will give your puppy the best possible chance
in life. This includes giving their dogs the required health tests
for their breed, which enables them to ensure that only the
healthiest genes are passed through the gene pool. Other steps,
such as ensuring that they have proper whelping facilities and that
the dogs are properly socialised also mean that your puppy should
be well adjusted and of good temperament. Equally importantly, a
Kennel Club Assured breeder will ensure that you are choosing the
right breed for you and give you guidance about how to look after
your dog throughout its life.
Is it ok to buy my puppy from a pet shop?
The Kennel Club would strongly advise you not to buy a puppy
from a pet shop. The puppies have often come from puppy farmers,
unscrupulous breeders who breed purely for profit and have no
concern for the puppies heath and welfare. Instead, puppy
buyers should always see a puppy in its home environment and with
its mother - so that they can see the conditions it has been
brought up in and the way it is likely to turn out. They should
also make sure they have all of the appropriate certification,
which includes appropriate health test result certificates for that
breed and a pedigree registration certificate, the authenticity of
which can be checked with the Kennel Club. This is why the Kennel
Club always recommend using a Kennel Club Assured breeder, who will
follow all of these steps.
Is it possible for puppy farmers or pet shops to become an
Certainly not. There are many requirements of the scheme that
puppy farmers and pet shops will not be able to fulfil, which
include having the proper whelping facilities; proper home and
kennelling standards; and fulfilling our health screening criteria,
which has a cost implication and will not be appealing to those
where profit is the prime motive These people will therefore not be
accepted onto the scheme. Furthermore, if the standards of any of
our KCABs were to slip then they would not survive on the scheme,
as our system of routine and random inspections would ensure that
we sift out those who do not follow good practice.
If puppy farmers cannot join the KCAB does that mean that mean
all Assured Breeders breed only on a small scale?
The vast majority of Assured Breeders breed just one or two
litters each year. We do have a very small number of breeders (less
than 1% of our membership) who breed on a larger scale, such as
organisations like the Guide Dogs for the Blind who do breed in
larger numbers but these have all been inspected to ensure that
their standards of care are exemplary.
Why do you allow Assured Breeders unlimited access to the Find
a Puppy service?
We do this in order to promote and help those breeders that have
subscribed to the basic standards of responsible breeding practice.
These breeders will find that an Assured Breeder badge appears next
to their litters, on the site, in order to empower buyers to make
responsible buying choices.
Given the importance of health testing, does the Kennel Club
insist on health checks from those breeders that it is endorsing
through the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme?
It is essential that all Kennel Club Assured Breeders health
screen. Breed specific requirements are made where an official
Kennel Club scheme is in place and where the results can be
independently verified. Fulfilment of requirements is checked
automatically at the time of registering a litter, from data stored
on our registration database. Puppy buyers can check these
results on the Kennel Club's online health test page.
Breed specific recommendations are made where there is either no
official scheme in place or where there may not yet be enough
evidence, research or uptake of screening, to suggest that a
problem is significant in a specific breed. We make these
types of schemes KCABS recommendations to help raise the profile of
such schemes and Kennel Club Assured Breeders are strongly
encouraged to follow recommendations for their chosen breeds.
We are constantly updating and reviewing the list of ABS
requirements and recommendations and the Kennel Club's Charitable
Trust gives grants to continually advance research into dog
diseases. As soon as an inherited disease is found to be
significant in a breed, a test for it has been developed and an
official scheme adopted, it is likely to then be added to the list
of KCABS requirements, after consultation with the relevant breed