Kennel Club to meet breeds to discuss non-breed standard colours

The Kennel Club has formed a new working group to revive the work which has previously been carried out to tackle the issue of non-breed standard colours across several breeds.

The Kennel Club shares the concerns raised about the proliferation of puppies registered with non-breed standard colours. Constructive steps were being undertaken before the pandemic, which has thrown into sharp focus the trends of the puppy buying market.

At its meeting on Tuesday 12 October, The Kennel Club Board approved the formation of the new group which will be chaired by Frank Kane and will comprise three further Board members, Nicky Ackerley-Kemp, Jenny Campbell and Ian Seath, as well as genetics enthusiast, dog breeder and exhibitor, Dr Mike Tempest, alongside The Kennel Club Secretary, Kathryn Mansfield and other staff as support.

This project is fundamental to the future of The Kennel Club and will be given primary consideration by the Board and will be a recurring item on Board agendas.

It is recognised that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution as each breed has its own particular issues to resolve. Therefore, the first stage of this work will be to invite representatives from six breeds which have expressed their concerns to The Kennel Club to meet with the working group in person, to discuss the way forward.

The six breeds involved in this first stage of the project are Labradors, Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Chow Chows and Pugs. The five breeds with a breed council will be invited to bring up to six representatives to attend the meeting, whilst French Bulldogs will be invited to send two representatives per club. The meetings are expected to take place in January or early February 2022. Beyond this, further meetings will be held with additional breeds as this important work progresses.

The Kennel Club is aware that the drop-down menu of colours in its online registration system was recently displaying, in a number of breeds, the non-breed standard colours first. This was not intended and clearly did not help the situation. This has now been fixed by reversing the listing order. As this project progresses there are likely to be further changes to the way in which colours are displayed.

Education of the public and novice or hobby breeders to explain the rationale behind ‘recognised’ colour etc was part of recommendations previously approved by the Board. The preparation for this piece of work has been done and will be continued in line with this engagement with the affected breeds.

Frank Kane, Chairman of the newly formed working group, said: “As Chairman of the Breed Standards and Stud Book Committee, I quite understand the consternation and frustration of responsible breeders at the increasing numbers of dogs of non-standard colours in their breeds. I believe, and I know the Board agrees, that we should protect and promote our breeds and our breed standards, as well as working to educate the public about breed standards and colours and their importance in the registration of puppies. I am looking forward to meeting breeders and exhibitors to discuss the problems in the hope that we can move forward together.”