Kennel Club Addresses Concerns On Undesirable Colours

The Kennel Club would like to address increasing concerns about the occurrence of undesirable colours in some breeds of pedigree dog.

The Kennel Club breed standard for each pedigree breed states the desired colours for that breed,  but this is disregarded by some breeders who sell puppies of non-standard colours at an inflated cost by promoting the 'rarity' value of dogs of such non-standard colours. 

To warn novice puppy buyers of the  existence of these non-standard colours in some breeds, which may indicate that a dog is not a true example of the breed, the Kennel Club is including the following statement on the puppy enquiries area of the its website:

'Before searching for a puppy, please consult the breed club websites for important information on the breed. Beware of claims that puppies are a rare or exclusive colour, as well as inflated prices that reflect this 'rarity'.  Often these colours are not correct, not recognised in the breed and should be considered highly undesirable.'

The Kennel Club believes this will help to guide people to seek appropriate advice from the best sources and not to be tempted by the promise of a 'rare' colour, instead informing themselves properly about the true colours in a breed. Breed club websites, to which there are links from the Kennel Club website, provide more detailed guidance about the breed and the desirable colours and, where appropriate, advise that some non-recognised colours could be indications of cross-breeding.

The breed standard for a breed describes the ideal specimen of the breed. The Kennel Club writes and revises breed standards taking account of the advice of breed councils/clubs. Breed standards are not changed lightly to avoid 'changing the standard to fit the current dogs' and the health and well-being of future dogs is always taken into account when new standards are prepared or existing ones altered.

The Kennel Club breed standards are concise, uniform in structure and provide a basic description of the ideal specimen. Positive attributes are highlighted and faults are not usually included, but are covered by the standard fault clause 'Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog'.

Whilst Kennel Club breed standards do not advocate disqualification from the show ring for those showing dogs, the wording 'undesirable' or 'highly undesirable' in a breed standard is a strong indication that this feature is a serious failing.

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