Cropped Eared Dogs At Shows

The Kennel Club has announced a change in policy concerning the admittance of cropped eared dogs at Kennel Club licenced breed club shows for a trial period.

The Kennel Club recently considered a request from a breeder and exhibitor asking that dogs with cropped ears be allowed to attend breed club shows as 'spectators' dogs'. In support, it was stated that a significant number of dogs are being imported into the UK from countries where both ear cropping and tail docking remain legal, and that these dogs are being used to create a larger and more diverse gene pool. The Committee was of the view that club shows present an opportunity to allow other breed enthusiasts to see these dogs and to assess their suitability for future use in breeding programmes.

Having considered the proposal, the Kennel Club General Committee agreed the following:

Cropped eared dogs:

From 1st January 2016, the Kennel Club has agreed to introduce a one year trial, to allow cropped eared dogs to be brought to the appropriate breed club Championship and Open shows and entered as spectators' dogs.

Whilst confirming the above position, the Kennel Club also wishes to clarify that those dogs which have been legally docked may also accompany spectators at any show which permits spectators' dogs, regardless of whether the public pay an admittance fee. This policy is not to be confused with the legally docked dog legislation which prevents dogs being exhibited at Kennel Club licenced shows and does not allow any docked dog to be entered for exhibition where the public pay an admittance fee.

The spectators' dog policy allows a society, at its own discretion, to allow spectators to bring any dogs they might have with them into dog shows.

Owners of these dogs are asked to complete a short entry form at the show, which asks for the owners' details and confirmation that the dog is healthy and will be kept strictly under control.  The society retains the discretion to refuse entry if dogs appear unhealthy or are badly controlled.

For further information about the spectators' dogs policy, or for show societies to receive a free spectators' dogs entry booklet, please contact

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