KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN. March 28, 2012 – The United Kennel Club, Inc., is first and foremost a worldwide registry of purebred dogs, but we feel our moral duty to the canine world goes beyond maintaining data. We are alarmed by the paths of exaggeration that many breeds have taken, all of which directly affect the health, function and performance of those breeds. It is an elemental fact that these breed changes have developed unchecked as a result of fads and fancies, as well as a lack of accountability on the part of breeders, owners and judges.
UKC feels something must be done to address this problem, and we are willing to do our part, hoping the canine world will follow suit. Toward that end, we have decided to revise all of our breed standards to reflect that goal. Breed standards are viewed as a blueprint to which dogs are to be bred. UKC believes that breed standards are more than that, and we will be including directives to breeders, judges and owners.
All of our breed standards will now include the following introductory statement: “The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges. Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated. Any departure from the following 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 and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.”
In addition, each breed standard will be updated to include problems specific to that breed in order to clarify the direction to be taken when they are encountered.
All of these breed standard revisions reflect the foundation of the “UKC Total Dog” philosophy. The exponential growth in “UKC Total Dog” events is living proof that dogs can have the health, temperament and conformation to be excellent representatives of their breed. We understand that breed standards are left to subjective interpretation and are not a panacea on their own; however, combined with UKC Total Dog events and our UKC Judges Education program, they are a natural extension and essential continuation of our commitment to the future of purebred dogs.
It sure sounds good, but I wonder how this will work out during actual shows. I mean, it's not just about changing the standard, it's also about changing people's mindsets. As long as the latter doesn't happen, extreme dogs will still be shown and awarded wins.
Also (but I don't know much about all different kinds of registries/clubs) if the UKC doesn't condone these dogs, people could still go to AKC or CKC, right? Or am I totally wrong here?
Oh, I don't doubt they're taking advantage of the AKC's public condemnation of health standards in dog shows. They know how badly that statement makes the AKC look to many people (it was a stupid PR move on their part, frankly), and I'm sure the UKC made this decision in an attempt to get more people to move over to them rather than the AKC.I wonder what alternative motives the UKC has for this change.