I just received this press release in my inbox:
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.
The United Kennel Club, Inc., is very serious about this project and encourages all dog breeders, judges and owners to follow suit. As each standard is updated, it will be posted on the UKC website, www.ukcdogs.com, with its effective date.
The UKC has decided to be responsive to the needs and concerns of so many dog owners and breeders in this country.
It’s also an alternative to the American Kennel Club. If your dog is AKC registered, then it is pretty easy to get it registered with the UKC.
So we do have an all-breed registry that cares about all of these issues in North America.
And you can’t call this registry an animal rights organization. The biggest events the UKC puts on around here are coonhound trials.
The UKC has decided to do the right thing, and purebred dogs have a voice in North America.
It is speaking while the other registries are either remaining silent or denouncing moves to real reform.