KC activity register confusion
When Jackie Graves imported her two English shepherd dogs, she thought the registration on the activity register would be a very straightforward procedure, a mere formality. The dogs both have five-generation pedigrees and are registered with the Universal Kennel Club of America. However when she sent off her registration application she was informed by the Kennel Club that as the breed was unrecognised by the Kennel Club, she would have to register them as crossbreed dogs.
Mrs Graves contacted the Kennel Club to ask why her dogs could not be registered as a pedigree breed. In a detailed reply Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, outlined the registration policy of the KC.
At present breeds not recognised by the Kennel Club, but which are recognised by a national Kennel Club that has a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club, could be registered as a breed. Kelpies are registered with the australian National Kennel Club with whom the Kennel Club has a reciprocal agreement with, and so can be registered but will have the letters WTO after their names. WTO (Working Trials and obedience) indicates that these dogs can compete in working trials and obedience events as they are registered with the activity register.
Mrs Kisko went on to say that the KC IT department is currently working on reclassifying such breeds so that in future breeds such as the Kelpie will be registered as Kelpie – breed not recognised - instead of Kelpie WTO. As Mrs Graves’ dogs are registered with the Universal Kennel Club which does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Kennel Club, the dogs would be registered as crossbreeds.
Asking for opinions on a forum for obedience, working trails and agility enthusiasts, Mrs Graves discovered further anomalies in the registration of dogs on the activity register. Replies highlighted the fact that there are problems in the registration system, as some owners when applying for inclusion on the activity register found that some dogs with no known parentage had been registered as crossbreeds, while others had been registered as the breed their owners claimed they were. It seemed to Mrs Graves that this depended on who picked up the application to process a registration.
She again contacted the Kennel Club and quoted some of the replies she had received on the forum, and again asked why this was happening, and why she could not have her dogs registered as pedigrees, with breed not recognised at the end of their names, and why this could not be extended to breeds registered with Kennel Clubs that the Kennel Club does not have a reciprocal agreement with. In answer to the question why ‘breed unrecognised’ could not be extended to cover breeds with which the Kennel Club does not have a reciprocal agreement, Mrs Kisko explained in a subsequent letter to Mrs Graves that the policy to register such dogs as crossbreeds was decided upon as the Kennel Club had no way of knowing if the parentage was correct, whether these dogs bred true, or if this was a first cross between breeds.
Kat Watts for the Kennel Club told Our Dogs that when people register any dog they do rely on trust and that the owner is making an honest declaration which they sign on the registration application. “We do not check up on people when they send their details through, but work on a trust basis. We are unable to vet to see if the breed stated on the application is in fact as applied for and if we did believe the breed to be incorrect it would have to be proven”. When asked if this could cause a problem in agility classes where classes can be divided into collie, working sheepdog or collie type dogs and the ABC (any breed but collie) classes, the KC response was, “If a dog competed at a show and someone knew the dog was registered as a particular breed but it was very obvious that this was not the case, then they would have to make an official complaint at the show with the show secretary. From there the Kennel Club would get in touch with the owner and explain what had happened and ask for their comments. It is something we would definitely take seriously and look into”.
Agility competitors whose attention was drawn to the possibility of a crossbred dog competing in ABC classes, but which had more in common with a collie or working sheepdog responded by commenting they would expect the judge to use their discretion and decide if the dog was eligible to compete.