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GSD forum hopes to move forward with KC

Joe SummerhillAN Open forum of the GSD community recently addressed issues in the breed, following the KC’s decision to withdraw CC allocation in the breed in 2012.

The meeting, which was held on november 21, was attended by over 100 GSD breeders, judges, exhibitors and companion owners, along with interested parties from other breeds, and was chaired by the GSD Partnership (GSDP).

The Open Forum was split into two parts. The first was to debate and respond to the KC with a considered and democratic response regarding their three specific health issues and the second was to have a debate on the way forward for exhibiting and raising the overall health standard of all GSDs in the UK.

Joe Summerhill, GSDP Co-ordinator, told OUR DOGS: ‘We are delighted to record that the GSD Community overwhelmingly agreed to empower the GSD Partnership to return to the KC and reinforce the commitment to work with the KC on their specific health issues and come up with an accommodation. It was also agreed to continue working hard on how the KC and the GSD Partnership can work together on implementing mandatory health checks to KC pedigree registered GSDs, and the implementation of the points advised in the Associate Parliamentary Groups for Animal Welfare which are closely aligned to our GSD Planned Improvement Plan (PIP).’
The GSD partnership was asked to prepare a three point plan whereby the GSD Community, via the GSD Partnership, will work with the KC on identifying improvement in the soundness of the GSD. It was unanimously agreed to work with the KC on its suggested further research to identify any Health issues that may prevail from unsoundness. It was further agreed that it would be appropriate to organise a joint GSD Partnership/KC meeting in the Spring to create a greater awareness of soundness in the breed, particularly where judges are concerned.

It was also decided that the GSDP submit to the KC a detailed plan to trial/pilot safe arrangements for outside attraction at three breed shows early next year, in order to review the effectiveness, refine those proposals and then seek KC permission to amend the rules for KC registered breed shows only.

The meeting agreed that this would benefit the risk to the Health and Safety of the Public but failed to see, without any evidence, how it could affect the health of the GSD. The meeting asked the GSD partnership to work with the KC to identify evidence of how this practice is unhealthy for the GSD.


Joe continued: ‘The GSD Community discussed the KC point of health issues with the GSD’s backline, but failed to identify any and therefore could not concur with the KC’s concerns.
However the GSD Community are one of the foremost and proactive breeds to introduce preventative measures and therefore the GSD Partnership was asked to work with the KC on any health initaitive that may identify specific issues with the back of the GSD.

‘It was also unanimouusly agreed that the GSD Partnership continue a proactive dialogue on how the KC and the GSD Community should implement mandatory health and welfare regulations for pedigree KC registered GSDs, and report progress via a dedicated website on health and welfare of the GSD.’

The next session was designed as an opportunity for the Forum to have a discussion on any - and all - ideas on the way forward for the breed in general.

The GSD Partnership pointed out that this session was outside their remit, though it was chaired by them.

‘After a healthy debate there seemed to be great acknowledgement for the success of the 5th British Sieger event, the biggest show of the year, with great encouragement for the future. The GSD Community also roundly supported the initiative to hold more events like the British Sieger Show for Pedigree KC registered GSDs who have had mandatory health tests,’ said Joe.

The meeting fully supported the GSD League initiative in holding the first of a series of WUSV Regional Shows in the spring of 2010 and the BAGSD is investigating how they can hold one this year as well. This will maintain the GSD Communitycommitment to the health and welfare of the breed and ensure only KC registered GSDs who have had mandatory health tests are shown, thus ensuring that healthy dogs only will be awarded the top awards.

Finally, said Joe: ‘We feel this is the way forward and the GSD Community sincerely hopes the KC can join the GSD Community in this initiative by raising the health standard of all KC registered GSDs in the future, by moving towards the awarding of top honours to only KC registered GSDs who have all the appropriate mandatory health standards at all KC licensed shows next year.’

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