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Clear guidance for judges, says Breed Council

The Kennel Club recently considered the points raised by the Dachshund Breed Council with regard to the weighing of Miniature Dachshunds at shows, in particular that ‘judges who refuse to weigh Miniature Dachshunds may have their names removed from the Breed Council (and UK Clubs’) Judging Lists and will not be offered appointments at any Breed Club shows.’

The Committee has confirmed that judges who refuse to weigh Miniature Dachshunds are being penalised by the Breed Council for so doing. The impact on new judges is thought to be particularly important in that, by placing a barrier to those who refuse to weigh being offered appointments to judge at breed club open shows, progression is effectively being blocked. It was the Committee’s view that any judges choosing not to weigh, as is their privilege under the new Regulations, should be supported by the Kennel Club.

Being mindful that the Kennel Club has, for potential welfare reasons, taken a line against weighing and has discontinued the practice at its own show Crufts, and in view of its focus on health and welfare issues, the Committee did not agree with the expressed attitude of the Dachshund Breed Council. It suggested that if the Breed Council persisted in taking such a stance certain consequences would follow:

It would no longer consider any necessity for a prospective judge of Miniature Dachshunds to have undertaken an appointment at a breed club open show and it would not seek Breed Council opinion for any future nominations to judge the breed at Kennel Club Challenge Certificate level.

No ban

Though it was agreed by the General Committee that no outright ban on weighing should be imposed, its decision to allow the weighing of Miniature Dachshunds to continue at the discretion of the judge and the show concerned, will continue to be kept under review.

In the meantime, and in line with previous Kennel Club announcements, both the judge and the show society concerned must be in agreement on whether or not weighing takes place and each is therefore responsible for arriving at this decision. The Kennel Club has made its position clear on this subject, in deciding that at its own show Crufts judges will not weigh Miniature Dachshunds
It has also been suggested that to avoid any potential allegations regarding the health and welfare of Miniature Dachshunds, water bowls should be placed in the Miniature Dachshund rings at shows. It is hoped that the Dachshund Breed Council and show societies will give their wholehearted support to this suggestion.

The KC statement was swiftly followed by a response from the Dachshund Breed Council which said that it fully supported the Kennel Club's continuing efforts to ensure the improvement in health and welfare of all pedigree dogs.

In the letter, from Chairman Ian Seath, reference was made to a clause, amended in 2007, referring to ‘clear guidance to judges and exhibitors that we now have an ideal weight for Miniatures; 4.5kgs (10lbs) and a desired maximum weight 5kgs (11lbs). The Standard clearly states that “exhibits which appear thin and undernourished should be severely penalised”.’
The response also stated that its advice to judges was: ‘If a dog goes over the maximum 5 kg./ 11 lbs. it is to be considered a fault, the seriousness depending on how much over the 5 kg./11 lbs. it is; This fault should be taken into consideration with all the dog's other virtues and faults by judges; Judges should severely penalise any dog shown up to weight, but in a thin condition; If a judge feels a dog is thin and under-nourished, he/she should advise the exhibitor accordingly; In severe cases this should also be reported to the Show Manager and that A dog that is over 5 kg./11 lbs. cannot be disqualified from receiving an award and must not be dismissed from the ring for this reason.’


The Breed Council hopes that the subject will continue to be discussed, and said that the vast majority of judges have been fully supportive of the weighing of Miniatures as they understand the importance of distinguishing Miniatures from Standards, and not permitting the drift in size that has been seen in some other countries.

The statement continued: ‘We take very seriously the training and progression of future judges and the last thing we would wish to do is discourage them from taking an interest in our breed. By weighing the dogs it gives judges (especially newcomers) a guideline of weight, to enable them to judge to the KC Breed Standard and to make an informed decision when awarding prizes. We feel this should be a help, not a hindrance. Countless breeders have shown, over 60 years, that it is possible to breed fit and healthy Miniature Dachshunds that do not exceed 5 kg./11 lbs. There is absolutely no excuse for any exhibitor to be keeping dogs in a thin condition, simply to meet the “weight limit” and such actions will not be tolerated by our Breed Clubs.’

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