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Bulldog Council meets to discuss changes

As the new KC revised standards are now available for breeders and breed clubs to review, the bulldog clubs have discovered that they have in their interim standard fifty-eight changes.

As a result a Breed Council Meeting was called for the 25th January to discuss the proposed changes. Sixteen member clubs had delegates present plus representatives from the two non-member clubs, The Bulldog Club Inc. (the oldest of all the UK Bulldog clubs, first formed in 1875) and the Bulldog Club of Scotland. At the council meeting a subcommittee was formed from seven experienced bulldog breeders - including a veterinary surgeon - specifically to deal with the issue of the standard changes and the perceived threat to the breed.

Although the Bulldog Breed Council is deeply concerned about the changes to the breed standard, it hopes to negotiate these changes at a meeting to be held at the Kennel Club during February or March. The main aim is to ensure that the changes that do go through will be those that will not greatly affect the way the bulldog looks today.

The breed council has received a huge response from breeders worldwide regarding the proposed changes and there has been talk of a “fighting fund” being set up but at this time the sub-committee feels that this is not necessary, as the Breed Council has not yet had a meeting with the KC to further explore the proposed revised standard. However a number of individuals and clubs have offered to make donations to the Council’s general fund, for which it is most grateful.


The subcommittee members are Robin Searle, Gwen Biddle, Peter Janes, Chris Thomas (Press Officer), Vicky Collin-Nattrass (Breed Council Health co-ordinator,) Norman Davis and Tony Darmanin, (Breed Council Education coordinator). The breed council and its sub-committees have been the driving force behind the health and welfare of the breed since its inception. All of the changes made to the standard by the KC in recent years have been on health grounds and, by working with the complete cooperation of the council and breeders, therefore the Breed Council is optimistic that the forthcoming meeting with the KC’s Breed Standards and Stud Book Committee will result in productive dialogue.

The Council and Breed club members feel that the changes in the interim standard would, as it is at the moment, change the breed considerably and was certainly not as a result of any consultation with the Breed Council or any of its members. It is hoped that the council can negotiate with the KC, as some of the changes would otherwise radically affect the appearance of the breed. The KC have said the interim standard will not be ratified until June this year.
The main concern of both parties must surely be to work towards preserving the breed but at the same time to ensuring that this is achieved in such a way that exaggeration or excess will not be allowed to jeopardise the breeds future. Much has been achieved by the council’s health sub-committee with a health testing scheme for breeding stock now up and running and veterinary surgeons throughout the country playing a pivotal role.


Some members proposed to the council that the KC should adopt a two tier registration system, in which pet dogs and those which were kept by breeders for breeding from would be on separate registers. Those dogs on the breeders register would have to undergo various health tests before being permitted onto the register and being bred from. The council felt that this would be unworkable as it would have to apply to all breeds and would be unlikely to get KC support. Until the meeting with the KC has taken place the Breed Council will continue to collect the thoughts of the breeders about the proposed changes.

Caroline Kisko commented after the meeting: ‘The Kennel Club’s revisions to its Bulldog Breed Standard had been arrived at after extensive consultation with representatives of the veterinary profession and after consideration by three separate committee meetings. Faced with the Breed Council’s unhelpful position, the General Committee had little option but to go ahead with the Interim Standard as published. That Standard is now in force for all KC Licensed Shows. The General Committee did however agree to invite representatives of the Bulldog Breed Council to a meeting so as to give their feedback on the Interim Standard before the final versions are published later in the year. A letter to that effect was subsequently sent to the Council.

‘That invitation still stands if the Bulldog Breed Council wishes to take it up. It should be noted however that such a meeting would be confined solely to discussing the breed standard itself. Other health issues would require to be the subject of separate meetings’

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