Joy Bradley’s presentation to the Members Meeting and thoughts afterwards

The Assured Breeders Scheme: this has to be one of the best ideas to come out of Clarges Street and when the information was first released, it appeared to be a brilliant concept, giving credence to the breeders who deserved it.

Sadly in reality it has become a platform for anyone to use as a tool to sell puppies. No achievement whatsoever is required, no experience and no knowledge! Surely the ABS symbol should be a kite mark of excellence and should be “achieved” rather than “applied for”.

Whatever the good intentions were at concept, the principles of the scheme have fallen by the wayside; anyone can apply and most are rewarded with the symbol to use on their web sites, irrespective of experience or ethics. This scheme really does have the potential to be what the title suggests – a benchmark of excellence, which shows true commitment, endeavour and achievement, but sadly not in its present form. A way forward……to be achieved but achievable.

The accolades which are offered to ABS holders should be the starting point for any application and not the conclusion. Applicants should have been involved with their breed for a minimum of 5 years, been a member of a breed club for at least 3 consecutive years, have held a KC affix for a minimum of 3 years and should complete health testing on all breeding stock, including breed specific health tests if the breed has them in place.

Encourage breeders to strive for this accolade… have achieved and maintained an exemplary standard rather than just having the ability to fill in an application form. How can any organisation give assurance for a product from a person on whom it has no information? If the KC knew the breeder involved, then it certainly could give an assurance to the puppy buying public. To help achieve this, the KC should ask for the help of people who know their breeders, converse with Breed Clubs and utilise their knowledge – before the application is approved.

An interesting idea came from the floor. Allow general membership of the ABS, without actually being awarded the Accolade. Give new breeders the chance to understand what is expected of them to become an Assured Breeder and, likewise, give the KC the chance to get to know that person and educate them on best breeding practices.

If the KC were to reinvent the ABS, it would be a win-win situation. Holders of the title of Assured Breeder could be proud to hold it, knowing they had achieved it and the Kennel Club could be proud of them but more importantly, could be seen to be leading the way in the health testing of all breeding stock.

What are your thoughts on the KC ABS? Please feel free to let us know either in the comments on this page, or email us on:


  1. I cannot not Join something that has been thought about in five minuets and then allow those to join , that have no interest in what they breed, or lack morals attached to the health and welfare of the breeds. To me all the KC stands for is how much money they can make and how many more rules they can make to turn things to their advantage. I do not see that as progress. We reep what we sow.

  2. I was at the very first Accredited Breeder Scheme meeting in the room at the NEC that year at Crufts with Jeff Sampson. I was in Rotties and have been for over 26 years now. I also have the lovely Great Swiss Mountain Dogs been in them for 8 years. I served on the Committee for The Rottweiler Club, I can judge at open show level and I complete ALL health screens for my two breeds and Character Test. There were several other Rottie breeders present at the meeting and we all said it seemed alright in principle but HOW will they police it? We knew they would not police it properly and just as Jo says here in her article anyone and everyone can join it regardless of time spent in a breed, dogs shown, worked, litters produced, experience, knowledge etc. Heck there are puppy farms accepted as Assured Breeders as the KC changed the name. Personally, I opted out some years ago now because I and many more hobby breeders like me are way better than this ABS we have always provided comprehensive puppy packs etc and always done all the health screens and characters way more than the ABS asks for. In my second breed, despite constant bombarding of the KC to put mandatory health screening for HD ED OCD and Eyes on for the GSMDs for the past 8 years still there are no health screens on there. We cannot take our females abroad to use quality stud dogs without these health screens. The UK KC is a joke outside the UK and it is the only country that has no health screens down for the GSMDs!!! I have always given a weekly puppy diary to my owners and they get photos etc and the pups are microchipped, vetchecked, eye tested by specialist and puppy aptitude tested by independent, qualified Assessors at 7 weeks old. They do not leave me before 7.5 weeks old. I have a contract and insurance and never remove the KC breeding restrictions on pet pups rarely on show potential pups either. I am mega protective of both my breeds and I trust no one!

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