The Kennel Club (KC) has made changes to its Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) to further improve dog health and responsible breeding.

Changes to the Assured Breeders Scheme are being
made following research by Kennel Club genetic scientists.

The changes, which include more DNA tests such as those developed by the KC genetics centre at the Animal Health Trust and other research institutions, have been introduced following consultations with breed clubs and councils.

They follow an announcement made at the KC annual meeting in May that litter registrations for KC assured breeders will decrease by £1 to £14 from July 1. Litter registration fees for non-assured breeders will increase by £1, to £16.

KC health and breeder services manager Bill Lambert said: “ABS is now more than 10 years old and it was always designed to develop, so that we can maintain maximum progress for dog health and encourage good breeding practices.

“We are pleased to be announcing the most recent set of changes, all of which have come about as a direct result of input from the breed clubs and councils we work with, to further adapt the scheme to the specific needs of individual breeds with regards to health testing and welfare.

“The Kennel Club seeks to support and reward responsible breeders who put the welfare of their dogs and puppies first.”

The list of ABS breed specific requirements and recommendations is updated twice a year to ensure they remain relevant and of maximum health benefit to all dogs bred by KC assured breeders. 

As with previous changes, existing assured breeders have a period of grace of six months to comply with any new requirements and recommendations.

Breed specific changes as of July 1 are as follows:

  • Airedale terrier: Remove recommendation “Bitches over six years not to produce a litter”
  • basset Griffon Vendeen (petit): add recommendation of annual eye testing
  • Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever: add recommendation of DNA test for degenerative myelopathy
  • Russian black terrier: add requirement of elbow grading; add requirement of hip scoring
  • Shar Pei: add recommendation “Bitches under two years not to produce a litter”.

More information on ABS can be found at

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