Why the Kennel Club failed us

We bought Oscar back in February 2018 as a Kennel Club registered, fifth generation Pug. He was only 10 months old and was being sold as he didn’t get on with the couple’s cat. We didn’t buy him directly from the breeder, but did speak to her before going ahead with the purchase.

Read more about how we bought Oscar here.

There were a few things that didn’t sound right about the dog when we were doing our research. Firstly, the Kennel Club certificate said that he was a black pug, which was incorrect. It was also printed on the wrong colour paper (not the usual KC green) and lastly, it said that he was a bitch, but this had been crossed out and changed to boy. We decided to call the Kennel Club to find out if it was a fake certificate and if so, we would report the breeder. However, to our surprise, they checked their records and came up with a perfectly reasonable explanation for all of it. Here’s what they said:

  • Wrong colour of paper – They said that often a breeder will save money by buying just one certificate for a litter and change the details by hand, or something like that. Fine.
  • He was registered as fawn – Same reason as above. Fine.
  • He was registered as a bitch – They said they thought the dog was a girl at birth so it was wrongly registered. This is normal apparently. Also fine.

We expressed our concerns to the Kennel Club and they assured us that everything sounded genuine. They suggested that we get the microchip checked before buying him, which we did. We also saw the paperwork in the flesh and got him vet checked before purchasing. We literally couldn’t do anymore research. We were happy that everything was as it seemed and we weren’t buying a dog that was bread on a puppy farm (this was our biggest concern). After all, you can trust the Kennel Club, right?!

I’m not so sure anymore…

As the months and eventually years went on, we realised that Oscar was very different to most other pugs. For starters, his breathing is amazing and he has the stamina of a much larger dog, which is obviously excellent for a breed which can suffer with breathing problems. However, he does really stand out in a group of pugs and can usually be found chasing the biggest dog in the park, while the other pugs are much more chilled. Secondly, he never grew. Even now, at 2 years and 9 months old, people still think Oscar is a puppy. Again, not a bad thing at all, but it made us wonder…

We started to remember the doubts that we had originally and so decided to get a DNA test done.

We used Wisdom Panel. They don’t need to see photos of the dog and you don’t tell them anything other than their date of birth and a few basic details. You then collect a swab from the inside of the dog’s mouth and send it off and wait for the results to come back.

What the results said left us shocked…

We were fairly confident he would come back as a crossbreed, but didn’t quite expect how many breeds he was crossed with. It turns out his DNA consists of the following breeds:

  • 62.5% pug
  • 12.5% French Bulldog
  • 12.5% Shih Tzu
  • 12.5% Pekingnese

Find out more about his DNA test here.

You can imagine our surprise… Yet at the same time, it all started to make sense. We did a lot of research on these breeds and could suddenly see certain characteristics and features that matched each of the breeds within his DNA. So, we started digging. We contacted the breeder, asking for some photos of Oscar as a puppy. It turns out she’d lost her phone and all of her photos and couldn’t find any on her Facebook page either, or the original listing to sell the puppies. Interesting…

Putting everything together, we believe that the breeder has had a litter of puppies, knowing that they are not fifth generation KC registered. We think that she has then registered those puppies wrongly with the Kennel Club in order to make more money from them. In my eyes, if a person goes through the effort of doing this, they are doing so to make money and therefore don’t have the dogs best interest at heart. Then it get’s you thinking about puppy farms… The idea that my dog could have had a bad upbringing makes me feel physically sick. We did so much research and tried so hard to not buy into bad breeders and puppy farms, so how has this happened?

Oscar was registered with the Kennel Club. Surely this must mean they are a reputable breeder, right?

Wrong! We called the Kennel Club to get them to look into the issue further for us and potentially report the breeder. We could be wrong and this could all be one massive misunderstanding, but we could also be right and someone out there could be treating dogs badly and getting away with it.

What did the Kennel Club do?

Well, pretty much nothing. They informed us that the Kennel Club works on trust only. This means that Joe Bloggs could call them with his puppy farm dogs and register them as third, fourth, even fifth generation dogs and they do absolutely no checks. The Kennel Club just takes the money and sends the breeder their certificate. The Kennel Club states that “we are the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs”, but I really struggle to see how they are protecting or promoting the health and welfare of dogs. It sounds like one big money making scheme to me. The more dogs that register, the more money they make. It’s as simple as that.

So, considering how easy it is to get a certificate, it should be easy to raise a dispute also, right? Wrong! In order to raise a dispute, I had to speak to multiple departments and then get two show breed judges to come and look at Oscar and write a statement saying that he doesn’t look like a genuine pug. Then and only then will they even look into the issue. The DNA test meant nothing, nor did my original concerns and my complaint would be ignored unless I found two show breed judges. This was easier said than done, especially where we live on the Isle Of Wight – I couldn’t even get hold of the right person. So, they allow you to get a certificate without any checks whatsoever, but when you have genuine concerns and a DNA test from a reputable company, they need MORE evidence in order to look into the issue.

That makes no sense whatsoever!

I personally feel so let down by this so called trusted organisation, who supposedly has our dog’s best interests at heart. We have started a petition for the Kennel Club to change their policies and make it harder to obtain a KC registered certificate. For bad breeders to get hold of genuine KC registered certificates, it fools the buyer into believing that the dog has been well looked after. As puppy farms are becoming more and more of an issue, this is just fuelling the issue, which I’m sure we will all agree, is not in the best interests of our dogs.

Please sign the petition here!

On behalf of all dogs and owners, we thank you so much for your support! This is something that we are really passionate about and although we love Oscar to bits and wouldn’t change him for the world, these bad breeders and puppy farms must be STOPPED!!


3 thoughts on “Why the Kennel Club failed us”

  1. I thoroughly support this petition : not the first time I have heard bad reports concerning the practices of the British Kennel Club .
    Need to be brought to book over their practices .

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