Much has been posted on a social media site since the announcement to the Club Secretaries confirming that Hip Scoring of breeding stock was to be adjusted from "Required" to "Recommended" under the Kennel Clubs Assured Breeder Scheme. The change taking effect from 1st July 2012.

Like most democratic organizations’ the Great Dane Breed Council discussed this matter at a meeting where all the constituent Clubs were present and able to express the views on behalf of their Clubs. Indeed the decision taken to put a case for change to the ABS, was certainly not taken lightly. It involved much discussion and research into the prevalence of HD within the breed. The BC’s own Health Survey, carried out in 2009/10 gave an incidence level of 1.07% in the 505 Great Danes surveyed. The KC’s Dog Health Group Annual Report for 2010 covering all recorded scores showed that the Breed Mean Score  was 12, a Median of 10 with the 5 year Mean Level being 11. The range of scores were 0-68. Indeed all individual scores to the end of 2010 were scrutinised. The figures contained in the health report, compare favorably with numerous other breeds, many of whom do not have the Requirement or Recommendation for Hip Scoring under the ABS.

You can be assured the Kennel Club do not agree to changes such as this lightly and any proposal put to them involves debate and consultation with experts and groups within the Kennel Club before a decision is reached.

The Kennel Club and the Breed Council hopes that the change will encourage breeders to now join the ABS as our breed should be well represented on the scheme and that those breeders who prefer to hip score breeding stock, continue to do so.

Finally I would add that the forum for discussion on this and similar matters is through the Great Dane Breed Clubs who in turn will reflect the views channeled to them from their members to the Breed Council.

Peter King
Great Dane Breed Council