21 Breed Notes – May 2020

Despite there being no keesie puppies available and with most people having put their litter plans on hold, there are probably more puppy enquiries around at the moment than there’s been for ages. Many people are getting puppies as, for whatever reason, they think now is a good time.

Over the past few years, many breeders have already found that people aren’t prepared to wait even a few months for a puppy; they seem to have an instant ‘I want it now’ mentality which has become even more apparent during the current shutdown. My personal view is that unless they had already planned to have a puppy at this time, it is not a good idea; my concern being that it’s not been thought through properly, the worry is what happens when the new owner goes back to work.

Yes, it’s great for the puppy to having company all the time, especially from a training point of view; but unless they learn to be on their own, they may suffer from separation anxiety. And any canine socialization will be difficult if social distancing is to be observed. Even if dog walkers are arranged it is not the same as having company all the time. It will be the same for all dogs, but older ones should cope better, remembering the time before Coronavirus.

On the subject of puppies, here’s the latest update from the Kennel Club re new advice approved by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural affairs) today (15/05/2020) regarding owners picking up their new puppy.

What about puppies which would be ready to go to their new homes during lockdown?
This advice, which has been approved by Defra, sets out that new owners in England may now (15th May) collect a puppy by prior arrangement when the sale has already been agreed, and as long as you adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. The puppy must be at least eight weeks of age and any viewing of them with their mother and litter mates can be achieved remotely.
Further guidance on how this can be done safely is available here: https://bit.ly/2WZelAb

It is important to note that at present, all other existing legal obligations, such as microchipping your puppies prior to sale and any licensing conditions, remain in force. Issues related to licensing should be raised with the relevant local authority.
In the rest of the UK, for those who are in the business of breeding, then you are able to leave your house to travel for the purposes of work as long as you adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements. Likewise, where keeping puppies longer than originally planned is becoming a significant welfare concern for those who breed but aren’t considered as a ‘business’, then it is possible that this will be deemed a reasonable excuse to leave your house, with regard to the Covid-19 regulations (please note these differ by nation within the UK). Other factors such as financial hardship, or mental health issues associated with keeping the puppies longer may also meet the legal threshold for leaving your home to transport the puppies.
Further information can be found here: https://bit.ly/2J9VSe0

This week there have been announcements issued by three Kennel Clubs, each giving very differing messages. Only time will tell which one’s made the right choice!

Our Kennel Club has taken the decision to extend its strong recommendation that clubs and societies cancel forthcoming events until the end of September and that serious consideration should be given to events due to be held after this date. South Wales KA (in October) has cancelled, but Blackpool and Bournemouth (both in August) still have suspended entries.

The Irish Kennel Club, having taken into account the instructions and policies of their Government and Health Authority has decided to cancel all Dog Show licences for 2020.

Yet the Spanish Kennel Club, organisers of the World Dog Show in Madrid, have confirmed that the latest move to holding the show in mid-December is going ahead and hope to shortly announce the new entry dates & details.

Anji Marfleet