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Cropped Eared Dogs At Breed Shows

On 21st December 2015 we received the following press release from the Kennel Club:


We are writing to relevant breed clubs regarding a recent change in policy concerning the admittance of cropped eared dogs as spectator dogs at Kennel Club licenced breed club shows for a trial period.

The Kennel Club recently considered a request from a breeder and exhibitor asking that dogs with cropped ears be allowed to attend breed club shows as ‘spectator’ dogs. In support, it was stated that a significant number of dogs are being imported into the UK from countries where both ear cropping and tail docking remain legal, and that these dogs are being used to create a larger and more diverse gene pool. The Committee was of the view that club shows present an opportunity to allow other breed enthusiasts to see these dogs and to assess their suitability for future use in breeding programmes.

Having considered the proposal the Kennel Club General Committee agreed the following:

Cropped dogs:

From 1st January 2016, the Kennel Club has agreed to introduce a one year trial, to allow cropped eared dogs to be allowed to be brought to the appropriate breed club Championship and Open shows and entered as spectator dogs.

Whilst confirming the above position, the Kennel Club also wishes to clarify that those dogs which have been legally docked may also accompany spectators at any show which permits spectator’s dogs, regardless of whether the public pay an admittance fee. This policy is not to be confused with the legally docked dog legislation which prevents dogs being exhibited at Kennel Club licenced shows and does not allow any docked dog to be entered for exhibition where the public pay an admittance fee.

The spectator dog policy allows a society, at its own discretion, to allow spectators to bring any dogs they might have with them into dog shows.

Owners of these dogs are asked to complete a short entry form at the show, which asks for the owners’ details, and confirmation that the dog is healthy and will be kept strictly under control. The society retains the discretion to refuse entry if dogs appear unhealthy or are badly controlled.

We hope that the above information is useful, if you would like to receive further information about spectator dogs, or to receive your free spectator dogs entry booklet please contact us at

We have also attached a copy of the press release for your records.

Yours sincerely,



The primary objective of the Kennel Club is to promote, in every way, the general improvement of dogs and furthermore to protect and promote the dog's varied roles in society.


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