Changing thanks to communication!

Nowadays, in almost all organisations there are two words which are used very often: change and communication. This is also true in the FCI.

Change is a natural evolution process and should always be kept in mind, any time! Otherwise the organisation is not working on a quality and stable future…

A few examples of what we should do:

  • interfere more and more in healthy and welfare issues for our dogs, which are part of our society, and especially cooperate with welfare organisations;
  • always keep the quality of our dogs at high level

Read more

Gerard Jipping
FCI Treasurer
Supporting dog breeding in the 21st century – the Swedish Kennel Club’s Department for Breeding and Health

The Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) has a long history of working actively with health and soundness of pedigree dogs. In August 2011 an important step towards healthier dogs was taken when the SKK Department for Breeding and Health was formed.

The main function for the department is to manage all issues concerning breeding, health and behaviour. The work includes very different tasks ranging from assisting breed clubs, arranging conferences and education for breed clubs and breeders or managing the SKK and Agria’s research fund to registering results from health tests. The department also plays an important role as a link between breed clubs, researchers and public authorities.

The department consists of seven permanent employees working closely together with five permanent consultants and one project employee. A wide range of different skills and backgrounds have contributed to the formation of a dynamic and highly competent team well suited to tackle the demands and requirements from breed clubs, breeders and dog owners as well as the wider society and authorities. The most common qualification among the permanent employees is MSc in Animal Science (some with an additional PhD) while for the permanent consultants veterinary is the most common title. It is probably not unexpected to find employees with such backgrounds in a department devoted to breeding and health and the fact that a veterinary technician is part of the team would probably not raise many eyebrows. What might at first appear unusual is that the department also employs a journalist and one permanent employee with a degree in Social Sciences. Yet these backgrounds have proven to be of great value to the team as the work requires skills in communication and human nature as well as genetics, ethology and veterinary medicine. The vets on the team are specialised in different areas and are all very experienced in their respective field.

Already in its first year of existence the SKK Department for Breeding and Health managed to attain several major achievements. In January 2012 the department launched routine predictions of BLUP-breeding values for HD and ED for five breeds, with new breeds being added to the service every year. The breeding values are publicly available on the SKK web site and are updated weekly.

In May 2012 the BPH – Behaviour and Personality Assessment for Dogs was launched. The BPH, which is an assessment equally well suited for dogs regardless of breed, has proven to be a popular and important way of finding out more about the behaviour and personality of both breeding stock and pet dogs. In the first season (2012) over 1,000 dogs from 126 different breeds completed the BPH assessment.

Another important launch in May 2012 was a DVD film produced to aid judges in assessing dogs’ breathing in the show ring. The DVD can be viewed at Youtube with English subtitles (search for SKK play).

In June 2012 the SKK Department for Breeding and Health with great help from the rest of the SKK hosted the first Dog Health Workshop. This was a unique opportunity for kennel clubs, veterinarians, researchers, welfare organisations and other groups interested in dog breeding to meet and discuss various different aspects of breeding under the slogan “Breeding healthier dogs - From attention and awareness to action”. All together, 20 countries from three continents were represented at the workshop. The German Kennel Club has kindly offered to continue this important work by hosting the second Dog Health Workshop in Düsseldorf in June 2014. To make sure that the work in the different workshop subgroups moves forward until the next meeting in Düsseldorf the SKK has funded a part-time employee for the first half of 2013, devoted exclusively to supporting these activities. For more information on the proceedings of the Dog Health Workshop please visit

In a changing world where the general public and public authorities show increasing interest in the world of dog breeding and the health of pedigree dogs, investing in competence in the veterinary and genetic areas as well as communication have proven a wise decision for the SKK. With the formation of the Department for Breeding and Health the organisation stands well prepared to help and support breeders and breed clubs as well as answering questions from media and authorities in a professional and well informed way.