Proposed Breeding Policy News from the Canadian Kennel Club


This post outlines new breeding policies the Canadian Kennel Club will finalize and recommend for ratification to the CKC Board in September, 2018. While these policies do not go as far as I would like, particularly as they apply to genetics and the closed studbooks, they are a start.

This post is for J.Jeffrey Bragg who battled for years, trying to educate the Canadian Kennel Club about the inherent dangers of poor breeding practices and the Closed Studbooks on the health and wellbeing of the animals involved. Jeffrey is now going through a bottleneck with his beautiful Seppala Chinook Sled Dogs as one by one they die. This is as a result of the closed-mindedness of the CKC when he asked for the inclusion of a critical Russian male in the CKC Studbook in the 1990's in order to expand the closed gene pool of his beloved breed.

J. Jeffrey Bragg is one of the most prolific and well-known Canadian authors of the genetic risks for breeding purebred dogs. You can find his many articles at the link below:

Sending love and sad thoughts to you and your wife as you go through this difficult period, Jefferey. In my own small way, I am trying to carry on with your work. I will continue to do so although I haven't your vast knowledge.

Thank you so much for your support, my friend.

Below is a letter received from Lance Novak, Executive Director, CKC on May 3/ 2018. It outlines proposed tighter breeding policies within the Canadian Kennel Club.

All of the policies suggested were recommended in the three published working papers written for the Canadian Kennel Club a year ago by Dr. Barbara Spilchuk with the support of the following individuals:

Senija Hodzik, BA., Bailemos Havanese, Havanese Club of Netherlands. Senija assisted in this research by inputting all of the dogs from the CKC Studbooks 2011-2015 into her private Havanese Database in Holland (with the knowledge of the CKC) to ensure continuity in COI and pedigree referencing. During input, Senija discovered, and brought to my attention, multiple issues of concern that form the basis of the first 2 of 3 papers in this Research Project. Senija was one of the two people who organized Havanese World to take part in the Genetic Diversity Study at UC Davis - University of California, Davis, CA.

One Special Canadian Kennel Club Havanese Breeder who spent hours doing research searching through the data found in CKC Havanese Studbooks and on Internet and helping to do an external read and edit of the papers.

Nancy Dodge Hennessey, Kelticdream Havanese Reg’d, Retired Canadian Kennel Club Breeder and Havanese Fanciers Club of Canada Executive Officer and Member

Karen Brooks, Barkerbrook OES Reg’d, Canadian Kennel Club

Charlotte Ventura, Los Arriba Havanese, Havanese Club of America/AKC for ongoing information and support.

Karolina Hitrec, Amariuss Havanese, Croatian Kennel Club

Several other European Havanese Breeders who offered information and ongoing support.

Dr. Esther Joosa, Singapore, for external audits of these research working papers.

May 3/2018

Hello Barbara

Since our last email exchange, the Board of Directors approved the minutes of their meeting in March so they are now eligible for publication. I have cut and pasted the section of particular interest to you as it includes more detail than my last update. Leila and I are available to help with any further comments or question this may generate for you.




14.18 – Motion 36-09-17 – Registration of Litters – Breeding Age Restrictions

The Chair recognized Ray Iredale and invited him to present a report from the Breeding Age Ad Hoc Committee. Highlights are shown below.

• The Committee is composed of the Chairs of the Registration Committee, the Genetics and Medical Committee and the Breeder Relations Committee.

• The Committee has held two conference call meetings to date, reviewed the circumstances leading to the Board referral, and exchanged documentation and reference material between the meetings.

• The CKC is incorporated under the Animal Pedigree Act to be responsible for the registration, preservation and promotion of all CKC recognized breeds of dogs in Canada. (CKC Code of Ethics, By Laws, July 16, 2015). To that effect, we are motivated to ensure our policies takes into account animal welfare and breed preservation by allowing our dams to achieve maturity in order to safely deliver and raise her litter, and by providing incentives for our breeders to complete genetic screening and health testing and by ensuring that dams and sires have reached a degree of maturity to allow for proper conformation evaluation.

• The Committee will be making recommendations to the Legislation Committee regarding an amendment to the By-laws to include a clause requiring breeders to abide by the requirements as detailed in the Code of Practice for CKC Member Breeders; and that the specifics regarding Breeding age restrictions be outlined in the Code of Practice for CKC Member Breeders.

• The following criteria should apply:

a. The dam of a litter shall be at least 12 months of age at the date of mating;

b. A dam shall not be bred once it reaches the age of 8 years;

c. A dam shall have a maximum of 4 litters in her lifetime;

d. The sire of a litter shall be at least 12 months of age at the time of mating;

e. In the event that all other conditions for registration are met, if a dam or a sire does not meet the above criteria, a veterinary certificate shall be provided to attest to the reproductive health and/or maturity of the sire or dam in question; and/or any other documentation required by the Registration Committee.

During discussion of the report, the following points were made:

• Every breeder in the country has a different opinion. For example, some people say the minimum breeding age should be 12 months, some people say 2 years, while others say 18 months.

• There are a lot of variables in the breeds.

• There are a lot of variables in the health of the dogs.

• It was recommended that the Committee consider adding to clause “a” of the criteria, the words “or an age where health tests recommended by the national breed club can be completed”.

• It was recommended that the Committee consider adding a clause to cover a bitch that has had litters by C section, such as “once a bitch has had 2 litters by C section, that’s it”.

• There was concern with clause “e” of the criteria, which is an exception to the rest of the guidelines.

• The question was raised regarding what to do about the “oops” litters that will happen outside the parameters.

• A lot of breed clubs have their own guidelines. The Committee could consider a recommendation to incorporate reference to breed clubs’ guidelines (where available) in their proposed amendment.

• It was recommended that the Ad Hoc Committee reach out to some successful breeders for their input. If we’re going to implement a policy, it should be as palatable as possible.

Action: Ray Iredale will take the feedback from the meeting to the Breeding Age Hoc Committee. The Committee will do more research and bring a recommendation for referral to the Legislation Committee regarding Policy and/or By-law amendment around the subject of breeding age restrictions.

Lance Novak | Executive Director | The Canadian Kennel Club

T: (416) 674-3675 | F: (416) 675-6506 | TF: (855) 364-7252 | 400 - 200 Ronson Drive, Etobicoke ON M9W 5Z9 | | Visit

NP: While the policies suggested in this letter do not go as far as the key members of the academic paper research team would have preferred, they are a good first step in protecting the breeding dams and their offspring.

A Follow-up email was sent to Lance Davis, Executive director, CKC regarding the next milestone date for placing these recommendations into policy. Below is his response:

May 4/2018

Hello Barbara

Yes, our minutes are published so you may share them – thank you for asking. Also, Leila will be sharing your feedback with the Committee as they continue to work on this. Finally, I can report that the next milestone will be a report with recommendations going to the Board in September 2018.

Best Regards,


Lance Novak | Executive Director | The Canadian Kennel Club T: (416) 674-3675 | F: (416) 675-6506 | TF: (855) 364-7252 | 400 - 200 Ronson Drive, Etobicoke ON M9W 5Z9 | | Visit

We look forward to September 2018 when these policies will become part of a formal report of recommendations that will go to the Canadian Kennel Club Board for ratification.

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