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    Many national kennel clubs, other cynological organizations (e.g. breed clubs) have developed guidelines, approaches or programs to:

    • describe and evaluate the health of specific breeds
    • outline guidelines or regulations for screening tests or other assessments on potential breeding dogs
    • raise awareness about issues in a given breed.

    These programs take different forms in different countries. In this section we will provide information on various approaches and programs and direct you to online resources. For general guidelines (not breed-specific) see also: country-specific General Breeding and Ethical Guidelines.




    logo-okv.pngAustria: Austrian Kennel Club - Response to Animal Welfare Legislation

    The Austrian Kennel Club ( Österreichische  Kynologenverband -  ÖKV ) initiated a project, "Konterqual",  to address legislative concerns. Sharing work like this can help to inform other kennel clubs and countries dealing with similar issues.  In addition to presenting the facts and outcomes, it is so helpful to be able to see the process, to follow what steps were taken.  Personal experiences, what works, what doesn't ... all these help others.  We look forward to further information from Austria on developments and outcomes of this program.







    Nordic Kennel Union: The Nordic Kennel Union is a cooperative organisation for the Kennel Clubs of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Below we list efforts made to address exaggerations in breeds through the  NKU country's BSI. There are six basic  criteria  defining if a  breed  should be  listed as  a high profile  breed.  Breeds which fulfill these and  are thus  listed are particularly paid attention to at dog show judging by the  judge.






    Sweden: Svenska Kennelklubben (The Swedish Kennel Club)

    Special Breed Specific Instructions (BSI) regarding exaggerations in pedigree dogs: A health protective project initiated by the Swedish Kennel Club.

    "The BSI program has been routinely applied in Sweden from 2009 – and at present generated more than ten thousand reports. From 2012 the program is embraced and worked through by all the Nordic countries and the latest edition ( NKU BSI 2014) is founded on the compound experience in the Nordic countries regarding the identification of areas of risk in a selected number of high profile breeds during the last decade. The structure of the NKU BSI is thus actually an inventory which allows for a continuous follow up and dynamic revisions of the BSI."


    "Genetic health programmes are one of the tools used by the SKK (the Swedish Kennel Club) to manage hereditary disease. The SKK implemented the use of screening programmes to improve health in Swedish dogs more than 30 years ago. The first programmes concerned hip dysplasia and hereditary eye diseases. More recently, programmes for other heritable conditions, such as elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation and heart disease have been developed. Health programmes are based on breed-specific needs and have been introduced on request from and in consultation with the breed clubs."



    Finland: Breed Specific Instructions (BSI): Finland 2015

    The Finnish Kennel Club has published new Breed-Specific Instructions for dog show judges. The instructions were drafted with the purpose of steering dog show judges to pay closer attention to exaggerated breed types. The new instructions entered into force on 1 June 2015.


    The Finnish Kennel Club's breeding strategy applies to all breeds. It outlines the main principles and objectives in breeding, and aims to improve genetic health of dogs. 




    The UK: The Kennel Club

    Links to The Kennel Club's resources were updated on 10-2-2020.


    What the Kennel Club does for Dog Health

    This older health PDF report health.pdfencompasses much of the work undertaken in recent years and includes detailed sections on:

    • How The Kennel Club promotes health through education
    • Initiatives designed to improve health awareness in dog shows
    • How The Kennel Club promotes and progresses scientific research
    • How The Kennel Club encourages responsible breeding of healthy dogs.

    Updated page links: 2020:


    • Breed Health & Conservation Plan -- The Kennel Club

    To learn more about the Breed Health and Conservation Project see...


    15 December 2018 - VET RECORD... The UK:
    Being a breed health coordinator
    Liz Branscombe describes what the role is and how it can help improve breed health for pedigree dogs,,, Perspective as well as links to DBRG's and The Kennel Club's resources for owners, BHC's, researchers and veterinarians.

    "Breed Health Coordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed."  If you have a health related questions concerning a particular breed, we recommend contacting the Breed Health Coordinator through the your local Breed club, a list of which is available via the "the Kennel Club's Breeds A to Z

    kennelclubwebsitetoolkits.jpgTOOLKITS FOR BREED HEALTH COORDINATORS








    2020 Toolkit

    The Kennel Club's comprehensive resource to help guide kennel clubs in creating a health improvement strategy for their breed.

    Older Health Survey document - example questions: examplequestion-health survey uk-kc 2004-1.pdf


    American Kennel Club

    Purebred Dog Health has been a longstanding concern for the AKC and the AKC's affiliated organizations and clubs.







    • In March, 2015 the AKC launched the First Health Microsite:  Dog Health:
      • The health microsite includes owner-reader friendly articles on an array of health conditions and health management concerns as well as links to basic training articles and an introduction to competing in AKC performance events.
    • AKCBWH_puppies_logo.jpg’s Bred with H.E.A.R.T. Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility and Tradition® gives AKC a way to engage, encourage and recognize ALL breeders who meet specific health testing standards and who participate in continuing education:








    • The AKC's program, AKC Breeder of Merit recognizes breeders who are dedicated to breeding beautiful purebred dogs whose appearance, temperament, and ability are true to their breed. These breeders are the heart of AKC.


    Breeders participating in the AKC's Breeder of Merit program certify that applicable health screens are performed on breeding stock as recommended by the Parent Club.




    Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)


    banner_chic16.jpgThe Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). CHIC, working with participating parent clubs, provides a resource for breeders and owners of purebred dogs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds by establishing a recommended protocol for breed specific health screening and recognizing dogs tested in accordance with that protocol.
















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