The Kennel Club has identified a number of breeds and designated
them as 'Category Three' on Breed Watch, due to to visible
conditions that can cause pain or discomfort due to exaggerations.
The Kennel Club works closely with the clubs for these breeds in
identifying key issues to be addressed within the breed, obtaining
the opinion of breed experts on the issues identified, advising on
how breed clubs can effectively address health and conformational
issues and investigating how the Kennel Club can assist.
For more information from the relevant breed clubs regarding
what is being done to ensure health and welfare remains a top
priority, please contact the Breed Health Co-ordinator or Breed
Health Group using details provided on Breed Club Websites;
* Whilst the Kennel Club makes every effort to vet external
sites it does not endorse or accept responsibility over any
external sites that may be linked to or from this site.
Q. What is a Category Three Breed?
High Profile Breeds - Breeds where some dogs have visible
conditions or exaggerations that can cause pain or discomfort. The
Kennel Club provides additional support for these breed
representatives. Best of Breed (BOB) Veterinary Health checks at
General and Group Shows are required.
Q. Which breeds are classified as Category Three?
A. Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dogue de
Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff,
Pekingese, Pug, St. Bernard, Shar Pei.
N.B The Chinese Crested, French Bulldog & Spaniel (Clumber)
have now been removed from Category Three and are now listed as
Category Two breeds on Breed Watch. To find more information about
why the French Bulldog was removed from the Category Three breed
listing please see the Dog Health
Group Annual Report. Information about the reclassification of
the Spaniel (Clumber) will be available shortly.
Q. Where can I find information on the particular conditions
faced by these breeds?
A. The Kennel Club website. The Kennel Club's
Breed Watch provides information on breed specific
visible characteristics which can lead to health
conditions. The Breed information
Centre provides information on the health tests available for
each breed, with the results being published in many instances on
Test Results finder on Mate Select.
Q. Why are breeds classified as Category Three on Breed
A. The Kennel Club will have received expressions of concern
about the breed. These may be from, for example, the general
public, veterinary / scientific experts / specialists, animal
welfare organisations, judges, breed organisations, and they should
be sufficient in number or degree of concern to merit further
investigation. This investigation would then be carried out taking
into account available evidence and information, including health
surveys and health reviews for that breed, expert veterinary and
scientific opinion, expert knowledge of judges, level of interest
from external organisations including media coverage.
The next step would be to meet with representatives of the breed
to explain the Breed Watch categorisation, identify key issues to
be addressed within the breed, advise on how breed clubs can
effectively address health and conformational issues and
investigate how the Kennel Club can assist.
Q. What is the Kennel Club Dog Health Group (DHG)?
A. A group of experts in various areas, from within the KC and
externally, who set policy and monitor progress. The Dog Health
Group has three sub-groups: Assured Breeder Scheme Sub-group; Breed
Standards and Conformation Sub-group; Genetics and Health Screening
Its remit is:
• To develop strategy for the Kennel Club's health work.
• To provide overall co-ordination and monitoring of such
• To supervise the Fit for Function: Fit for Life campaign and
other 'public' campaigns.
• To be responsible for recommending, on advice from the various
sub-groups, the requirements for health schemes, the Assured
Breeder Scheme requirements and other breeding strategies.
• To produce an annual report on the Dog Health Group work.
Q. How long has the DHG existed?
A. The group was established in 2002 under the name of 'European
Convention Study Group', and the current name was adopted in
Q. How can a breed be reclassified from Category Three on Breed
Watch to Category Two?
A. Category Three Breed Removal Criteria Guidance
The Kennel Club General Committee has announced that further
guidance on the removal criteria is now available. Breed
representatives will be contacted by the Kennel Club who will offer
advice and support on developing current breed health initiatives
to ensure they meet the requirements of the
guidance criteria. The Kennel Club has considered the views of
breed representatives and the hard work and dedication already
applied to breed health improvement. As a result the Kennel Club
would like to offer further support and guidance to breed
representatives to ensure that progress is being made. For more
information please contact email@example.com.
Q. What is the accessible population?
A. Accessible population can be defined as dogs that the Breed
Clubs, Breed Councils and Breed Health Groups have access to
through members. The average entry at General Championship Show
level may be reflective of the accessible population. The number of
Kennel Club Registrations each year will be taken into
consideration but will not be compared to the number of dogs health
tested when considering a breed's presentation for removal. Owners
of both pet dogs and show dogs must be encouraged to participate in
health testing. Many breed representatives have received interest
in breed health schemes from individuals involved with a variety of
canine activities and those with pet dogs.
Q. Where can I find information on the format for an annual
A. The Breed
Health Improvement Strategy Guide available on the Kennel Club
website contains information on how to develop a breed health plan
and what should be included. The Kennel Club would advise that
breed representatives use the toolkit as a resource when developing
breed health improvement initiatives and creating the annual health
Q. Where can I find information on how to conduct a breed
health assessment and guidance on veterinary surgeon
A. Some Category three Breeds have successfully implemented
breed health assessments with Veterinary guidance as a result the
Kennel Club would like to encourage breed representatives to take a
collaborative approach towards breed health improvement and share
best practice methods of developing breed health assessments.
Charlotte McNamara, Canine Health Advisor will offer advice and
support in developing health assessments and protocol. For further
information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to ensure maintenance of progress, any breed removed
from the category of Category three Breed would be formally
re-evaluated three years after removal.