What is a breed health co-ordinator?
Breed health co-ordinators (BHC) are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed.
The main role of the BHC is to facilitate, over time, the communication and collection of data on the health of their chosen breed. The BHC acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.
How can I contact my breed health co-ordinator?
If you have a health related question concerning a particular breed, you can find the contact details for your breed health co-ordinator in the health section of your breeds entry on our Breeds A to Z.
How are breed health co-ordinators appointed?
BHCs are chosen and appointed by breed clubs and councils. Candidates for the position are usually nominated and then chosen by a majority vote. Breeds with more than one club must have a majority agreement before informing The Kennel Club of the newly appointed individual. A BHC may be appointed for a variety of different reasons, including their breed knowledge or their skill sets.
Breed health co-ordinator job description
Main purpose and scope of the job
The main role of the breed health co-ordinator is to facilitate, over time, the communication and collection of data on the health of their chosen breed. The breed health co-ordinator acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with us on any health concerns the breed may have.
Duties and key responsibilities
The breed health co-ordinator will be a vital conduit between The Kennel Club and breed clubs, owners and members of the public, and will be able to provide relevant advice and support.
It is important that the person in this role collates and disseminates significant, accurate and timely health research to The Kennel Club, breed clubs and owners.
The breed health co-ordinator should motivate and educate owners, breed clubs and the public about relevant health issues within their breed.
Recording and monitoring health issues throughout the breed via surveys, seminars, health reports and health testing sessions is a necessity in order to continuously evaluate and prioritise health problems within their breed.
Attributes and skills of a breed health co-ordinator
It is important that the breed health co-ordinator is impartial and maintains confidentiality with regard to personal information supplied to them.
The person in this role must be experienced and enthusiastic about their breed and also motivated and resourceful for the benefit of their breed’s health and welfare.
The breed health co-ordinator must be professional, have sound IT knowledge and have excellent organisational skills in order to efficiently manage the role.
The BHC mentor scheme
What is the breed health co-ordinator mentor scheme?
The breed health co-ordinator mentor scheme helps BHCs who require assistance, especially those who have recently become a BHC. The mentor scheme currently involves a small number of highly experienced and passionate breed health co-ordinators and health representatives who have volunteered to help you to help your breed.
How does the scheme work?
- Read more about the scheme and our individual mentors to determine which mentor(s) would be best suited to you and your enquiry
- Complete our quick enquiry form to help us know a little more about you, your circumstances and the sort of assistance you need
- Your completed enquiry form will be sent to your chosen mentor who will get in touch with you as soon as possible
- Once your mentoring has come to an end, please complete our feedback form to let us know about your experience
- If you have any queries or questions at any point, please feel free to email The Kennel Club's health team
Help and advice from The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club can help BHCs in their role in a number of different ways, including:
Giving you free access to breed health reports
All breed health co-ordinators have access to bespoke breed health reports from The Kennel Club, free of charge. This includes the reports generated on DNA tests, as well as relevant health schemes. If you wish to request any reports, then please email our health team.
Publicising and promoting health surveys and research
We are in a unique position to help assist BHCs with the promotion of any ongoing health related research, whether it is a survey instigated by a breed club/council, or an official research body.
On your behalf, we may be able to promote your study via:
- social media (Facebook and Twitter)
- find a health testing clinic
- an email sent to all registered owners of your particular breed
If you would like The Kennel Club to help in any or all of these ways, please email our health team.
Use our health resource toolkits
This collection of toolkits is a resource intended to help breed health coordinators maintain, develop and promote the health of their breed.
Breed health improvement strategy: a step-by-step guide
Breed health improvement strategy: a step-by-step guide is a practical approach to developing, assessing, and monitoring a health plan specific to your breed. Every breed can benefit from a health improvement strategy as a way to prevent health issues from developing, tackle a problem if it does arise, and assess the good practices already being undertaken.
Common problems encountered by BHCs and how to resolve them
Common problems encountered by BHCs and how to resolve them is a toolkit which discusses the top five challenges BHCs face and ways to manage them.
Breed health surveys toolkits
There are three toolkits:
Website content toolkit
The website content toolkit is a general guide on features that could be included on your website to provide relevant information for breeders and owners about the health of your breed.
Website enhancement toolkit
The website enhancement toolkit is a guide to creating or enhancing your website, which is one of the best platforms you can have to promote and publicise the health and welfare of your breed. The toolkit includes some dos and don'ts, plus information on general web design and how to build a website.
Managing the arrival of a new DNA test
Managing the arrival of a new DNA test is a toolkit which will guide you through the necessary and recommended action to take following the arrival of a new DNA test for your breed. This includes how to tell if the test is reliable, how a DNA test is made part of The Kennel Club's official testing scheme, and where to find a list of DNA tests available for your breed and the laboratories that carry these out.
Understanding canine genetics
Useful Kennel Club research
2004 purebred dog health survey
The Kennel Club and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee joined forces with scientists in the Epidemiology Unit at the Animal Health Trust to carry out a nationwide survey of purebred dogs.
2014 pedigree breed health survey
The 2014 pedigree breed health survey summarises the results found from nearly 50,000 dogs represented by the completed questionnaires.
Effective population size - population analysis
The Kennel Club's population analysis reports allow breeders and those involved in canine health to review the unique situation of each breed.