Health and welfare at dog shows

Samoyed looking at camera
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

Breed Watch

Breed Watch is a resource to assist judges in monitoring and addressing visible health concerns in dogs exhibiting at shows. It was visited over 156,000 times in 2021.

In 2021 the Kennel Club undertook a Breed Watch impact review. We recognise the need to continue to evolve how we communicate with judges and exhibitors to support health improvements in breeds, which is why we we will be undertaking a review with the possibility to make enhancements to Breed Watch over the coming years.

The Breed Watch Illustrated Guide

The Breed Watch Illustrated Guide highlights and explains the correlation between exaggerated conformation and how these features can lead to canine welfare implications. This booklet is specifically designed to help dog show judges identify Breed Watch points of concern and provides a comprehensive illustrated guide for category 2 and 3 breeds with points of concern.

Vet checks

Veterinary health checks confirm best of breed awards at dog shows, by assessing dogs to ensure that no visible health conditions, which may cause pain or discomfort, are rewarded. Read more information about these vet checks.

Mandatory health monitoring

All judges with appointments for category 2 and 3 breeds are required to complete a mandatory health monitoring form to enable The Kennel Club to collect data on the visual health of the dogs they have judged. 

Breed Watch education day

The annual Breed Watch education day provides an opportunity to help dog show judges develop their knowledge and further understand how to identify any visible health and welfare concerns.