Health collaborations

Dalmatian asleep

Breed health co-ordinators

Breed health co-ordinators (BHCs) are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. The BHC acts as a spokesperson on matters of health, collaborating with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have. The Kennel Club provides BHCs with advice and resources to help promote and improve the health of their breed where necessary.

Breed health co-ordinator mentor scheme

The breed health co-ordinator mentor scheme helps breed health co-ordinators (BHCs) who require assistance, especially those who have recently become BHCs.

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 BHCs to help their breed.

The British Veterinary Association

The Kennel Club, in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), runs four clinical screening schemes. These schemes are designed to help breeders assess which dogs to use for breeding, with the aim of reducing the incidence of health issues in future generations.

The Animal Health Trust (AHT)

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust provided significant funding and loans to the AHT for work carried out at The Kennel Club Cancer Centre and The Kennel Club Genetics Centre. Both centres were leaders in research, helping to improve current canine health and the health of future generations of dogs. Despite the Kennel Club Charitable Trusts support, Animal Health Trust closed in 2020.

Brachycephalic working group

The brachycephalic breeds working group is made up of The Kennel Club, breed club representatives, the BVA, BSAVA, Dogs Trust, the RVC, RSPCA, and the Cambridge University Department of Veterinary Medicine. The group aims to improve the health and welfare of flat-faced dogs as well as also reducing the current trend towards rising demand for these dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heart working party

A working party, consisting of The Kennel Club, representatives of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed clubs and the Veterinary Cardiology Society (VCS) has been set up to review and improve the heart screening of the breed within the UK, to enable more robust collection and publication of data. As a result of this collaborative work, a new heart scheme was launched in early 2019.

Large and giant breed working party

The large and giant breeds working group comprises of The Kennel Club and representatives from 15 breeds. The project brings the expertise of different stakeholders together to help tackle health concerns shared by these breeds.