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 Kennel Club Genetics Centre (KCGC) at the University of Cambridge
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust provided significant funding to The Kennel Club Genetics Centre (KCGC) at the University of Cambridge. This centre carries out research to improve our understanding of inherited diseases in dogs. The centre aims to create DNA tests that can help to improve the health and welfare of dogs for generations to come.
The genetics centre has developed over 20 DNA test to help 50 different breeds to avoid producing dogs affected by these conditions. To date, the genetics centre has tested thousands of dogs, which has helped breeders throughout the country to avoid breeding dogs with numerous debilitating or blinding inherited conditions.
The centres current research investigates diseases that are painful, blinding, require surgical or medical intervention, or otherwise reduce the quality or length of life of affected dogs.
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.