2014 pedigree breed health survey

Dog looking at something in the distance in a field

In 2014, The Kennel Club carried out the pedigree breed health survey. This was a nationwide survey of UK pedigree dogs to help understand the health of each breed.

The questionnaire was divided into sections which concentrated on such topics as general health, behaviour, causes of death, breeding and birth defects.

Information gathered from this survey helps each breed to prioritise health conditions, and can be used to improve, or maintain, the health and welfare of future generations of dogs.

Summary of survey findings

2014 Pedigree breed health survey infographic

Results and findings

The information below is a summary of all the results collected from the 2014 survey. 

For results for individual breeds please email The Kennel Club health team who will be able to provide you with the results you require.


Important information about the survey
Please note that the data available for breeds with very few survey responses may not represent the wider population. Care should therefore be taken when interpreting reports based on a small number of dogs.
How do these results compare to The Kennel Club's 2004 health survey?

Please note there were substantial differences in the way the 2014 survey was conducted compared to the purebred dog health survey, which was carried out in 2004. The 2014 survey was directed at owners of all dogs registered with The Kennel Club over the past ten years and promoted to the general dog-owning public, whereas the 2004 survey was publicised solely to breed clubs. Given the difference in methodologies between the surveys, the data from each is not fully comparable and differences observed do not definitively imply changes in population parameters.

Furthermore, there were 5,864 deaths reported in the 2014 survey compared to 15,881 deaths reported in the 2004 survey. This significant drop reduces the likelihood of the sample accurately representing the wider dog population, and so would likely have an impact on median longevity figures if the two sets of data were compared, which would not be reliable.

The Pedigree Breed Health Survey 2014 was open from 8th November to 31st December 2014. The aim of this survey was to collect data on the causes of death & prevalence of conditions affecting the current population of Pedigree dogs. Forms were received representing 43,005 living dogs & 5,663 deceased dogs.

Mortality results

A total of 5,663 deaths were reported for 179 breeds. No deaths were reported for the Bolognese, Canadian Eskimo Dog, English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan), Finnish Spitz, German Longhaired Pointer, Hamiltonstovare, Havanese, Kooikerhondje, Lowchen (Little Lion Dog), Portuguese Podengo, Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired), Sloughi and Turkish Kangal Dog. Owners of the Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Foxhound, Slovakian Rough haired Pointer and Swedish Lapphund reported only deceased dogs.

The median age at death for all dogs was 10 (Figure 1). Table 1 shows the most common causes of death for all dogs. Age at death is presented for the most common causes in Figure 2.
Table - cause of death
Table 1 The twenty most common causes of death/reasons for euthanasia for all breeds (N = 5,663 deceased dogs).
2014 Chart - age at death
Figure 1: Histogram of the overall longevity for 5,663 deaths representing 179 breeds with reported deaths: overall median age at death was 10 years 4 months (minimum=0 years, maximum=26 years); mean age at death was 9.72 years.
2014 chart - cause of death
Figure 2: Box and whisker plot of age at death in years for the twenty most common causes of death (N=5,684). The solid line within each box represents the median age of death from the condition. The box represents 50% of the dogs and the whiskers represent 95% of the dogs for each condition. The circles (ο) represent possible outliers.

Morbidity results

Of the 43,005 live dogs which the survey covers 27,972 had reported no conditions and 15,033 reported affected by at least one condition (min = 1 condition, max = 18 conditions), giving a total of 27,035 incidents of conditions. The median age at the time of survey for all live dogs was 4 years
(Table 2).

The gender, neuter status and age of neutering summary statistics are shown in Table 3. There were 36,500 dogs with a reported Body Condition comment by their Veterinary practitioner displayed in Table 4.

The median age the dogs were first affected by a condition was 3 years (min = 0 years, max= 17 years, Figure 3). The ages for the most common conditions is displayed in Figure 4. Table 5 shows the frequency of occurrence of all reported disease conditions.
2014 table - current age
Table 2: The summary statics for the dogs’ current age when survey was completed
Table of summary statistics
Table 3: Gender, neuter status and age summary statistics for dogs where gender and neuter status was reported
Table of body condition statistics
Table 4: The body condition comment and the age of the dog when this comment was made
Chart showing age of diagnosis
Figure 3: Histogram showing frequency of age at diagnosis for the 28,195 disease conditions reported
Chart showing common conditions
Figure 4: Box and whisker plot of age at diagnosis in years for the most common disease conditions in descending order. The solid line within each box represents the median age at diagnosis from the condition. The box represents 50% of the dogs and the whiskers represent 95% of the dogs for each condition. The circles (ο) represent possible outliers
Table showing common conditions
Table 5: The most commonly reported disease conditions in descending order for all breeds (N = 43,005 live dogs). Proportion of morbidity as %= N/27,035 disease conditions, prevalence %= N/43,005 live dogs


From the dogs surveyed most were not affected by a disease condition (65.04%). The most commonly reported disease condition in live dogs was lipoma. The most commonly reported cause of death was old age.