Category Three Breeds

What is Breed Watch?

Breed Watch serves as an 'early warning system' to identify points of concern for individual breeds and provides anyone involved in the world of dogs with further information about specific health concerns. Further information about Breed Watch breed specific concerns can be found here.

What is a Category Three Breed?

The Kennel Club has highlighted a number of breeds as 'category three' breeds on Breed Watch, as these breeds have been considered to be more susceptible to developing specific health conditions associated with exaggerated conformation; in particular problems that involve the eyes, skin, dentition, movement and respiratory function (breathing). Our Breed Watch Booklet provides further information on categories within Breed Watch.

Category Three Breeds are:

  • Bloodhound
  • Bulldog
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • St. Bernard

What is the Kennel Club doing for Category Three Breeds?

The Kennel Club has provided dedicated resources to category three breeds to help to address health concerns for several years and in 2016 extended the resources offered, introducing the new Breed Health and Conservation Plans, of which all category three breeds will have been developed during 2017. Further support is offered to judges and exhibitors of category three breeds, outlined in the Breed Watch Booklet here.

To see how the Kennel Club is improving and monitoring the health and welfare of all dog breeds, please click here.

Further Information

We recommend visiting Breed Club websites for further information on breed specific efforts to address health and welfare concerns.

For information on international efforts to address breed specific health, you can also visit the International Partnership For Dogs (IPFD) via their website here.

For enquiries relating to category three breeds, please contact

Q. What is the accessible population?

A. Accessible population can be defined as dogs that the Breed Clubs, Breed Councils and Breed Health Groups have access to through members. The average entry at General Championship Show level may be reflective of the accessible population. The number of Kennel Club Registrations each year will be taken into consideration but will not be compared to the number of dogs health tested when considering a breed's presentation for removal. Owners of both pet dogs and show dogs must be encouraged to participate in health testing. Many breed representatives have received interest in breed health schemes from individuals involved with a variety of canine activities and those with pet dogs.

Q. Where can I find information on the format for an annual health report?

A. The Breed Health Improvement Strategy Guide available on the Kennel Club website contains information on how to develop a breed health plan and what should be included. The Kennel Club would advise that breed representatives use the toolkit as a resource when developing breed health improvement initiatives and creating the annual health report.

Q. Where can I find information on how to conduct a breed health assessment and guidance on veterinary surgeon protocols?

A. Some Category three Breeds have successfully implemented breed health assessments with Veterinary guidance as a result the Kennel Club would like to encourage breed representatives to take a collaborative approach towards breed health improvement and share best practice methods of developing breed health assessments. Charlotte McNamara, Canine Health Advisor will offer advice and support in developing health assessments and protocol. For further information please contact


In order to ensure maintenance of progress, any breed removed from the category of Category three Breed would be formally re-evaluated three years after removal.



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Breed Watch Category Three Breed
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