2014 Pedigree Breed Health Survey Reports Released

The Kennel Club has released a summary report and breed specific reports from its 2014 Pedigree Breed Health Survey, the results of which will help the Kennel Club to make further evidence-based decisions to improve dog health.

The survey was the largest of its kind, reaching out to 385,000 owners of Kennel Club registered dogs, from 215 Kennel Club recognised dog breeds. The aim was to find the most prevalent conditions currently affecting live dogs and the most common causes of death and reasons for euthanasia.

Responses were received from owners of 191 breeds. These represented 43,207 living dogs and 5,684 deceased dogs.

Over 65 per cent of live dogs were reported to have been unaffected by any disease conditions. Where disease conditions were reported, the most common conditions affecting live dogs were lipoma, skin cysts, hypersensitivity (allergic) skin disorders, arthritis & otitis externa (ear infection).

The most frequently reported causes of death were old age, unspecified cancer, unknown conditions, heart failure & kidney failure. The average life span was 10 years.

Aimée Llewellyn, Head of Health and Research at the Kennel Club, said: "The information collected from the survey is invaluable in prioritising health concerns for pedigree breeds as a whole as well as on a breed by breed basis. This will help everyone from owners and breeders to vets and researchers identify any potentially inherited conditions across different breeds and help improve the health of future generations of dogs.

"These results give an idea of where progress has been made, where it still needs to be made, and how it is best to make appropriate changes."

The 2014 Pedigree Breed Health Survey was conducted ten years on from the 2004 Purebred Dog Health Survey. The Kennel Club hopes to publish a more in-depth study of the results later in the year as a scientific paper.

Those visiting Crufts may visit the Kennel Club stand in Hall 3 to find out more about the 2014 Pedigree Breed 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 KC registered dogs 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.