New DNA Testing Scheme For Cocker Spaniels

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Adult Onset Neuropathy (AON) in the Cocker Spaniel, following consultation with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.

To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to our Breeds A to Z.

AON is a hereditary neurological condition which can affect Cocker Spaniels. Clinical signs of this debilitating condition can include weakening and unsteady hind limbs or an uncoordinated gait. The weakness eventually progresses to include the front limbs and affected dogs are eventually likely to be unable to walk properly.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Cocker Spaniel is one of the UK’s most popular breeds, with over twenty thousand puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015 alone, so we are pleased that we are able to offer this DNA test to help tackle this debilitating condition.

“The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions.

“We work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and we are happy to accommodate a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. We would normally need a formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs to do this.”

Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website. Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.

If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. DNA test certificates should be sent to Health and Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed to us.