New DNA testing scheme for Schipperke

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for T-box (bob tail) in the Schipperke, following consultation with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the breed.

T-box causes dogs to be born with shorter tails (or bob tails) compared to dogs that carry no copies of the gene, and causes neonatal death in dogs carrying two copies.

The abnormal copy of the gene behaves as autosomal dominant in respect to bobtail, and as autosomal recessive in respect to neonatal death. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected, but only one copy is required to shorten the tail.

Tested dogs will be recorded on The Kennel Club systems as either:


The dog does not have any copies of the abnormal gene associated with the condition. The dog is highly unlikely to be clinically affected and will only pass on a normal copy of the gene to a puppy.

Heterozygous (carries one abnormal copy of the gene) affected

The dog has one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the abnormal gene associated with the condition. The dog is likely to have a shorter tail but is not at risk of neonatal death. The dog may pass one copy of the normal gene, or one copy of the abnormal gene on to a puppy.

Homozygous (carries two abnormal copies of the gene) affected

The dog has two copies of the abnormal gene associated with the condition. The dog will likely suffer from neonatal death. If such dog survived to adulthood and was bred from, it would pass abnormal copy of the gene to all of its puppies.

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 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.  DNA test certificates should be scanned and emailed to Health results.


To find out more about DNA testing please visit our YouTube channel and watch our webinar “The Science of DNA Testing”.

Owners are reminded that:

  • from August 2018, it is mandatory that the dog’s microchip (or tattoo) is recorded along with either the dog’s registered name or registered number on any DNA certificates. Any test results issued after that date that do not carry these identifying features will not be accepted.
  • The Kennel Club has a set of criteria that we request DNA testing laboratories to meet to enable us to record their results, helping to maintain and protect the integrity of results that appear on a dog’s records. We have updated the list of laboratories that we accept results from and strongly advise that customers ensure their chosen laboratory is included on our revised list if they wish The Kennel Club to record and publish the results.  Results from laboratories not included on this list will not be recorded.

To find out which laboratories The Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which laboratories will send results directly to The Kennel Club, please refer to our website. To find out which DNA tests are relevant to your breed, visit our website.

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.  The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to consider a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.