Dog health and welfare

As the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training, the Kennel Club heavily invests both financial and organisational resources in welfare campaigns, health screening schemes, dog training and education.

The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. The Kennel Club has recently received formal accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to certify dog breeders under the Assured Breeder Scheme.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust helps fund research into diseases affecting dogs, as well as helping dog welfare organisations and promoting support dogs.

The Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), funded through the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. Additionally, the Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the AHT contributes to the AHT's well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.

The Kennel Club runs several clinical health screening schemes in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association which aim to detect the presence of hip and elbow dysplasia and eye diseases and thereby help breeders choose breeding stock that are free of disease. The Kennel Club also runs a large number of DNA screening schemes across many breeds.

Health screening results of KC registered dogs that are screened under any of the official BVA/KC schemes or any of the official DNA testing schemes are recorded and published on the Kennel Club's Health Test Results Finder on its website.

The Health Test Results Finder is part of the Kennel Club's Mate Select service online, which allows breeders to calculate inbreeding data and estimated breeding values which will help with making better breeding choices based on science.

In addition, the Kennel Club continuously reviews the breed standards for each of the 216 recognised pedigree dog breeds and has introduced veterinary checks at championship dog shows for some breeds deemed to require monitoring for visible conditions which may cause health or welfare concerns.

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