Enhanced service will allow new points of concern to be recorded and emerging traits in all breeds to be monitored.
The Kennel Club has made a number of improvements to its interactive Breed Watch service.
The changes ensure the most accurate information about the visible health of every breed of dog can be recorded and analysed for the benefit of all dogs.
According to the KC, while most breeds have no problems, some breeds continue to have “points of concern“.
Improvements mean these points of concern can be recorded and emerging traits in all breeds can be monitored and researched before they become detrimental to the health and welfare of any breed.
Dog breed clubs and Kennel Club judges will be key to this process. From 2014, all judges at championship shows will have the opportunity to report on any visible conditions or exaggerations they consider detrimental to the health and welfare of any breed.
Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said “With the gathering of more information from judges and other sources, the Kennel Club will be in a better position to understand the health of each breed and work with judges, breeders and exhibitors to take preventive action with regard to new and emerging conditions.
“The Kennel Club considers it is important to provide breed representatives with the resources needed to protect and improve the health of their breed.”
In 2014, it will be mandatory that judges at championship shows report to the Kennel Club their observations of any breeds with a specific categorisation on Breed Watch.
Previously, only judges of so-called “high-profile breeds” were required to report on the health of dogs exhibited under them. A new breed-specific form will be sent by the Kennel Club to judges in advance. The feedback will be monitored by the Dog Health Group.
A further, non-mandatory change has been introduced with judges encouraged to record their expert observations on a form at the show and to be part of breed health monitoring for all breeds. Once the form is returned to the Kennel Club, these comments will also be monitored by the Dog Health Group.