French Bulldog Removed From The High Profile List

Due to improvements in the health of the French Bulldog and the substantial health programmes put in place by the parent breed club, the Kennel Club today (Wednesday 30thOctober) announces the removal of the French Bulldog from the high profile breed list with immediate effect.

The removal means that French Bulldog Best of Breeds or potential Champion dogs will no longer be subject to a veterinary health check at Championship shows. The visible health of the breed will continue to be monitored by the Kennel Club as the breed moves from the highest classification on its Breed Watch system, category three, to category two.

Under category two of Breed Watch, the French Bulldog breed health co-ordinator will still be required to submit a comprehensive annual breed health report and judges will still be required to submit mandatory health monitoring forms after each appointment. The Kennel Club will continue to work closely with breed representatives and offer support and advice with health and welfare initiatives.

The decision to remove the French Bulldog from the high profile breeds list was made by the Kennel Club following a recommendation from the Kennel Club Dog Health Group, which has been following the health of the breed and discussing the health programmes with the breed health co-ordinator, Penny Rankine-Parsons.

Penny Rankine-Parsons says: "We have been working hard to progress the health of the French Bulldog and we are encouraged that our efforts have been recognised and the breed has been removed from the high profile breed list.

"The breed has seen a dramatic growth in popularity in recent years, and with this has seen a rise in the number of people breeding, which is why it is vitally important for us to communicate with everyone about the need to follow our health programmes which are easy to follow and are available for anyone to see on our website."

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary explains: "The Kennel Club no longer considers it necessary for French Bulldogs to undergo veterinary health checks at General & Group Championship Shows, as the breed health co-ordinator and breed representatives have been consistently and comprehensively managing visible health concerns within the breed and therefore fulfil the high profile breed removal criteria.

"The French Bulldog representatives have demonstrated to the Kennel Club an improvement in the visible health of the showing population and provided detailed information of a long and short term health and welfare strategy to ensure they safeguard the future of the breed.

"What we want to see is improvements, which are now clearly visible in the show population, across the breed as a whole. Show dogs are seen as being the leaders in breeding and the improvements we have seen in dogs competing in the show ring will undoubtedly have an effect on the health of non-show dogs. Furthermore, due to the hard work of the French Bulldog breed clubs and breeders, puppy buyers are more informed than ever before and are encouraged to join in with health initiatives. Higher numbers of French Bulldogs in the show ring will mean the more we can help make a difference to the health of the breed as a whole.

"I would like to commend the dedication, passion and commitment of the French Bulldog owners and exhibitors who have participated in health testing for both visible and hereditary conditions. The French Bulldog is a breed pre-disposed to conformational health and welfare concerns, however those who have been involved in the breed health scheme have demonstrated that with responsible ownership, considerate breeding, transparency of information and accessibility of education and advice to owners, French Bulldogs can live long, happy, healthy lives."

There are now 13 breeds which remain on the Kennel Club's High Profile Breed list: the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog. Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, St Bernard and Shar Pei.

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