The Kennel Club (UK) announced some changes in the well known Breed Watch scheme. The changes don’t really affect our breed, the Bulldog, as we are already included in the highest possible watch level but they are still important to know.
As it is well known our breed is placed in the High Profile Breeds meaning that every BOB winner at General and Group Championship Shows should pass a compulsory vet check immediately after the judging and only if he or she passes check the can proceed to the group finals.
In the vast majority of shows Bulldogs easily pass the vet checks but the KC is not yet satisfied and it seems that no matter the improvements the breed will stay in the High Profile Breeds for some years. As you are aware various individuals and organizations instead of improving their work or services prefer to focus on how to attack our breed ignoring the great improvements that respectable breeders have made the last years.
Currently the Breed Watch scheme was limited to the high profile breeds only (Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Clumber Spaniel, Chow Chow, Dogue De Bordeaux, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, Shar-Pei, St. Bernard) but now it is expanded to 3 categories. Category 1 includes breeds with no serious health issues to watch, Category 2 breeds with some issues to watch and Category 3 that includes the High Profile Breeds as analyzed above.
Now all Judges at Championship Shows will have the opportunity to report on any visible conditions or exaggerations that they consider to be detrimental to the health and welfare of dogs for every breed and affect the change of categories for a breed if specific concerns start to surface. You can read the FAQs for the High Profile Breeds here.
Moreover the Kennel Club now describes how breeds move between the 3 levels as you can see in the diagram above. You can also read a more detailed document regarding the High Profile Breed Removal Criteria , an important procedure that hopefully we will be able to complete one day and remove our beloved breed from this list!