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The Karlton Index A New Way to Measure Dog Health

UK Dog News
The first full listing against the framework of The Karlton Index has now been completed and published at

The top scoring breed is Dachshunds. Congratulations to the team behind the Dachshund Breed Council for their impressive work and commitment to breed health. The top twenty includes Leonbergers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Hungarian Vizslas. Full list of top twenty available here

At the other end of the scale several breeds are visibly doing so little in terms of breed health that more than twenty score Zero out of 100 and sixty breeds scored less than double figures. Included in this group of breeds is Shih Tzu, Pomeranian and Yorkshire Terrier. Full list of poor performing breeds can be found at On completing the first full index,

Philippa Robinson founder of the Karlton Index says:

“The full review of all breeds has been very enlightening. On the whole findings are disappointing but there are glimpses of brilliant work being done in some quarters like the Dachshund Breed Council and the teams addressing the health agenda in Leonbergers and Vizslas for instance. The teams behind the top performing breeds are characterised by a determined urgency and they tackle health without a hint of complacency. But over twenty breeds scored zero, in other words nothing of substance could be found on health. Clearly the claims that media attention and external criticism of dog breeding is unwarranted and unnecessary because breeders are “doing all they can” to improve the health of dogs, are flimsy at best in this group.

Many in the bottom twenty breeds came from the Toy group. Some of the more controversial breeds like Bulldog, Pug and Neapolitan Mastiff also score poorly despite coming under additional scrutiny from being on the Kennel Club’s list of high profile breeds. I was surprised that many popular breeds like Boxers, Dalmatians and Poodles also came out with low scores.

The framework is based on recognised business improvement tools and to that end the entire aim of the project is to support the work being done by breed clubs. My conclusions are that the Kennel Club and other interested stakeholders should target resources more effectively for breed clubs. They need much more support to develop balanced health strategies and embark upon meaningful health surveillance.”

The next assessment against the Karlton Index is scheduled for Spring 2013

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