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Vet J. 2009 Dec;182(3):402-11. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.08.033.

Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: disorders related to breed standards.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Potters Bar, Herts AL9 7TA, UK.


The United Kingdom pedigree-dog industry has faced criticism because certain aspects of dog conformation stipulated in the UK Kennel Club breed standards have a detrimental impact on dog welfare. A review of conformation-related disorders was carried out in the top 50 UK Kennel Club registered breeds using systematic searches of existing information. A novel index to score severity of disorders along a single scale was also developed and used to conduct statistical analyses to determine the factors affecting reported breed predisposition to defects. According to the literature searched, each of the top 50 breeds was found to have at least one aspect of its conformation predisposing it to a disorder; and 84 disorders were either directly or indirectly associated with conformation. The Miniature poodle, Bulldog, Pug and Basset hound had most associations with conformation-related disorders. Further research on prevalence and severity is required to assess the impact of different disorders on the welfare of affected breeds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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