I've been breeding bulldogs for years my dogs are healthy, why should I get them tested ?

Its now the 21st Century and we are accountable to the Kennel Club and veterinary surgeons. As breeders The Kennel Club will support our breed if we are seen to be actively working on resolving the problems that are known to exist in some Bulldogs. Prospective puppy buyers are much more health conscious nowadays and by testing your dogs you can be seen to have done everything possible to ensure you have healthy puppies. We do know, of course, that some conditions will not be apparent and there is always the possibility that something unforeseen can come through from earlier generations but we believe that participating in the health and conformation scheme is the way forward to improve what is visible in breeding stock.

Why aren't we using a current BVA scheme?

Because Bulldogs do not suffer from one condition to the exclusion of others, unlike some other breeds whose problems can be tested for an existing

schemes. For instance, a recent Breed Council Survey showed that Cherry Eye was the commonest problem encountered , not hip, eye or any other hereditary condition for which there is a current BVA scheme in other breeds .

Why was the nose roll mentioned in the standard changes ?

The majority of bulldogs in this country are sold as pets with a very small percentage being exhibited. One criticism from European and other

Veterinary sources is that skin soreness and infections come from heavy wrinkles. Not everyone finds keeping these areas clean easy and dogs are

frequently presented at the vets with soreness especially in this area . If, as breeders, we are aware of this and try to breed out a 'huge over hanging nose roll' this can improve the comfort of bulldogs throughout their lives. Commonly and mistakenly people think this new wording in the standard was for keeping the nostrils unrestricted for breathing purposes however there is no evidence to show the nose roll adversely affects breathing.

Why are tails mentioned and the type recorded?

In our 2006 Survey the Breed Council found that 75% of exhibited bulldogs had a screw or kinky tail ,some immobile. Ideally the perfect Bulldog should have a straight tail [see the standard] but there are very many variations of tail .We find that one of the most common problem with bulldogs is tail infections if the new owner isn't observant and diligent with cleaning .The mode of inheritance of straight tails is not simple or easy, many two straight tail dogs can produce tight tails , no one at present ,has the answer to this but one must be aware of the need to breed for straighter tails, as in all breeds, any dog should have a tail and it should be mobile.

Can I use any Vet or must it be one from the Approved list ?

No, only vets who expressed an interest in Bulldogs are approached to do this assessment for us. We have negotiated a set price of £35 per dog assessment with all the listed vets and have tried to cover most of the country, however, if your own vet is 'bulldog friendly ' and you are more than what is considered a reasonable distance from an approved vet and can recommend a vet not on the list who is willing to participate please complete the form here.


Respiratory Function Grading Scheme


The future health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs has taken a huge step forward today with the launch of a new health screening scheme.

Developed by the University of Cambridge and funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the new Respiratory Function Grading Scheme assesses dogs for the presence and severity of a breathing problem known as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome). The scheme is currently available for any Pug, French Bulldog and Bulldog, and has the potential to improve the health and welfare of these breeds for generations to come. The scheme provides breeders with a means to know more about the health of their dogs, giving them the information they need to reduce the risk of breeding puppies with BOAS.

Dogs with a flat, wide-shaped head are said to be brachycephalic (‘brachy’ meaning short, and ‘cephalic’, meaning head). The soft tissue in the nose and throat of some brachycephalic dogs may be excessive for the airways, partially obstructing the airway and making it difficult for them to breathe normally (causing heavy panting or noisy breathing). This condition is known as BOAS and is a progressive disorder that can impair a dog’s ability to exercise, play, eat and sleep.

The scheme’s launch, which took place at the University of Cambridge, saw presentations from the leading BOAS researchers and vets, and Kennel Club breed and genetics experts, to guests from across the canine health and welfare spectrum. It provided the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the process behind the scheme, including a demonstration carried out by Chief Assessor Dr Jane Ladlow, who has been leading the BOAS research and development of the scheme at the University of Cambridge.

The assessment, which can now be carried out by a number of specially-trained assessors located across the UK, involves listening to the dog’s airway both before and after an exercise tolerance test. Assessors, who are all specially-trained BOAS vets, then use a pre-defined protocol to grade the dog from zero to three. Dogs graded as zero will be free of respiratory signs of BOAS, while dogs graded as three will show severe respiratory signs of BOAS, indicating that further veterinary examination is advised. The scheme issues guidance that dogs graded three should not be bred from.

For Kennel Club registered dogs, these grades will be recorded on the Kennel Club’s database and published in the Breed Records Supplement, on the dog’s registration certificate, and on the Kennel Club Health Test Results Finder and Health webpages. The BOAS scheme will be supported by guidelines for breeders, which enable them to understand the grade for their dogs in terms of risk when considering potential matings.

Speaking at the inaugural launch event, Bill Lambert, Senior Health and Welfare Manager at the Kennel Club said: “The high demand for these breeds, combined with the already recognised health problems has made brachycephalic health and welfare one of the most pressing canine issues in the UK, and one of the Kennel Club’s top priorities. We’re proud to have been able to fund and develop this important scheme with the University of Cambridge and continue to support further research into BOAS, together with the other steps we are taking to improve the health of future generations of these breeds.

“Launching the BOAS scheme is a huge step in the right direction to improve the health of these brachycephalic dogs and protect the future of these much-loved breeds. It will enable vets to identify dogs at risk of BOAS, provide breeders and owners with the best available information and advice to make informed decisions and inform ongoing research into the condition.”

Dr Jane Ladlow, MA VetMB CertVR CertSAS DipECVS MRCVS, Royal College and European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Cambridge, said: “The way that BOAS is inherited is very complex and so not always entirely predictable. We are researching the genetics of this condition but it is likely to take a few years before we have a viable genetics test. We have realised over the last few years how useful the functional grading scheme is in determining disease severity and it reflects the initial genetic data we have. The scheme is a vital tool to help advise all owners if their dog is affected by BOAS and gives guidance to breeders to lower the risk of producing affected puppies. It also, crucially, facilitates important data collection and enables researchers to monitor the frequency of the condition and progress in the breed affected, which will inform ongoing research, for the overall improvement of relevant breeds.

“We look forward to working with the Kennel Club and other collaborative parties dedicated to improving brachycephalic dog health across the board through promoting the scheme and engaging vets, breeders and puppy-buyers to raise awareness and understanding of this complex Syndrome.”

Brachycephalic Working Group Chairman, Dan O’Neill, said:

“The Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) welcomes and supports this new scheme as a positive step towards improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of affected brachycephalic dogs and the health of future generations.

“The scheme is a practical, accessible and evidence-based tool that we would urge anyone who breeds Pugs, Bulldogs or French Bulldogs to use to help to reduce the breathing problems these breeds can face, which is a shared goal of everyone who cares about dogs and their health and welfare.

“This collaborative approach, which also generates further evidence, will accelerate the continued development of practical tools and sensible resources to help improve the health of these dogs.

“We also encourage owners of Pugs, Bulldogs or French Bulldogs , who have concerns that their dog could potentially be affected by breathing problems, to consider requesting this assessment and speaking to their veterinary surgeon, so that their dog gets the best possible diagnosis and care.”

To find your nearest assessor please follow the link.

Respiratory Function Scheme Launched By the Kennel Club/Cambridge University. The Bulldog Breed Council, which is a body representing 19 Breed Enthusiasts member clubs in the UK, responsible for the conservation of the Bulldog , wishes to thank all the breeders, owners and the breed clubs for enabling Cambridge University to carry out research into the Bulldog Breed. By participating on a voluntary basis at shows and the specially set up health test days. Without the co operation of the owners it would have not been possible to develop a scheme of this scale, many pet owners have joined in and we hope they will be made aware that they too can take advantage of the new scheme The numbers tested for research have led to more accurate meaningful data being collected, allowing the University team to train vets to offer this test regionally across the country giving access to the scheme to most breeders within a 2-hour radius of where they live. The Grade will form part of the Breed Councils Established Health Scheme and as many people as possible will be encouraged to take it up. The Kennel Club are to be congratulated for having the confidence in the difference this test can make, to the future health of generations Brachycephalic breeds, to fund and to incorporate the collection and building of a whole new area of information to be analysed and to add to their accessible Health Data base. It is a very pleasing result that the collaboration of all involved has led to this launch day 2nd February 2019 and we fully support the work done to achieve this .

Vicky Collins-Nattrass Coordinator of the Health Sub Committee


Protocol for Breeding Healthy Typical Bulldogs

To fulfill its mission of promoting the Bulldog and assuring that the breeds health and well being is maintained today and in the future, the Bulldog Breed Council has put together a protocol for Bulldog breeders to help achieve and maintain those objectives.

Not all bulldogs are suitable as breeding stock .Although a breeder may hope to keep one or even two puppies from a litter, the majority will be sold or found new homes with families where they will become much loved pets and companions. Breeders have a moral responsibility to produce healthy active and happy pups fit by temperament and conformation.

Today’s breeder can use the Kennel Club’s MyKC and Mate Select service that provides health related information about individual dogs and helps a breeder to look at the degree of inbreeding ,or inbreeding coefficient ,for puppies that could be produced from a hypothetical mating . They are also able to ascertain if dogs have been health tested through the Breed Council Health and Conformation Scheme as certified dogs are listed up to Gold level on the Breed Council website.

It is important that when a breeding is planned that both the male and female are not only typical of the breed but are proved to be healthy specimens and the following characteristics must be checked:

1.TEMPERAMENT: A bulldog is known worldwide as a companion animal and for the past 140 years breeders have been carefully selecting those that do not show timidity or aggressive tendencies to maintain the breed’s trustworthy reputation

2.BREATHING : The standard requires wide open nostrils and a moderate length of neck. A bulldog used for breeding should be able to breathe freely and quietly without strained effort. Those that have had surgery to open nostrils or reduce soft palate tissue should not be bred


3.EYES: Do not breed dogs that have obvious eye problems, excessive blinking, watering or have had surgery to correct these defects. Cherry eye should not be doubled up on.

4.TAILS : Dogs should have free movable tails. Do not breed from dogs that have had surgery to alter correct or remove their tail or those that have extremely tight or in growing tails.

5.MOVEMENT: Do not breed dogs that do not move freely without limping or show evidence of slipping patella.

6.SKIN: Ensure that skin is healthy free from dermatitis and does not have excessive folds and wrinkles.

7 HUU Status : All breeding stock should be tested their status noted and mated to avoid affected puppies

General Advice

Keep the breed’s best interest at heart if a dog has a known serious congenital defect, do not breed it.

Don’t be frightened of mating dogs that have obvious faults so long as they have compensating virtues but never breed two dogs with the same fault.

All dogs used for breeding should be health checked to the Bulldog Breed Council Health Scheme ,Bronze level and further preferably .

Bulldogs should be bred within the recognised colours according to the Breed Standard .

The Kennel Club refuses to register Merle Bulldogs as they are known to have health issues within this breed .

The Breed Council have created a list of guidelines to help breeders using their dog at stud. This protocol has been put together as it has come to our attention that breed standard colour puppies are being registered along with their siblings who are CNR (colour not recognised). By following these simple steps, it will help you to avoid breeding CNR puppies, as the standard colour puppies within those litters will carry the CNR gene.

Recommended Stud Protocol

• Have your stud dog health checked by ONE of the Bulldog Recommended vets.

• Find out the HUU status of your stud dog.

• Participate in the Bulldog Breed Council Health & Confirmation Scheme.

• We recommend that prior to the mating, you get the bitches details, (Kennel Club registered name). With this information you can check the bitch’s pedigree on the Kennel Clubs MyKC (www.mykc.org.uk). Don’t just check one generation, go back further and also check the progeny as this includes colour).

• You can use the KC s Mate Select to check the co-efficiency of the proposed mating [ The annual Bulldog breed average is currently 8.4] Please note any overseas dogs may alter the accuracy of this calculation.

• Obtain the bitch’s owners full name and address.

​• Set out your stud terms and make sure you have a contract signed by both parties to include payment details at the time of the first mating.

BVA Eye test

Eye diseases in dogs

BVA eye panel : We currently screen for the following inherited eye diseases:

Congenital/Neonatal eye conditions (inherited conditions present at birth):

(CEA) Collie eye anomaly

(MRD) Multifocal retinal dysplasia

(TRD) Total retinal dysplasia

(CHC) Congenital hereditary cataract

(PHPV) Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous

(PLA) Pectinate ligament abnormality

Inherited conditions that develop later in life:

(HC) Hereditary cataract

(PLL) Primary lens luxation

(POAG) Primary open angle glaucoma

(PRA) Progressive retinal atrophy

(RPED) Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy

Other eye conditions which may be identified during the examination include:


Ectopic cilia




Combined entropion/ectropion

Corneal lipid deposition

Ocular Melanosis

Persistent pupillary membrane

Various lens conditions

Various retinal conditions

Optic nerve hypoplasia

Multi-ocular defects

There are two types of inherited glaucoma, Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma (PCAG/PACG) and Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG).

The examination for PCAG/PACG is called gonioscopy and if you wish to have this completed, please make the request when booking your appointment. Gonioscopy is not required for the diagnosis of POAG.

CHS offers litter screening for congenital hereditary conditions such as collie eye anomaly and multifocal retinal dysplasia, when the puppies are 5 to 12 weeks old.

DNA tests are available for some inherited diseases and their complimentary use with routine clinical examination gives you a complete overview your dogs’ eye health.

What are the signs?

The signs of eye disease vary depending on the specific condition and between individual dogs and breeds. Some visible signs may include:


Dilated pupil


Cloudy appearance

Which breeds are commonly at risk?

All dogs, including crossbreeds are at risk of suffering from eye disease.

Common breeds at risk are:

Border Collie

Cocker Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

French Bulldog

Golden Retriever


Labrador Retriever

Miniature Schnauzer


Many other breeds suffer from eye disease, visit the Kennel Club Breed Information Centre for further information.

Details for results by breed can be found on here:


Cherry Eye

Heat and Bulldogs

The Bulldog Breed Council would like to thank The Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust for allowing us to use this information


During hot weather make sure you follow these simple rules - it could save your bulldog's life

DON'T take your dog outside during the day. Shut him in a room with a cool floor and draw the curtains to keep the sunlight out, if you do this early enough it will prevent the room from becoming warm as the sun comes into the room. Have an electric fan running in the room to keep the air circulating and make sure there is fresh water available at all times, put a dribble of apple cider vinegar in the water, it will help keep the phlegm levels down.

IF he needs to go outside - GO WITH HIM, don't let him lay out in the sun and bring him straight back in again when he's been to the toilet. Spray him with cold water if necessary to keep his skin cool.

If you are not home DON'T let him have free access to the garden, he WILL sun bathe and you will not be there to see when he's been out for too long.

DON'T walk your dog in this weather, it's still very hot at 8 or 9pm, wait until it's very late or walk very early in the morning - remember that tarmac also takes a while to cool off and even after the sun has gone down the roads can be very hot still.

DON'T force an overheating dog to drink water, offer water, but if refused don't force the issue. HE WILL DRINK IF HE WANTS TO - the worst thing you can do is force him to drink, he could vomit and choke. You can make some ice cubes with glucose powder in the water to feed to him so he takes in fluid without guzzling too much water at once.

MAKE sure NOW that you have in your cupboard a squeezy jiff lemon, use this FIRST if your dog is overheating, squirt it into the back of the dogs throat - it will break up the foam/phlegm in the throat. (Your dog will hate it but who cares)

LISTEN to your dog, panting is fine, this is the only way your dog can lose body heat, but listen for a roar - best described as sounding like an asthma attack. If your dog starts to roar IMMEDIATELY stand him in cold water, dogs only sweat through the pads of their feet and standing him in cold water has the same effect as putting a cold flannel on your head when you are hot.

IF HE'S ALREADY TOO HOT - Keep him stood in a bath of cold water, pour water over his head and especially around his neck, you need to cool the blood going to the brain, in severe cases of overheating there is a risk of brain damage from hot blood going to the brain. (Don't turn the hose pipe on him, it may panic him and make him worse).

Place ice under his tail (just inside his bottom if you can), keep pouring cold water over him and KEEP CALM, if you panic your dog will panic - if you suffer from asthma you will understand what I mean.

Your dog will go very pale as the circulation system struggles to cope.

Keep going with the water - don't take him out of the bath until the breathing has calmed down, talk calmly to your dog - you will be soaked, your bathroom will be soaked, but you will save his life!!!!!!!!!

Once the breathing is calmer, remove him from the bath but don't dry him, he will shake up your walls and over you WHO CARES!!!! He will still be very pale (inside mouth, gums and inner eyes)

Let him wander, don't make a fuss of him, your fussing may panic him and it could start over again. Still don't force him to drink, but make up a rehydration mix and place it in a bowl for him to drink from if he wants to

. You can make up your own rehydration mix:

500ml of water

2 and a half teaspoons of glucose powder

a quarter teaspoon of salt

a pinch of bicarbonate of soda

This mixture will keep in the fridge for 24 hours, or make into ice cubes to use as needed.

If you cannot calm the dog in the bath GO STRAIGHT TO THE VET!!!! Soak a towel in cold water and lay the dog on top of it for the journey, take packets of frozen veggies and lay them on the back of his neck and on each side of his body. If the dog will lay upside down it will help him cool faster through his belly which has less fur on it but make sure that someone is with him to ensure he doesn't swallow his tongue!

If you have air conditioning in the car blast it full cold at the dog, this cool air will help start the cooling process. Remember if you have air conditioning you must keep your car windows SHUT.

IF YOU ARE AWAY FROM THE HOME: Find a river, pond, cow trough or knock a door, 7UP will do the same as the lemon juice in an emergency. Get in the river with your dog if necessary (many bulldogs cannot swim) but don't take him out until the breathing is calmer, unless he is obviously passing out in which case risk a speeding ticket and get to the nearest vet.

BE SAFE!!!!! Your bulldog won't mind if he doesn't get a walk for a few days!!!!!