Crufts imposes top breed health tests

All dogs in 15 high profile pedigree breeds from Pekingese to bulldogs that win at Crufts will each need a clean bill of health by vets before their awards are confirmed, the Kennel Club has announced.

The move aims to improve health in pedigree dogs and protect the sport of dog showing, which have both come under prolonged scrutiny in the wake of a BBC documentary which claimed dogs bred for shows were suffering a high degree of genetic illness.

The breeds covered include basset hounds, bulldogs, German shepherds, mastiffs, pugs and Chinese crested dogs, selected because of health concerns.

Vets will be looking for clinical signs of pain or discomfort such as breathing difficulties when taking moderate exercise, skin disorders, damage to the eyes and lameness.