Kennel Club Veterinary Health Checks: Behind the Scenes

A short film showing what happens during a veterinary health check at General and Group Championship dog shows has been released by the Kennel Club.

The film, created in time for Crufts, is a candid look at the friendly and non-invasive process involved, and demonstrates what the vets look for during a veterinary health check. It was produced for the benefit of exhibitors, judges and the veterinary surgeons involved in the process, as well as anyone else interested in how the vet checks work.  

Veterinary health checks for the high profile breeds were introduced in March 2012 at all General and Group Championship shows, and a dog must pass this check before its Best of Breed or Champion title is confirmed.  The checks aim to identify if there are any visible clinical signs of pain or discomfort, caused to a dog as a result of exaggerations.  During a check the vet will assess a number of aspects of the dog, as per Kennel Club guidelines.    

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The veterinary health checks have caused some controversy since their introduction, so we created the film to show that the veterinary health checks are a simple, straightforward procedure, with the health of the dog at their heart.

“The vet check process is a far more relaxed and friendly one than many people realise, and the main consideration is always the welfare of the dog involved.

“We are pleased at how the first full year of vet checks has gone and are confident that results will be equally impressive as we progress through the first part of 2013, with continued great work from breeders and exhibitors of the high profile breeds.”

To read the end of year review for the veterinary health checks for 2012, visit

The veterinary health check film can be viewed at the Kennel Club’s Breeding for the Future stand at Crufts, from March 7th to 10th, and can be viewed online at

6th March 2013

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Notes to editors
•    Watch Crufts on More4 from 6.30pm – 9pm on 7 – 9th March and from 5.30 – 8pm on 10th March on Channel 4. The coverge will include all of the highlights from the Arena programme, including the presentation to the Friends for Life winner. Also watch Crufts live on the Crufts YouTube Channel:
•    Tickets cost £14 for adults in advance and £17 on the door. Best in Show tickets start from £17.50. Concessions are also available. All tickets are subject to a booking fee.  Book by calling the Crufts Ticket Hotline at The Ticket Factory on 0844 444 99 44, or online at
•    Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.
The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s biggest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders, in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Discover Dogs event at Earls Court, London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.
The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK. The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. The new Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust will contribute to the AHT’s well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.