Health Information

You may be aware that some breeds of dog and their crosses can be susceptible to inherited disease. Of course you want to be sure that the dog you choose is as healthy as possible, and you would like to know that it has not inherited any undesirable disease-causing genes from its parents. There is some help in that DNA tests for diseases in purebred dogs are available for some conditions in some breeds, but there are not very many such tests just yet! There are also, however, a number of clinical veterinary screening schemes that dog breeders can use to increase the probability of producing healthy puppies.

Details of the various screening schemes, both veterinary and DNA, that are available to breeders in the UK can be found at

Potential dog owners should be aware that, at present, the application of various health screening results to breeding programmes is not always straightforward, and breeders may make choices for various reasons. A responsible breeder though, will always be willing to discuss relevant health issues with you. Breed clubs are often useful sources of breed-specific information.

What about Health Issues?

New mandatory resource available on the Kennel Club Academy for judges of the German Shepherd Dog

In July 2016, the Kennel Club announced the suspension of judging contracts from 1 January 2018 for German Shepherd Dog Challenge Certificate appointments until the judge has completed Kennel Club education. This education programmed together with an exam is now available for free online. It is mandatory for Judges of the German Shepherd Dogs and emphasises the judge’s responsibilities in relation to the health and welfare of the breed. Follow this link to view the resource:

Want to DNA test your dog? Use CombiBreed - one swab, multiple tests, one price

Our CombiBreed health test packages offer you a simple and cost-effective way to carry out a number of priority DNA tests all from one swab, saving you time, effort and money.

Tests included in this breeds package:

• Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

• Haemophilia/ Factor VIII Deficiency (FVIII)

• Multidrug Resistance gene 1 (MDR1)

CombiBreed identifies whether your dog has any genetic material linked to a range of the most significant inherited conditions specific to your breed. We work with researchers, vets and experts from breed clubs to determine which health tests are the most important for each breed and we collaborate with our trusted scientific partner, Weatherbys, to bring you a quality and trusted service in a largely unregulated industry.

Find out more about CombiBreed at

Schemes or advice relevant to this breed

The following schemes, tests and/ or advice are mandatory requirements for Kennel Club Assured Breeders. All other breeders are strongly advised to use these schemes, tests and/ or advice.

BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme

It is strongly recommended that both Kennel Club Assured Breeders and non-Kennel Club Assured Breeders should use the following schemes, tests and/ or advice.

BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia Scheme
Eye testing
Breed Club - Haemophilia testing for males
Bitches under two years not to produce a litter
No stud dog to be used under 18 months of age
DNA test - DM

The following other schemes, tests and/ or advice are available and should also be considered.


The list above is not necessarily comprehensive, other available health tests can be found at or for further advice please contact your local breed club.

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