Posts Categorised: Health Scheme

The Pug Breed Council Health Subcommittee are very pleased and proud to announce that the Kennel Club are now recommending the PUG BREED COUNCIL FIVE STAR HEALTH SCHEME for participation by Kennel Club Assured Breeders. This was announced in a press release dated 15th November 2019 and the Kennel Club have advised Pug breeders that Respiratory Functional Grading is now a requirement.

We have also been instrumental in gaining approval for the DNA test for PDE to become a Kennel club official scheme.

The Pug Breed Council Health Subcommittee has had a very successful 2019, as in addition to collaborating with the Kennel Club to achieve the above, the PUG BREED COUNCIL FIVE STAR HEALTH SCHEME now has over 200 Pugs registered and a further 180 Pugs having had their Visual Health assessments completed and eligible for registration,

During 2019 we have published and distributed thousands of leaflets on identifying healthy weight using body condition scoring, eye problems and other health issues as well as displaying educational material promoting Pug health at shows and exhibitions.  The Pug Breed Council won the award for the Best Breed Stand at Discover Dogs at Crufts and also had stands at Discover Dogs London and the National Pet Show as well as attending smaller events such as Pug meet ups and supporting Pug  Breed Council member Clubs events in England, Scotland and Wales. Buying puppies from responsible breeders who health test is strongly advocated at these events and we offer support and advice to Pug owners that are experiencing issues with the health of their Pugs.  We have worked closely with Pug Dog Welfare and Rescue Association over the last 12 months and are looking forward to building upon that relationship in 2020 in order to improve our effectiveness in reaching out to pet owners.

Registration for the PUG BREED COUNCIL FIVE STAR HEALTH SCHEME is very quick and easy to complete through our website and there are also links from our Pug Health Face Book page.   The cost is £5 per dog. This is a one off charge which covers all costs of certificates and postage. You will not be asked to pay postage or send stamped addressed envelopes as your Pug progresses through the scheme irrespective of how many certificates you achieve.  Once registered you will receive your Visual Health Assessment form which when completed by your own vet and returned will result in the Green Five Star Certificate being awarded. You are then able to go on and complete the requirements for the other certificates we offer, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.   Our FIVE STAR HEALTH SCHEME is overseen by the Pug Breed Health Coordinator Susanne Seffer MRCVS who is a Pug owning qualified Vet.  We follow the guidelines from Cambridge University who advise that BOAS grading is only definitive when a Pug is graded at over 2 years of age therefore our highest awards, the  Gold and Platinum certificates reflect this.

We insist on the highest standards…reach for the stars!

Pug 5 Star Health Scheme

The Pug Breed Council Health Subcommittee have been working with the Kennel Club and have been successful in achieving the recognition of the Five Star Health Scheme as a recommendation for members of the Assured Breeders Scheme.

In addition to this Respiratory Functional Grading (RFG) has become a requirement and PDE has now become an official DNA test.

This is detailed in the following press releases:

15th November 2019 – 4:02 PM – Latest updates to Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme

The Kennel Club has announced the most recent updates to the breed-specific health testing and screening schedule for the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS), aimed to further improve dog health and responsible breeding.

The range of breed-specific health testing and screening requirements and recommendations under the ABS is regularly reviewed following consultations with breed clubs and councils and with the agreement and advice from the Kennel Club Dog Health Group, in a collaborative effort to ensure that health and welfare issues are kept at the forefront of what the scheme sets out to achieve: the encouragement of responsible breeding.

The list of ABS breed specific requirements and recommendations is updated twice a year to ensure that they remain relevant and of maximum health benefit to all dogs bred by Kennel Club Assured Breeders. Further tests can be expected to be announced as they are developed.

As previously, the most recent updates come into effect immediately. However, existing Assured Breeders have a period of grace of six months in order to comply with any new requirements and recommendations to allow them to take account of any existing breeding plans.

The ABS guidelines emphasise the importance of conducting not only the required health tests but the recommended ones also. Results provide data which allow researchers to help develop a picture of how each breed is affected by particular diseases, and how best to improve the health of affected breeds and develop cheaper and faster testing methods.


  • Add requirement of respiratory function grade testing
  • Add recommendation of participation in the Pug Breed Council health scheme

Further information is available from the Assured Breeder Scheme.

29th November 2019 – 5:28 PM – New DNA testing scheme for the Pug

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) following consultation with the Pug Breed Health Coordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.

PDE is an inflammatory brain disease that is usually progressive and fatal. Signs of PDE can include seizures, not walking correctly and blindness. Due to the severity of this disease, PDE is considered a priority condition and the Kennel Club, breed clubs and breeders are keen to work towards eventually eradicating this condition from the breed.

Unlike most other DNA tests, the test for PDE evaluates a dog’s risk of developing the disease, rather than giving a definitive result. Tested dogs will be recorded on the Kennel Club systems as at “minimal risk (0)”, “minimal risk (1)” or “increased risk (2)”. The numbers assigned to each status indicate the number of copies

New DNA Testing Scheme for the Pug

of the PDE gene variant a dog has. Only dogs with two copies of the PDE gene variant have an increased risk of developing the condition.

Minimal risk (0)

These dogs do not have any copies of the PDE gene variant and are at minimal risk of developing the condition.

Minimal risk (1)

These dogs have one copy of the PDE gene variant, but are at minimal risk of developing the condition and may pass either one copy of the normal gene, or one copy of the abnormal gene on to future puppies.

Increased risk (2)

These dogs have two copies of the PDE gene variant and have an increased risk of developing PDE. However, of these of these dogs, it is estimated that only one in eight will ever become affected by the condition itself.

To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to the Worldwide DNA Testing List.

Gary Johnson, KC Breeder Services Manager, said: “The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions. DNA technology is making huge advances year upon year. It is very good news that Pug breeders are taking advantage of this technology which will be of huge benefit as breeders work towards eradicating this condition from this popular and loving breed.”

The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to accommodate a club’s request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed’s health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.

Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website.

Pug breeders are asked to note that, as the test for PDE evaluates a dog’s risk rather than giving a definitive result, the Kennel Club cannot assign progeny as ‘hereditarily clear’ and therefore results will be recorded for individual dogs only.

Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but the owners themselves will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates.

If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge.  DNA test certificates should be sent to Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed to

For further information on our Five Star Health Scheme please visit the How To Join Page.

Over the past eighteen months we have been working with the Kennel Club and Cambridge University to enable BOAS testing to be more readily accessible to Pug owners.

This has resulted in the Kennel Club launching a scheme called the RFG Scheme, (Respiratory Functional Grading). A network of specially trained Vets throughout the country are now offering grading to all Pug owners.

With the launch of the RFG scheme the Pug Breed Council Health Subcommittee have taken the opportunity to upgrade and revamp the Five Star Health Scheme.  We now award a Green Five Star Certificate for completing the Visual Health Assessment, and receipt of this allows entry to the Five Star Scheme.

BOAS grading now known as RFG is now a requirement for ALL of our Five Star Health Scheme certificates.

Pug Bred Health Coordinator Susanne Seffer MRCVS signing one of the new Pug Breed Council Five Star Health Scheme Certificates launched at Crufts 2019.

For further information on our Five Star Health Scheme please visit the How To Join Page.

Our new Pug 5 Star Health Scheme has been developed to include known health issues within the breed, as well as addressing concerns highlighted by the Kennel Club Breed Watch and included in the Breed Health and Conservation Plan.

As well as addressing the main issues, it also highlights the Body Condition Score, as obesity is a big problem within the breed and is a contributing factor to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BOAS).

If you are interested to learn about our new health scheme, please visit the Pug 5 Star Health Scheme page.

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