Founded 1978


Here you will find updates on any health concerns that are being investigated by the BGV Club and any that may come to light where the committee has decided that the numbers drawn to their attention warrant further investigation.   Thankfully, the Breed Health Survey undertaken in 2016 shows that, apart from the known penetration of POAG in PBGVs and a concern over cases of Epilepsy, there is currently no development of other major health problems in our breeds.    

LIMITATION ON ‘HEREDITARY CLEAR’ STATUS POSTPONED TO 2023    Following the announcement that The Kennel Club will limit the assignment of ‘hereditary clear’ status of registered dogs to two generations, the organisation has announced that this change is now set to be implemented as of January 2023.   The decision to restrict hereditary status was made by The Kennel Club Board in 2018 on the recommendation of the Dog Health Group and followed a Kennel Club study published in the journal of Canine Genetics and Epidemiology. This change was put forward to safeguard against the impact that dogs with an incorrect ‘hereditary clear’ status could have on health issues within a breed.   Hereditary clear status is given to dogs that are determined to be free of specific genetic material linked to a particular inherited disease. The Kennel Club’s registration system assigns a dog this status if their parents are known to be clear, either because they have both been DNA tested as clear, or because they are hereditary clear themselves.   Dogs could be mistakenly given a false hereditary clear status for a number of reasons; for example, if there has been a failure of laboratory protocols, pedigree errors, or incorrectly recorded parentage.  In these instances, it is unlikely that the inaccuracies would be noticed immediately, but rather that several generations later many dogs throughout the breed descended from the individual with the original incorrect status will also have erroneous hereditary status, and the well-intended mating of two such apparently hereditary clear dogs risks producing affected puppies.   The Kennel Club research analysed the risks faced by a population following the incorrect assignment of hereditary status and determined that the rate of dogs with false hereditary clear status could rise considerably over a fairly small number of generations, particularly for genetic conditions that are more common.   To reduce the knock-on effect of these errors, and the risk of unintentionally breeding affected puppies, The Kennel Club will be ensuring that from January 2023, the ‘hereditary clear status’ will be limited to two generations, unless lineage is verified by DNA parentage profiling recorded by The Kennel Club.  DNA parentage profiling is a separate procedure to screening DNA for disease causing mutations but can often be carried out at the same time by the same laboratory.   Originally scheduled to come into effect in January 2022, this has now been postponed to 2023 to allow for necessary development work to be completed and in order for ‘hereditary clear’ status to be as effective and reliable as possible.   6 July 2021 Kennel Club Press Office    

RESEARCHING THE THEORY   For over a year, PBGV owners helped the Animal Health Trust by allowing their PBGVs height to be measured.  This was to pursue the theory that there might be a link between the Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) mutation and height in the PBGV.  The POAG mutation is in a gene called ADAMTS17.  Humans that have mutations in this gene are invariably of short stature, as the gene also affects bone development.   The information collected enabled the AHT to pull data together showing whether PBGV height is correlated with genotype.  In other words, were the affected and/or carriers slightly shorter than the clear/normal dogs?   Prior to submission to a scientific journal for publication, an early abstract of the findings was presented at the May 2018 European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO) Conference in Florence.  Further details on this were in the Winter 2018 Voice.    

PRODROME RECOGNITION IN EPILEPTIC DOGS   The Royal Veterinary College is conducting a study into long term changes in dogs that happen before a seizure in the hope that they may be able to predict seizure activity.  In this way owners will know when to give their dogs anti-epileptic drugs to intervene and thus prevent the seizure from happening. 

If your BGV has regular seizures and you would like to be involved in this study, the link here takes you to the RVC website where you can complete their questionnaire.    Alternatively, please fill out this questionnaire to let them know about your dog and they will be in touch:     

Remember - If you are worried about your BGV's health and suspect it may be related to one of the known health issues in the breed, the BGV Club Health Sub-Committee is here to support you.  


If you have any concerns about your BGV's well-being which appear to be related to any of the known health problems in the breed, let us know.  We are here to support you.