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Coefficient of Inbreeding.

Details of the coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) for dogs born in the period January-December 2016 have now been published by the Kennel Club.  A COI of 11.8% has been recorded for Bedlington terriers.

 Details can found at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk

Click the “Health” tab, followed by the shortcut “Mate Select” on the right-hand side.  Click on “Breed Inbreeding Coefficient”, listed under “Mate Select Services” on the right-hand side of the page.

Remember that a lower Coefficient of Inbreeding equates with a lower degree of inbreeding and a greater degree of heterogeneity.  It is equally important to remember that the effects of inbreeding can “accumulate” over several generations.

Adders - a Potential Danger to Dogs.

Adders, the only UK venomous snake, are likely to be more active as the weather becomes warmer and the Kennel Club has published information on their website relating to the potential problem this may cause.

Details can found at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk

Click the “Health” tab, followed by “For Owners”. On the “Pet Health Information” page scroll down to “Poisons” and then to “Common Canine Poisons” and subsequently to “Poisons Out and About”  

It is important that dog owners should be fully aware of the potential problems that can also occur from Ticks at this time of the year

The Kennel Club - New Breeding Advice web area

The Kennel Club have recently updated and reorganised the “health area” of their website.

The content of the Health section has been reorganised into clearly defined areas particular users, e.g. “For breeders”, “For owners”, “For Breed Clubs and Breed Health Coordinators” etc., and the “For breeders” section now clearly outlines all available breeding resources, e.g. such as Health Test Results Finder, Inbreeding Co-efficient calculators, World Wide DNA Testing List etc.

Two new sections, a “Breeding Advice” and an “Understanding Canine Genetics” , have been created in the “For Breeders” area.

Click the appropriate underlined link to view the relevant text.


The new Kennel Club Breed Watch booklet.

A new Breed Watch booklet has been published by the Kennel Club.  This is a useful summary of the breed watch initiative and is “recommended reading” for all judges and exhibitors - the section on withholding awards and excluding dogs is particularly enlightening.  

A copy of the booklet can be downloaded from the Kennel Club website at: www.thekennelclub.og.uk.

On the Home page, click the “Services” tab then on “Breed Watch“ in the right-hand column.  Click on “Health and Welfare of Show Dogs” the on “Breed Watch information Booklet under “Downloads” on the righthand side.  

Alternatively a hard copy of the booklet an be requested by emailing: mateselect@thekennelclub.org.uk

Obesity in Dogs.

It has long been recognised that obesity and the resulting possibility of adverse health problems can be a serious welfare issue in dogs.  The Kennel Club recently announced the publication, “Managing your Dog’s Weight”, which deals with this problem.  A copy of this publication can be downloaded as a pdf file from their website.

Open the Kennel Club website (www.thekennelclub.org.uk) and click on “Health” tab to open the “Dog Health Information” page.  Scroll down the left-hand column and click on the triangular arrow alongside “Pet Health Information” then again scroll down the left-hand column and click the “Obesity” arrow.  On the following page, click on “Info Guide - Managing your Dog’s Weight” under “Downloads” in the right-hand panel.

It should be noted that the Pet Health Information page allows access to a number of authoritive articles on various health problems affecting dogs.

Breed Watch - Monitoring at Championship Shows.

The stated aim of the Breed Watch initiative is to monitor breed health and welfare.  Initially, the Kennel Club carried out 2 procedures in order to establish the “baselines” for subsequent actions:

In  September 2013 it was announced that each breed was to be placed into one of 3 categories according to the “points of concern” relating to that breed.  Bedlington terriers were placed in Category 2.  Subsequently, it was announced that as from 2014 judges of Bedlington terriers at Championship shows would be required to complete

a mandatory health monitoring form reporting on the condition of the feet.  There is also the opportunity to report on any  other visible conditions/exaggerations that they consider may be detrimental to the health and welfare of the breed.

The completed reports for 16 Championship shows held in 2015 have now been analysed and it is pleasing to report that no judge reported any incidence of “cracked pads and corny feet”.

Details of the resource can be found on the Kennel Club website at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk.  

The Kennel Club’s “On-line Learning Resource”.

The Kennel Club has recently announced the introduction of a FREE on-line learning resource directed primarily at dog breeders.

Currently there are 8 short “films” accessible via this resource, each dealing with a topic related to dog breeding and each presented by a member of the Kennel Club Canine Health Team.  

Details of the resource can be found on the Kennel Club website at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk.


The Kennel Club Breed Health Survey, 2014.

The Kennel Club published a report of their first All Breed Health Survey in 2004.  A follow-up survey was launched on the 8th November 2014 and the closing date for submission of the survey questionnaires was the 25th December 2014.  Survey forms were distributed to those owners/breeders of registered dogs for whom the Kennel Club have the relevant contact data on their database.  

The data collected from this health survey have now been analysed and a report has been produced.  Details can be viewed on the Kennel Club website at: www.thekennelclub.org.uk.

On the Home page, click on the “Health” tab then click on”Publications, Statistics and Health Results” in the left-had panel.  Click on “Pedigree Breed Health Results then select “Bedlington Terrier” from the “Results of the Survey” list of breeds.

A DNA Test for Footpad Hyperkeratosis.

Footpad Hyperkeratosis is known to affect a number of breeds of dog, including the Bedlington terrier.  It was seemingly quite common in the period following the second world war and many people within the breed at that time considered it to be an inherited condition.  Unfortunately, very little was done other than some enlightened breeders adopted breeding policies that excluded dogs that were affected or thought to be carriers for the condition.  

However, in August 2008 Professor Tosso Lieb and a team of geneticists at the University of Berne, in conjunction with ANTAGENE, started a research project to analyse the genomes of a number of breeds of dog (including the Irish terrier, but not the Bedlington terrier) in which footpad hyperkeratosis was a problem.   The end result of the research was that there was a common gene mutation that was responsible for footpad hyperkeratosis in all the breeds involved in the research project.  This allowed the development of a single test to cover all the breeds covered by the research


In the UK, Animal DNA Diagnostics (Cambridge) were initially licensed to offer the test for for Footpad Hyperkeratosis in Irish terriers. However, after a further study of available data, they are now able to offer a test for Bedlington terriers.


The text of an email from June Swinburne, director of Animal DNA Diagnostics, is shown below:

“I am contacting you to let you know that we have performed a study to look at Hereditary Footpad Hyperkeratosis in the Bedlington Terrier. By examining a group of related dogs we have shown that the mutation identified in the Irish Terrier is also the cause for the condition in the Bedlington Terrier.

The condition is a simple recessive disease which means that it is spread by symptom-free carriers. It can be avoided by only pairing carrier and  affected dogs with clear dogs.

We are now able to offer this test for Bedlington terrier breeders - testing can be ordered and paid for on our website. Once an order is placed we send out mouth swab kits through the post. Once returned testing takes 1 - 2 weeks and is reported via email, with a certificate which follows in the post.


I hope that your members will find this a useful service in their endeavours to breed healthy dogs”.

The contact details for Animal DNA Diagnostics are:

Telephone: 01223 395577

Email: info@animaldnadiagnostics.co.uk

Website: www.animaldnadiagnostics.co.uk

On-line Auction.

Marvellous news.  The Facebook auction has raised the magnificent sum of £3059.45 to date (14.01.2014)

and it is understood that there are still £200.00 outstanding.

The Bedlington Terrier Health Group wish to thank Louise Beesley and Lynne Sankey for all the time and effort they put into organising and managing the auction.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all those people who kindly donated items for the auction and to everyone who contributed to its success by participating in the auction



Important Notice - Cushing’s Disease.

Many Bedlington terrier breeders/owners believe that, over the years, there has been an increase in the incidence of Cushings’s disease.  Whether or not this apparent increase is real or the result of better diagnosis is difficult to determine.

However, of greater concern is the fact that many experienced members of the Bedlington terrier fraternity are of the opinion that Cushing’s disease may be a genetic disorder - there is some evidence, albeit very limited, that the condition is familial, i.e. that closely related dogs develop the condition.  Initially, the only way to clarify the situation is by “pedigree analysis”.

The BTHG would urge Bedlington terrier owners who have/have had dogs that have been diagnosed with Cushing’s to let them know, in confidence, the

registered name(s) of the dog(s)  and of their sire(s) and dam(s).

The aim would be to collect and collate sufficient supporting data in order to present a case for possible genetic research.

The Kennel Club’s Breed Health and Conservation Plans Initiative.

On the 2nd September the Kennel Club issued a press release announcing the launch of their “Breed Health and Conservation” initiative.

The initial objective to collect “evidence-based criteria” to identify common “breed specific” health concerns in order to enable the Kennel Club to provide information and “breeding resources to improve the overall health of each breed.  Although the ultimate aim is to provide a “plan” for each of the Kennel Club recognised breeds,  priority is to be given to those breeds already identified as “priority breeds”, i.e. those identified as category 1 breeds within the Breed Watch initiative.  Bedlington terriers are classed as a category 2 breed and will not be included in the initial phase of this project

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