Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions to help you with answers to your questions. If you still need to know more, then please contact us and we will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.

Why is it called The Karlton Index?
The project was launched in memory of Philippa’s beloved purebred dog Alfie (Kimmax Karlton). He was a German Wirehaired Pointer. Alfie lost his battle with familial idiopathic epilepsy aged just 4 years and 13 days old.
Is The Karlton Index an Independent organisation?
Yes, our independence and objectivity are important values to us. We are not funded by any other organisation, nor have we ever been. The Breed Health Awards did receive financial support from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, but we waived our administration fee for that.  We often work in partnership with other organisations but we are not dependent on any for funding.
What is the idea behind the Karlton Index framework?
The framework is built on tried and tested elements in effective organisations and strategy design. These include:

  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Participation
  • Review.

These steps provide structure for the decision making process. As decisions that need to be taken with regard to breed health can be exceedingly difficult, this framework can be an invaluable guide. The elements to the KI Framework also help to establish a culture of continuous improvement and for breeds where that culture already exists, it allows us to give credit for good practice. We feel very strongly that acknowledgement and recognition for the many unsung heroes currently active in breed health is a welcome addition to the dog health landscape.

What qualifications do you have in dog health?
The unique feature of the Karlton Index is that it focuses on what PEOPLE should be doing on breed health. Therefore our expertise lies in understanding how to encourage, nudge, and shape the behaviours that deliver better breed health. Our knowledge is on how to help people take the science of dog health and put in place the actions needed to bring about reform in breed health. With a Masters in Human Resource Management and her forthcoming Doctorate in stakeholder relationships, Philippa is superbly qualified to deliver the aims of the project.
What does it cost breed clubs to participate?
There is no financial charge for inclusion in the Index. The only cost might be time spent by the breed clubs in contacting us and providing us with data, information and clarification. But in return, the breed communities receive invaluable objective feedback on their efforts in improving the health of their breed.
Do you only include purebred breeds?
No. Each time an assessment is done, we include some of the more popular deliberately bred crosses such as Labradoodle and Cockapoo.
Can a breed opt out of the Index?
No. We measure all breeds at some stage. For 2016, the focus is going to be the most popular breeds and types of dog. Breed clubs can choose not to collaborate with us, in which case our assessment is based on the information already in the public domain.
Why has the assessment only been done in 2011 and again in 2013? Why not every year?
There are two good reasons why the Index is not scored annually. First, that would take up more resource than we have, given that we are entirely self-funded at this stage. Second, making changes to breed health is a long-term, ongoing commitment, in which there are few quick wins. So to be fair to breed communities, we cannot expect there to be marked measurable improvements year on year. Conducting a full assessment against the Index every two or three years makes more sense for everyone involved.
In 2013 the Index was followed by Breed Health Awards, is this going to happen in 2016?
We firmly believe that the hard work invested in breed health is deserving of appropriate recognition. To that end, we are keen to establish further working relationships with organisations who can support that type of acknowledgement of progress. If we are able to offer awards again this year, it will be publicised widely in social media.
Is your campaign only focused on health issues relating to purebred dogs and breeding?
The Karlton Index is focused on breed health. However Philippa’s campaigning on that has led her to meet with, and  work alongside many other dog welfare campaigners, particularly, on the issue of low-welfare breeding establishments, commonly referred to as “puppy farms”. Check out the #wheresmum hashtag in social media.
When will the 2016 Index be published and are we too late to participate?
Our aim is to publish the next Karlton Index in October 2016. This will be the third assessment giving breeds a trend in their progress. It is not too late to get involved. We will be gathering data and information on each breed right up until mid-August 2016.

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