Dog Buyer’s Guide

Dog Buyer GuideWe are a nation of Dog Breed lovers

Our experience in dog health and welfare, leads us to conclude that Great Britain in not a nation of dog lovers. We are a nation of dog BREED lovers. We tend to like certain types of dog. Our preferences are not entirely driven by shallow motives i.e. how a breed looks, though that does contribute.

Essential points

It is in fact essential when choosing a companion animal, you take due regard for the animal’s size, temperament and physical and mental requirements. There is no doubt that a Hungarian Vizsla, say, bred for working in the field, will have very different needs from that of a Miniature Poodle bred for working as an assistance dog. The breeding behind every breed is done for a whole range of motives and drivers. Because of these differences, carrying out research into the needs of the breeds you like is absolutely essential.

Quirkiness has come at a cost

There is no doubt that humans do choose pets for looks too. There seems to be a component in our make-up that likes the exotic, the unusual, the quirky. This is why we have ended up with some very striking looking breeds; the Dalmatian, the Great Dane, the Shar Pei, the French Bulldog, the Pug, the tiny Chihuahua to name but a few.

The “quirkiness” of breeds like these has come at a cost, and breeding for physical traits that some find “attractive”, has impacted negatively on the health and welfare of many of them. To get the “look” of any breed, quirky or not, or indeed the right temperament, can come at a cost too, as breeding to a type and for a type, can lead to harmful or potentially harmful at least, decreases in genetic diversity of pedigree dogs.

Are you contributing?

So any of us who actively choose a particular “type” of dog, even if that choice is for sound reasons, have to acknowledge that in doing so, we have contributed to these potential harms, including the prevalence of dog illnesses.. The Karlton Index provides you with guidance on how easy it will be for you to get access to honest, open and accurate information about the breeds you shortlist, or decide upon, and the likelihood that you will get a truthful picture of the risks and benefits attached to the breed of your choice.

Each breed page will tell you the following;

The KarltonINDEX score. The higher the score out of 100, the more confidence you can have that you will get easy access to reliable,  open, up-to-date information about the health and welfare of the breed and breed-specific dog illnesses .

Dog Breed warningThis symbol is used to flag up the ways in which the breed is controversial. This may relate to exaggerated shape or size or to known inherited conditions that the breed may suffer from. It may also relate to the breeds popularity. Very popular breeds are, sadly, also popular with low-welfare suppliers such as Puppy farmers and pet shops. So this symbol is very much about buyer beware!

Positive Dog Breed signThis symbol is used to flag up issues in the breed that can give you confidence. This highlights what is good about the breed or being done well by the ethical breeders within it.

From The Karlton Index Report 2016 onwards, there will be a graph, showing a five year trend. This will be important, since, it will signify the progress being made to improve the health and welfare of that breed. If the scores have not increased much in that time and remain below the threshold (RED LINE) proceed with caution…..”enthusiasts” for your breed are not doing all that they should to safeguard the breed.

The Karlton Index ReportView the latest (2013), full Karlton Index Report

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