Putting breed health in the spotlight
The overall aim of The Karlton Index is to put breed health in the spotlight, but in a way that removes as much of the heat that tends to accompany the debate as possible. The way we do this, is by focusing on facts, data and trends and applying objective measurement.
In our experience the UK is NOT a nation of dog lovers. We are a nation of dog breed lovers and that distinction is important. It is the appeal of a certain look in our dogs, a certain colour, a certain expression, a certain feature that has driven us to breeding dogs of extraordinary shapes and sizes. Sadly the breeding strategies that help create those specific looks come with a whole host of health and welfare problems. The conditions that create these breeds, together with the passion people hold for them, means that addressing health and welfare issues is a complex and difficult challenge.
The intentions are that:
- Breed communities will get invaluable feedback on what they have achieved so far in working towards healthier dogs
- They will get independent recognition for the work they are putting in
- They will get support with the difficult decisions they have to take to secure the best outcomes for the dogs
- They will get ideas on how to take further action to reduce dog diseases
- Breeders will get insight into what is being achieved for the entire population of their breed and will get reassurance that their own breeding strategies are supportive of the collective well-being of the dogs.
- Pet owners will get to understand the current controversies, risks and issues attached to the breed of their choice, but importantly they will also get a sense of what is being done to improve the health and welfare of the dogs from an independent source.
Of course by applying a benchmark measure in the way The Karlton Index does, we will also highlight areas of breed health that continue to fail dogs. There can be many contributory factors to why they continue to suffer from dog diseases and are still being failed on the health and welfare front. By using a comprehensive framework such as the KI we hope that the barriers to progress will be revealed and explored in a constructive and helpful manner.