Crufts 2020: the dangers of breed popularity and advice for Dachshund buyers

20200308_204341We are pleased that the British Veterinary Association has pointed out in their press release about a Dachshund winning Best in Show at Crufts 2020 that we could now see a further rise in the popularity of the breed and related increase in health issues. However, we believe they have missed a major opportunity to inform buyers, breeders and owners about our back disease screening programme and other health improvement initiatives.

Dachshunds are a very popular breed with six different varieties: Standard and Miniature sizes, in 3 coats, Smooth, Long and Wire. Maisie, the Standard Wire-Haired Dachshund that won Crufts, may be the first time that many members of the public will have seen this particular variety. Their registrations have increased steadily over time, with 861 being registered by the Kennel Club in 2019. We are aware that a sudden increase in popularity of any breed can lead to an increase in the numbers being bred irresponsibly and without any thought for their health and welfare.

The Dachshund Breed Council’s advice is the same when considering buying a puppy of any variety: that buyers should do their research and make sure that they contact a breeder who places health, welfare and temperament at the top of their agenda when breeding. As a breed, Dachshunds do have a greater predisposition to back problems (IVDD), but this is a complex area and the incidence of back problems varies significantly across the 6 varieties (see chart below). The Dachshund Breed Council is working with the Kennel Club to formalise and promote our IVDD screening programme that is designed to help breeders make more informed decisions about breeding from healthy dogs.

IVDD over 3 yo
Data from 2018 Breed Health Survey

The Breed Council is also represented on a newly formed Kennel Club Neurology Working Group which includes experts from the British Veterinary Association, the Royal Veterinary College, Surrey University Vet School and Cambridge University Vet School, as well as the breeding community. The group has started working together with the aim of producing tools for breeders to help them to continue to breed dogs with a reduced risk of back disease.

For more information on Dachshund health, please visit our website www.dachshundhealth.org.uk

For information on our back (IVDD) screening programme, please visit www.dachshund-ivdd.uk

Roger Sainsbury BVM&S, MRCVS
Chairman, Dachshund Breed Council Health Committee

Ian Seath
Chairman, Dachshund Breed Council

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.