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Canine Health Resource Center

The American Kennel Club® and responsible breeders aim to preserve and improve the breeds they dedicate their lives to. The AKC leads the charge by donating millions of dollars to canine health research as well as education programs for breeders. Read more

A balanced breeding program includes a host of criteria including genetic testing, pedigree research, conformation and temperament analysis of sire and dam. Potential pet owners should educate themselves about these issues and seek breeders who produce healthy dogs.

It is important to note there is no comprehensive study of genetic diseases in the general population of dogs. Thus, while the purebred community diligently and scientifically monitors canine health issues, there is no such corresponding or comparative effort concerning mixed breeds or dogs in general. Therefore there is no definitive evidence of the superior health of mixed breed dogs.

Because purebred dogs have been selectively bred for centuries, their pedigrees enable us to identify specific canine diseases and develop screening tests and conduct research to eradicate diseases in multiple species, including man.

The most important issue in obtaining any dog is the dedication and knowledge of the breeder and the pet owners' understanding of the long-term commitment it takes to ensure the health and well-being of any dog throughout its lifetime.

Potential pet owners should educate themselves about health issues and seek breeders who adequately screen their breeding stock using the available clinical and genetic tests to produce healthy dogs. This resource center provides you with links to a variety of AKC programs and services as well as other organizations that can help breeders produce healthy puppies for the enjoyment of future generations of dog owners.

AKC Canine Health Foundation

AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF)
AKC CHF, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization, is the largest foundation in the world to fund exclusively canine health studies. To date, more than $22 million has been allocated in health research funds to more than 500 studies conducted to help dogs live longer, healthier lives.


AKC Parent Clubs and Parent Club Health Foundation Donations
Find AKC clubs that have donated to AKC CHF.


Donate Now
Your donations help to support continued research on canine health issues, disaster relief, SAR grants, and responsible dog ownership.


AKC DNA Programs and Services

Canine Health Registries

Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)CHIC is a centralized canine health database for animals, jointly sponsored by the AKC CHF and the OFA, that includes a list of health screenings responsible breeders should incorporate into their breeding program and is a DNA repository for future research.


Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)OFA collates and funds information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals, including advising and establishing control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.


Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)
CERF maintains the largest registry of dogs examined by American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (A.C.V.O.) Diplomats (ACVO members) that are not affected by major heritable eye disease. This data is used to form the CERF data base which is useful in researching trends in eye disease and breed susceptibility.