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Finnish walk test for brachycephalic breeds ready

Katariina Mäki

Viewed: 3,661 times

The Finnish Kennel Club (FKC) has finished the protocol and the instructions for fitness (walk) testing of breeding dogs in brachycephalic breeds. The test is similar to the one used by the Dutch Kennel Club.


Finnish test instructions have been developed by veterinarians doing research on BOAS. Their results concerning the Bulldog have already been published. The researchers are still continuing their research and testing Pugs and French Bulldogs, whose results will be published later.


According to the Finnish guidelines, a dog gets an approved walk test result if he/she walks 1000 meters in 12 minutes or less, and recovers sufficiently from the walk within the recovery time. In the future, it is also possible to have different time limits for different breeds. The test result is failed if

  • The dog is, based on the veterinarian’s initial examination, showing signs of serious respiratory symptoms (including also severe hyperthermia).
  • The supervising veterinarian interrupts the test due to the dog’s serious respiratory symptoms.
  • The dog is not able to successfully complete the test and/or recover from it sufficiently within the required time.

The FKC arranged the first pilot test in February, and the second pilot will be arranged in May. Also orientation for veterinarians will be held at that second pilot. After that, breed clubs are able to arrange the tests by their own.  The tests have to be carried out in accordance with the FKC's Guideline for walk tests, in order to get the test result recorded in the FKC breeding database.


The FKC is following the development and use of different tests in other countries. It is also having close collaboration with the other Nordic Kennel Clubs on this subject. The aim is, in the long run, and with the help of accumulated experience, to develop the test further, to be as appropriate as possible.  

UPDATED 7-15-2019

All the information on the Finnish walk test can be found here.

"Walk test

The walk test is meant for short-muzzled (brachycephalic) breeds that have symptoms caused by upper respiratory tract disorders. These breeds include Pug, English Bulldog and French Bulldog. The dog's exercise tolerance and the ability to breathe normally are evaluated in the walk test and the clinical examination included in it. In the walk test, the dog must walk a certain distance in a defined maximum time and recover from the exercise within a defined time frame."

Updated 2-18-2021 - See the 2-8-2019 FKC article

The Finnish Kennel Club’s walk test helps eliminate dogs with severe breathing problems from breeding

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Great news.  As we approach the session on Extreme Conformation at the upcoming 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, it will be important to consolidate a list of all countries, breed and kennel clubs who are implementing fitness evaluations and to find a way to collect and collate information across the sources.  We are still striving to reach valid estimates of prevalence of significant health issues in brachycephalic breeds, that continue to increase in popularity.


At we have been collecting and compiling such information in our Hot Topics: Brachycephalics section including links to material on our site and externally.  We welcome contributions from all!


I suggest you read an earlier post of Katariina's where we had comments from Anne Posthoff about efforts in Germany; and an interview with Anne about the program and a link to a German video.  Unfortunately, we have not had an update from German in some time.




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