Bulldog Club of America’s Ambassador for Health Awards Program

The purpose of the BCA Ambassador for Health (AFH) program is to promote betterment of the Bulldog breed through health testing by recognizing Bulldogs, owned by BCA members, which have met specific health testing requirements.

  • A brochure about why to health test your bulldog, including the health testing matrix with all recommended tests can be found here.
  • A standalone matrix of the health testing we promote for bulldogs can be found here.
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The Canine Health Information Center (OFA)

All Health Certificates must be submitted to OFA – THE CANINE HEALTH INFORMATION CENTER before applying for inclusion in BCA’s AFH or Health Pioneer program.  Certificates for passing results are required for all tests except the DNA testing.  The DNA Certificate only requires testing.  Any DNA results apply to the AFH or Health Pioneer Designations.

All Ambassador for Health Recipients

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The program has 5 levels of recognition – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond

Passing results are required on all eligible certifications except DNA based health screenings (passing results eligible for certification are defined by OFA). Any result will be accepted for DNA based health screenings, including but not limited to, Clear, Carrier or Affected. All results, including DNA specific results, must be submitted to OFA and be verifiable in their public database.

Eligible Certifications

  • OFA Congenital Cardiac (all certifications accepted, Echo preferred)
  • OFA Patellar Luxation
  • OFA Tracheal Hypoplasia
  • OFA Thyroid
  • OFA Elbow Dysplasia
  • OFA Hip Dysplasia

Eligible DNA based health screenings

  • Hyperuricosuria - Any result qualifies.  Normal, Carrier or Affected will all qualify towards AFH level.

The requirements for each health award certificate levels are:

  • Bronze – s successful completion of all but four (4) of the AFH awards program recognized certifications & DNA based health tests

  • Silver – successful completion of all but three (3) of the AFH awards program recognized certifications & DNA based health tests

  • Gold – successful completion of all but two (2) of the AFH awards program recognized certifications & DNA based health tests

  • Platinum – successful completion of all but one (1) of the AFH awards program recognized certifications & DNA based health tests

  • Diamond - successful completion of all of the AFH awards program recognized certifications & DNA based health tests

Age Notes for the Ambassador for Health Award

  • Congenital Cardiac, Patellar Luxation, Tracheal Hypoplasia & Thyroid – Dogs must be 12 months of age or older on the date of the examination. A veterinary cardiologist, other veterinary specialist, or any veterinary practitioner may perform OFA cardiac testing. Certification by Echocardiogram is preferred.
  • Hips/Elbow Dysplasia – Dogs must be 24 months of age or older at the time of the radiography.

To be eligible for the Ambassador for Health award program each Bulldog must be owned or co-owned by a BCA member in good standing at the time of application. It is not necessary that they be owned by a BCA member at the time the tests were performed.

Each eligible Bulldog will be awarded a certificate suitable for framing which indicates the level of achievement and details the health certifications the dog has successfully completed.

All awards are designed to be a one-time award for each recipient rather than a reoccurring, annual award. Additional levels can be applied for in subsequent years provided all required verification is provided to the Health Committee.

Health Pioneer (HP) designation or stand-alone award:

In addition to the AFH award levels, any Bulldog receiving an Ambassador for Health award that has also participated in any BCA initiated or recognized research project will receive a Health Pioneer designation which will be included on their Ambassador for Health award certificate. The Health Pioneer designation can also be applied for as a stand-alone award.

The certifications, DNA based health tests & other health related program participation that are eligible for the Health Pioneer award or designation include, but are not limited to:

  • OFA EYE is included as part of the Health Pioneer recognition as the Ambassador for Health awards program only recognizes permanent certifications. A passing OFA EYE examination that is current during the 12 months prior to the award is required. OFA EYE certification will only be accepted for the standalone award once for each dog.
  •  BAER hearing testing
  • CHIC DNA repository
  • OFA Spinal Database submission
  • PennHip hip evaluation

DNA based health tests any results qualifies for Pioneer.  Affected, Carrier or Clear all qualify to be included.

  • Type 3 Cystinuria-Associated DNA Marker
  • Canine Multifocal Retinopathy (CMR1)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Hereditary Calcium Oxilate Urilithiosis, Type 1 (CaOx1)

The Health Committee retains the discretion to move any certification or DNA based health test from the Health Pioneer designation to full Ambassador for Health award recognition if appropriate based on an evaluation of the merits of the certification or DNA test, including a review of any published research relating to these.

Proof of participation is required for any other BCA initiated or approved health studies or research projects in order to be recognized with a Health Pioneer designation or award.

AFH/HP certificates will be awarded to all Bulldogs whose owners have submitted a completed application and any required verification to the Health Committee by the application deadline. The application deadline will vary based on the date of each year's National Specialty show & is the 1st of the month in the month preceding the National Specialty (For example, if the National Specialty is held in November, the application deadline would be October 1st). Diamond & Platinum level award certificates will be awarded annually at the National banquet.

Any certificates not picked up will be distributed by the Health Committee by means at their discretion.