This article is from the Genetic Diseases in Dogs FAQ, by Gary Mason.
All breed standards are, in effect, artificial. They have been
developed by selectively breeding dogs over the years until they
display a certain set of desired characteristics. Sanctioning bodies
have procedures by which they can change the standards for various
Physical conformation should be secondary to the health and
temperament of an animal. If genetic diseases are associated with
conformance characteristics in an inseparable way, breed standards
could be modified to eliminate the incentive for breeding to those
characteristics once the underlying association has been identified.
In England, through a cooperative effort between the UKC and
veterinary organizations, standards that created a propensity for
disease have been eliminated from all breeds. The Council of Europe
has also enacted resolutions that address the elimination of genetic
diseases in dogs.