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About this blog

Deep thoughts from the CEO of IPFD

Entries in this blog

AKC-CHF SYMPOSIUM: Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed-Specific Resources

AKC-CHF SYMPOSIUM: Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed-Specific Resources

I was honoured to again be invited to speak at the 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference August 9-11 in St. Louis, Missouri. This is a great event that brings together breed club health committee members, other interested breeders, stellar researchers, and others from the dog community. There was a broad coverage of CHF sponsored research topics, as well as a definite focus on genetics and genetic testing, reflecting the continued need for info

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Concern about genetic testing Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) in French Bulldogs

IPFD friend and collaborator Dr. Jerold Bell, Adjunct Professor Tufts University, and Chair of the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, has recently circulated a letter about DM testing in French Bulldogs (attached below).  According to his research and communication with international neurologists there has never been a confirmed case of DM in this breed, and yet the test is recommended in several countries.   French Bulldogs do have spinal problem
 

Brachycephalic dogs in The Netherlands

As many of you may know, there has been a lot of focus of health and welfare issues in brachycephalics and in the spring information about Pugs in the Netherlands.  The situation of government regulations on dog breeding is a complex one, and without appropriate inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, we cannot be sure that the best interests of dogs will be served.  Our partners the Dutch Kennel Club have been working intensely with various groups and have come out with their thoughtful and evi
 

AVMA talk: Genetic Testing The Big Picture

I had the honour to be invited to give a talk at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association conference in Washington, DC on 04 August 2019. I was asked to speak on the One Health aspects of genetic testing.  Many of you will have heard of One Health.  The human medical establishment started to coin this phrase in the early 2000's to indicate an approach to health that considered humans, animals an the environment.  As a veterinarian and an epidemiologist I can tell you that we had t
 

IPFD represented at the American Veterinary Medical Association 2019 - Washington DC

Several IPFD collaborators are speaking at the AVMA conference this weekend! Thanks to IPFD collaborator, Dr. Jason Stull, there are sessions focusing on Canine Genetics in the Dr. James H. Steele One Health stream, including:  Angela Hughes DVM, PhD from Wisdom Health is presenting  Utilizing Genetic Panel Testing in Dogs for Breed and Disease  and  IPFD CEO Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD who is talking about Genetic Testing to Improve Canine Health: The Big Picture and why t
 

From Information and Collaboration to Action: 4th IDHW

Thanks to our co-hosts, The Kennel Club, the 4th International Dog Health Workshop was a great success.  The consensus seems to be that the IDHWs just keep getting better and better.  This is due in great part to the efforts of the attendees - decision leaders from 18 countries, representing all stakeholders in dog health and welfare - including representatives from research,  the veterinary world, welfare organizations, kennel and breed organizations, and more.  Stellar plenary speakers set the
 

What we can learn from each other: Show Greyhounds

Many of our colleagues, collaborators, members and readers have a special interest in their own breed(s) and on DogWellNet.com we try to provide extensive breed-specific content.  However, a key underlying tenet of IPFD and our platforms is that there is great deal of information and experience that is relevant across breeds, across activities and across regions.  Therefore our emphasis on sharing. Thanks to Barbara Thiel who recently shared a presentation on Actual challenges in breeding s
 

New Pug Fitness Test - Germany

Thanks to VDH (the German Kennel Club) and our friend and collaborator, veterinarian Barbara Thiel, please see attached press release about their latest efforts to support brachycephalic health and welfare. They state that their goal is to identify "the most resilient dogs among the pug population in order to establish the healthiest possible pool of dogs for breeding". Pug fitness test Germany 2019.pdf The new effort in German exemplifies several important approaches: It has b
 

Are DNA tests reliable - news item

Thanks to our friend and collaborator Dr. Jerold Bell, veterinary practitioner, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Genetics at Tufts University, and Chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association Hereditary Disease Committee, for sharing this link and video:  I-Team: Are doggy DNA tests reliable, worth your money? Several journalists are taking this approach of testing one or a few dogs by sending material to several companies and on the basis of that determining relative q
 

Rhinos in Vietnam: Messaging that doesn't impact the target audience

Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals posted this on their Facebook page: "Fantastic work exploring the demand for rhino horn with the aim of creating campaigns with messaging that is more likely to work than current messaging.  At HBCA we believe that it is vital that we don't make assumptions about why people do or don't do things and  that we find out for ourselves so we enjoyed reading this article and the papers it links to." And directed us to: We asked people in V
 

Brachycephalics in Australia: Attitudes, issues and communication

Love is Blind is a joint initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA: "We’re raising public awareness about the animal welfare problems caused by exaggerated physical features such as brachycephaly, short limbs and excessive skin wrinkling, and how these problems can be prevented." This campaign stresses many of the issues in international work being presented on DogWellNet.com and the work - building on previous Workshops - that will happen at the imminent 4th In
 

Breeding: A Moral Choice?

Thanks to Kevin Colwill for his thoughtful piece entitled "Breeding: Is it a moral choice" in the Our Dogs Newspaper and thanks to both for permission to reproduce here. In this concise yet thought-provoking article Kevin discusses his thoughts on the question:   When it comes to breeding pedigree dogs, how much is too much and how far is going too far? Some points worth considering: Issues in extreme breeds reflect on all breeders.  Certainly, negative attention in the me
 

Why do people choose the dogs they do - and what is the impact on dog health and welfare?

Why do people choose the dogs they do and how does that influence the health and welfare of dogs? How can what we know – and don’t know – about these complexities inform our efforts to educate people and safeguard the well-being of our canine companions? A new open access article is an excellent, comprehensive review of published evidence about factors influence dog acquisition: Acquiring a Pet Dog: A Review of Factors Affecting the Decision-Making of Prospective Dog Owners B
 

More on French Bulldogs: UK Breed Health and Conservation Plan

Following on from my blog on the Seminar for the FBDCA we are thrilled to find that the French Bulldog Club of England has shared their Breed Health and Conservation Plan (BHCP).  Link here;  PDF attached, below. These plans are being assembled by the health team at The Kennel Club, until recently spearheaded by Katy Evans (now the Jane H. Booker Chair in Canine Genetics at The Seeing Eye in the USA).  Similar to coverage in my talk (video link here), the focus is very broad in the BHCP and
 

Nearly 20 Years of DNA Testing – What Can We Learn?

Ian Seath, a great friend and collaborator of IPFD has provided a clearly and thoughtfully profiled an article from our Partners at The Kennel Club in the UK in his post: NEARLY 20 YEARS OF DNA TESTING – WHAT CAN WE LEARN? Ian does a great job of summarizing and highlighting the material in this important paper and I will let you read his coverage, and, as he suggests, the original paper: "I don’t want to dwell on the detail of the research; you can read that for yourself, here

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Latest on brachycephalics from Sweden

IPFD has an ongoing role to report on international activities for health and welfare for dogs and to serve as an information hub. Issues with brachycephalic dogs continue to be at the forefront of health efforts by many stakeholders.  Our partners at the Swedish Kennel Club have recently posted information on two initiatives involving 'Trubbnosar' (short nosed) breeds. 1. We previously posted information on the activities of the SKK in brachycephalic health , as well as, a new, c

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018

French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018

I was honored to address the French Bulldog Club of America at their National Specialty in Louisville, KY on October 31st, 2018. The invitation came from the Health & Genetics Committee of the French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA).  This invitation was prompted by my presentation on the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing initiative at the AKC-CHF Health Conference in St. Louis in August 2017.  Jan Grebe, Calvin Dykes and the others on the Committee stressed that  the "club is dedic

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

"We do this for the dogs' sake"

I have frequently heard people say that what they are doing is 'for the dogs''  when it might seem it is mainly for their own goals.- but the Swedish Kennel Club has posted an informative video about the Breed Specific Instructions that makes it clear that the only goal with this program is to promote the health and welfare of dogs.   Renowned judges explain why they think their role in promoting health and welfare is so important.  We have lots of information on the BSI and the Swedish Breed-Sp

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

European Parliament event:  Health Before Looks

European Parliament event: Health Before Looks

Health before looks -- Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats This message was delivered to the European Parliament at an event organized by our Collaborating Partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) together with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe(FVE). (Download PDF below.) This event was "aimed at ending the unnecessary suffering of dogs and 

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

AKC-CHF 2017 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference

Last weekend I was honored to participate in the 2017 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference presented by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and Nestlé Purina PetCare, in St. Louis, Missouri.  It is always great to interact with breeders and club reps that are so committed to the health and welfare of their dogs and their breeds.       This meeting is a mix of breeders (106 parent clubs represented!), vets, and researchers and includes Board members from some of the coll

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

3rd International Dog Health Workshop - Paris - Success!

The stellar group of participants at the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop (3rd IDHW) came to collaborate and we really put them to work.  The attendees, who certainly engaged and challenged and stimulated each other, accomplished a lot and it seems they are going home extremely satisfied with the experience.  More importantly, the majority have committed to participate in specific actions, with clear objectives, goals, timelines and deliverables.  There is a clear potential for real mo

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

3rd International Dog Health Workshop - Paris - Starts Friday!

People are starting to arrive in Paris for the 3rd IDHW !   Paris in the spring is living up to its reputation with sunshine and flowering trees.  Too bad we will keep our delegate inside working hard for the dogs for 2 days!   We are expecting about 135 delegates from 24 countries.  We have vets and breeders, researchers and judges, experts in welfare and behaviour, genetic advisors, various non-profits, industry representatives, dog owners... and more... so a wide array of

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Veterinary Record: "Brachycephalic tipping point: time to push the button? "

Health and welfare issues continue to be in media, with a comment  in the latest issue of The Veterinary Record entitled "Brachycephalic tipping point: time to push the button?" and a report: "It's now time to curb advertising using flat-faced dogs, say vets".  The latter has comments from industry representatives, researchers, vets and others.  Many in the UK are alarmed at the burgeoning popularity of these dogs.  As Caroline Kisko, of The Kennel Club states, for all breeds, less than a third

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

3rd International Dog Health Workshop - There's still time to join us in Paris!

Approaching fast – but there are still places available at the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop hosted by the French Kennel Club in Paris 21-23 April 2017  - Register here!   Why not join us in Paris for a truly interactive working meeting of international decision-leaders in dog health and welfare.  We already have people registered from over 20 countries, including breeders, kennel club health advisors, communication experts, Directors and Presidents; veterinarians; resear

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

JAVMA Article on Genetic Testing Includes IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is to be commended on its attention to the complex and quickly evolving world of genetic testing and dog breeding! Their article on:  Genetic panel testing for breeds and hereditary disorders promises insights for dog owners, breeders, and veterinarians:                                   Unlocking the genetic secrets of your dog in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) AVMA's new policy encourages resea

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

  • International Dog Health Workshops

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    What our 4th IDHW participants have said...

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    ...Now, the real work begins!
     

    View 4th IDHW Theme Resources

    Post-Meeting Resources
    Plenary talks, Posters & Theme outcomes

  • Our Partners

    • Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club (DKC)) is the official kennel club of The Netherlands. Founded in 1902, it currently represents around 200 breed clubs with 150,000 members.   …
    • The VDH - Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club in English) is the foremost organisation representing the interests of dog-owners throughout Germany – the first address to find ou…
    • The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada and currently recognizes 175 breeds. As a non-profit organization, the CKC is dedicated to encouraging, guidi…
    • The French Kennel Club - SOCIÉTÉ CENTRALE CANINE (SCC) - was founded in 1881 as a non-profit organization by dog fanciers aiming to replenish native dog breeds and to bring in and establish foreign…
    • The Kennel Club is the largest organization in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.   …
    • Agria Djurförsäkring (Agria Animal Insurance) is one of the world's leading animal insurers specialising in small animal and equine insurance. The company dominates Scandinavian pet insurance and h…
    • Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal and equine insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent feat…
    • The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKC) was founded in 1898, and is the largest organisation for dog owners in Norway.   Website: https://www.nkk.no/english/category1045.html Norwegian Kennel Club…
    • The Irish Kennel Club promotes the responsible ownership and breeding of dogs throughout Ireland through education, registration, training and support schemes and events.   Website: http://…
    • Suomen Kennelliitto (Finnish Kennel Club, in English) - Established in 1889, the Finnish Kennel Club is a nationwide expert organisation on canine matters. Its aim is to promote the breeding of ped…
    • The OFA was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, the OFA is no longer an IPFD Partner.    Founded and originally incorporated as a private no…
    • Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through H…
    •   Mars Veterinary is a business unit of Mars Petcare, the world’s largest pet care provider. Their mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship bet…
    • The FCI was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, FCI is no longer an IPFD Partner.   The Fédération Cynologique Internationale is the World C…
    • The SKK - Svenka Kennelklubben (Swedish Kennel Club, in English), is Sweden's largest organisation dedicated to dogs and dog owners. We represent the interests of our 300,000 members – first time d…
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