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About this blog

Deep thoughts from the CEO of IPFD

Entries in this blog

How Beliefs and Attitudes about Dog Health and Welfare Limit Behaviour Change - Four Years On

This week is the anniversary of the First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare that took place in the UK 2016. All the talks are on their YouTube channel. See our article following the Conference. I was honoured to give a presentation - and in that process to learn about the knowledge, methodology, and tools available from human behaviour change theory and practice to help us. My talk is posted on the HBC's YouTube channel under the title:  How Bel

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Metrics, Process and CULTURE! Impacts on discussions on health and welfare of dogs

Ian Seath has again stimulated our 'little grey cells' and maybe even touched on some emotions, attitudes, and even deep-seated beliefs in his DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE post (23 June 2020): CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST! Catchy title - firstly - where does that come from, and what does it mean? "Management Guru Peter Drucker famously stated that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, What does "culture eats strategy" mean for you and your organization?              

Happy Birthday, OMIA - a lynch-pin in the development of genetic testing

Congratulations to the University of Sydney and OMIA - the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals database.  25 years old 25 May 2020.  Check out the celebration webpage here. This amazing resource underpins research and education on genetics in many species and has been a key support for advancement in the world of dog genetics and genomics. The development and maintenance of this fantastic database is due to the input and support of many academics, researchers, and others, man

Not all puppies from health-tested parents will be healthy!

And not all dams and sires with 'clear' test results will be good choices for breeding. Oh, would that life and breeding decisions could be made easy!  But every experienced breeder knows that nothing is simple.  Breeding and inheritance and health and temperament are very complex issues - each on their own -  and combined they constitute a puzzle with no guaranteed solutions.  With the increased availability of genetic testing, with its media-inspired aura of high-tech infallibility and di

COVID-19 - a novel experience for dogs and people

Sources of accurate and relevant COVID-19 information for your dog, your puppies and you. In the face of the great uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on pets and pet owners, many veterinary and regulatory organizations have been providing excellent information and advice, as have kennel and breed organizations.  It is important to remember that recommendations and restrictions vary depending on location and owners need to access and follow local recommendations, especially as t

"DOGS ARE FOR LIFE, not just for Coronavirus."

The wonderful thing about our IPFD collaborator, brilliant person, and incredibly knowledgeable dog person Ian Seath, is that, when major issues are at foot, my procrastination at commenting is rewarded by him posting an article that says almost everything I wish I would have said.  All that is left for me to do is to add a few comments and send it out. This is very true for his latest installment on his platform Dog-Ed:  COVID-19: A (dog) world of unanticipated consequences Ian

Every step we take...

After watching to play the video  again use the controls and select "Replay" ⟲... or select from other displayed IPFD videos. It seems that every day - in the world of dogs and the world beyond - we see decisions made that may work for part of a problem, but because they do not take into account the complex reality of the bigger picture, they are unlikely to be fully effective. Every step we take at IPFD reminds me of this interconnectedness - and of the need for IPFD's international, mult

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Do you know that veterinary well-being is a big issue?

This blog is going to be a little different.  Still about health and well-being...  but this time about veterinarians and the veterinary community.  Many of you may not realize that every veterinary conference now has a major stream on the well-being of veterinarians, themselves. On self-care, and caretaker fatigue, and mental health.  And on suicide prevention. You may not have seen this Time article: Veterinarians Face Unique Issues That Make Suicide One of the Profession's Big Worries, b

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Breed Health... What is your vision?

Once again our IPFD friend and collaborator Ian Seath has come out with a thought provoking but practical article. In BREED HEALTH AT THE START OF A NEW DECADE – WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR 2030?  on the DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE site, Ian does several things: Makes it personal - by sharing what he himself is doing - as a breeder, as chair of the Dachshund Breed Council in the UK, as the leader of the Breed-Specific Health Strategies theme at the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

French Kennel Club Photo Library

Congratulations to our Partners and Collaborators at Société Centrale Canine (SCC)- The French Kennel Club.  Having had the privilege to visit their offices and their amazing library, many times, I am happy today to share links to their wonderful online library of images.   (Note:  the images here are screen captures... the actual images online of even higher quality.)   See La Photothéque     Old and new.... dog shows, events, military history, cultural treasures

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Defining Breeders - It is not just about volume

Another interesting post from our IPFD friend and collaborator and Dachshund Breed Health Council Coordinator Ian Seath. Following his insightful discussion about puppy socialization that was prompted by reports of increased numbers of mini-dachs [(see here)] he has provided a classification of breeders to help define sources of puppies (see: Breeders, the good, the bad and the future).  I think it is important emphasize his message and to add a few further comments. As was discussed i

IPFD and DogWellNet 2019-2020: Looking Back and Moving Forward

In our final installment of the Digest for 2019, we are putting the spotlight on 2019 milestones, and looking forward to 2020 – which promises to be a pivotal year for IPFD and DogWellNet.com.   In 2019, our fifth full year of operation, we focused our efforts on several key initiatives, including: the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD); the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW); the continued growth of DogWellNet.com and our online community. We provided an independe

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Genetic Diversity: The Big Picture and Challenging Issues

What a great weekend of education - with the Canadian Kennel Club and about 170 participants, including breeders with a range of experience from over 40 years to novices.   Speakers Dr. Kari Ekenstedt, a geneticist from Purdue University in Indiana and IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett covered 'everything you need to know to understand genetic testing' in a clear, concise and entertaining series of talks. Interactive discussions with the many knowledgeable, committed attendees were interesting and tho

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

DNA tests - DM - AKC-CHF Webinar

Following discussions at the August 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference, DogWellNet.com's collaborators at AKC-CHF hosted a webinar available for viewing at VetVine, Canine Degenerative Myelopathy: From Gene Mutation Discovery to Clinical Trials (free VetVine registration required). Dr. Joan Coates' presentation (free VetVine registration required) gave a detailed overview of the disease and current research, including veterinary and human applica

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Client-Centered Communication for Euthanasia - for Vets and Pet Owners

I just listened to The role of client communication and euthanasia for the veterinarian | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Podcasts with Professor Jane Shaw from Colorado State University. What a great explanation of aspects of best practices in communication on sensitive issues like euthanasia and of the gaps there can be across pet owner and veterinarian perceptions. This is worth listening to for both vets AND for anyone who has had, or will have, the experience of humanely l

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

"When 23 and Me Has Gone to the Dogs" - Balancing Challenges and Benefits

An article in The Canine Chronicle October, 2019, by Caroline Coile, is entitled: When 23 and Me Has Gone to the Dogs.  PDF-Reprint version It is a summary of some of the discussions and presentations at the 2019 AKC CHF National Parent Club Canine Health Conference.  I have already written a blog on my experiences speaking and participating at that meeting: AKC-CHF SYMPOSIUM: Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed-Specific Resources, where I cover some of the same ground at Ms. Co

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Owners' perception of 'responsible dog ownership'

Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals (HBC) posted an interesting article today.  The original paper is: The Responsible Dog Owner: The Construction of Responsibility from Carri Westgarth and others at the University of Liverpool, UK. The research article is published here. Their key message is: While “responsible dog ownership” has considerable appeal as a concept, how it is perceived and interpreted varies so extensively that simply telling owners that they

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

Confidentiality and Genetic Testing: more benefits and risks

The parallels between human and dog testing are many, especially in terms of the challenges (and potential) arising from the market move to Direct-to-Consumer testing in both species.  I talked about these issues in my presentation to the AVMA conference.     In the slide here, I make the point that in recent years there have been rapid changes, not only in the fantastic and ongoing developments in science and technology, but also in terms of how and why genetic testing is a

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

IPFD at 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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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