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About this blog

Deep thoughts from the CEO of IPFD

Entries in this blog

FECAVA video: Please don't buy flat-faced animals

FECAVA video: Please don't buy flat-faced animals The Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (an IPFD Collaborating Partner) has come out with a powerful new video bringing the voices of veterinary practitioners together in a plea for people not to buy brachycephalic - flat-faced - animals. As we have been discussing and blogging (see links below) - the incredible popularity of these animals has led to increased stress and anguish for veterinarians throughout t

The Great Divide -  Responses to Challenges in Extreme Breeds

The Great Divide - Responses to Challenges in Extreme Breeds Last week (Oct 2021) saw postings of two initiatives related to brachycephalic (flat-faced) and other extreme breeds.  One was information on legal questions being put forward to demand that the UK Kennel Club not register ‘non-standard colours’ of certain breeds. The second was posters erected in, I believe, subway stations warning people of the problems of various breeds. The first is essentially a complaint about colours t

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett in Brenda's blog

Good Breeders follow ALL their puppies! And share the data.

We are always struggling with defining good breeders, and it is a true challenge.  But I have been talking about this topic lately, so thought I would blog on: Good Breeders follow ALL their puppies! And share the data. This is one thing that there is really no good excuse for not doing, so kennel and breed club breeders - anyone who considers themselves a 'good breeder' should do their best in this regard.  This was one topic I discussed in a recent talk to the Rhodesian Ridgeback Clu

The Relatedness of Breeds - A fun, interactive resource with some cautions

The Relatedness of Breeds - A fun, interactive resource with some cautions ...see references below... The Guardian has come out with an interactive tool for looking a the relatedness between breeds.  Based on 'clades' (genetic groupings) research and genomic work by by Heidi Parker and Elaine Ostrander's team, it is an interesting resource.  Click on your breed - see what others breeds it is related to.  Fun! But there are a couple of cautions that apply: This is great wor

Veterinarians and Brachycephalic Dogs - Ethics and Reality

Veterinarians and Brachycephalic Dogs - Ethics and Reality   I have been starting to read the new textbook, Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals - A Complete Guide for Veterinary and Animal Professionals, Edited By Rowena Packer, Dan O'Neill; Copyright Year 2021 (ref below). This book has two parts.  The first part offers a group of articles on the backgrounds, history, ethics, international developments, and other aspects that define and impinge on the heal

4th International Dog Health Workshop - 2 Years On

4th International Dog Health Workshop - 2 Years On   Facebook reminded me that two years ago today we had just wrapped up the 4th IDHW in Windsor, UK - co-hosted by the Kennel Club. It was a great event, in beautiful surroundings.                 Our catchphrase for the IDHWs is captured in the workshop logo - and as described in our publications on the workshop, e.g. Moving from Information and Collaboration to Action:  Report f

Artificial Insemination in Dogs - Recent Information and Misinformation

Artificial Insemination in Dogs - Recent Information and Misinformation   A recent post(s) on CRUFFA re: "Good news! Another step in law enforcement in the Netherlands. Standard artificial insemination is forbidden in the Netherlands for dogbreeding." is an inaccurate or, at best, incomplete description of the situation. Even if if were true, celebrating a total elimination of artificial insemination (A.I.) in dogs would be ill-advised and inappropriate.  CRUFFA moderator Jemima H

Is it "tough talk" or "open dialogue" - and why is it a challenge in the dog world?

Is "tough talk" or "open dialogue" - and why is it a challenge in the dog world?   As often happens, the same topic comes up several times in a short space of time - and from different sources and angles. Someone asked me why do many kennel clubs not record or link any health information to pedigrees, when in most countries kennel clubs are under a mandate to not only register dogs, but also to protect the health of those for whom they are responsible?  Explanations might include

The Big Picture - in the Dog World as a Whole and for your next Breeding Decision

The Big Picture - in the Dog World as a Whole and for your next Breeding Decision Note: This topic was prompted partly by IPFD's participation in the Canine Health Summit (videos available) put on by Embark Veterinary. See our Q&A article on breeding and genetics topics here. My last blog in 2020 was on the Big Picture in the dog world - it was about Reframing Discussions, globally.  Based on our document...the blog describes a webinar and links to presentations discussing all the

Linebreeding vs. Inbreeding – Let’s be perfectly clear.

Linebreeding vs. Inbreeding – Let’s be perfectly clear. Note: This topic was prompted partly by IPFD's participation in the Canine Health Summit put on by Embark Veterinary. See our Q&A article on breeding and genetics topics here. Inbreeding is the mating of related individuals – that is those who have one or more relatives in common. Linebreeding is not simply a form of inbreeding – it IS inbreeding.   How close that inbreeding is depends on the selection of individuals with

Reframing Discussions - What is needed for progress?

Reframing Discussions - What is needed for progress? A webinar sponsored by the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG), the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-LAW) and Our Dogs Magazine. December 1st, 2020 saw well over a hundred concerned and committed dog people joined virtually in discussions with IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett. Organized and spearheaded by Marc Abraham, BVM&S MRCVS, and Lisa Cameron, MP. In September, IPFD published an article entitled: Re

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett in Brenda's blog

Responsible Breeding and Sourcing of Dogs - Bonnett Swedish Vet Congress Oct 2020

I was honoured to participate - virtually - in the Swedish Veterinary Congress in October. This talk, as requested by the organizer looks primarily at the veterinarian's responsibility in issues related to responsible breeding, current legislative and regulatory actions, and various controversial issues in dog health and welfare - including extremes of conformation.  It also addresses concerns about how importing of dogs might impact the situation. Sweden historically has a population

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett in Brenda's blog

German Shepherds - Research confirms the obvious??

According to a press release from the University of Surrey in the UK:  "Movement of German Shepherd Dogs is dependent on their shape".     Perhaps most people might first respond like I did, i.e. No Kidding! I do not think it takes an anatomist or veterinarian or experienced dog person to think that the dogs in these images might 'move differently' and that it likely would have something to do with their shape. But hey.  We all try to find catchy titles for press release

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett in Brenda's blog

Our Dogs Newspaper: IPFD and our Call for Collective Actions for Dog Health and Welfare

Our Dogs Newspaper: IPFD and our Call for Collective Actions for Dog Health and Welfare Our Dogs Newsletter is a respected and highly subscribed information source, especially for the dog show community, in the UK and around the world.  Our Dogs is a subscription-only site, however, articles can be purchased.     We are pleased and grateful that they have not only shared our Reframing Current Challenges Around Pedigree Dogs A Call for Respectful Dialogue, Collaboration,

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett in brenda's 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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

"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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

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