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  • The International Partnership for Dogs

    The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is a non-profit organization leading a global, multi-stakeholder effort to enhance dog health, well-being, and welfare.

    • This year has been challenging for all organizations globally.  However, IPFD has fared well.  We have always been a ‘virtual’-based operation, with all consultants working from home.  Building on our 2019 Annual Report: A Growing Voice, this milestones document is meant to update our Partners and Sponsors on our activities in 2020. – Dr. Brenda Bonnett, CEO

      (click to download/share as a PDF):

      IPFD Milestones December 2020.pdf


      Message from the Canadian Kennel Club: “CKC’s membership in the International Partnership for Dogs, and participation in the biennial Dog Health Workshop and the international working group for extremes in conformation has strengthened Canada’s position internationally on critical and strategic issues such as conformation standards development, health strategies and breeding Brachycephalic dogs. Closer to home, it has helped CKC to improved awareness and confidence in CKC with breeders, government and the general public that health and well-being of purebred dogs is top of mind.”


      IPFD Operations

      IPFD Board

      • IPFD transitioned in three new Board members, from the USA and Germany. In November, we introduced our newest Board Member, Alexandre Balzer, and thanked Gregoire Leroy for his contributions as he stepped away from the Board. The Board has added new committees to increase its effectiveness. The IPFD Communications and Fundraising Committees held five virtual meetings and will be looking to expand with external members in 2021 to broaden representation. See Board and Officer profiles.


      • Monique Megens joined as IPFD's first Chief Operating Officer (COO). Her impressive credentials have assisted us in streamlining administrative functions and address growth and sustainability.
      • IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett has been named honorary doctor at the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU) Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry.
      • Cancelled all planned travel and face-to-face meetings without substantive impact.

      Partners and Sponsors


      • Published 2019 Annual Report: A Growing Voice. In our fifth year we continued to effectively advance our mission of enhancing dog health, well-being, and welfare and supporting human-dog interactions.
      • Enhanced messaging and branding for IPFD with new “About IPFD” section on highlighting who we are, what we do, and how and where we work.
      • New plans to increase our visibility in the dog world. For example, WSAVA collaboration, and plans to distribute content for breed clubs and media.
      • Published seven issues of DogWellNet Digest, a newsletter sent to all members, highlighting new content and featuring a spotlight on major current issues, e.g. 'Pandemic Puppies' and Brachycephalic issues.
      • Social Media: expanding reach with more posts and followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


      Major Initiatives is the hub for our major initiatives – where the fantastic resources, information, and tools are available to all. In 2020, content has expanded with dozens of new articles and blogs, in addition to resources from our major initiatives (below). As all the pieces of the puzzle of dog health and welfare continue to be compiled, we are advancing also in our role to promote the Big Picture… i.e. a truly holistic approach integrating across stakeholders, topics, and regions and bringing the dog world together. 

      International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs)

      • A report on the 4th IDHW was published in the online journal Canine Medicine and Genetics. Actions prioritized at that meeting are underway, and outcomes are being realized.
      • Prioritized in the Extremes theme at the 4th IDHW, the new International Working Group on Extreme Conformation in Dogs (IWGECD) has been enacted. It will facilitate creating and sharing resources across national/ international working groups, experts, and other stakeholders. First focused on challenges with brachycephalic breeds, it will eventually address other issues related to extremes of conformation.
      • Significant advancement of actions under Genetics (validation of tests, breed relevance reporting, laboratory standards), Breed Health Strategies, and Supply and Demand are ongoing.
      • There may be a virtual meeting in 2021, and the IDHW in 2022 may be in Canada – stay tuned!

      Breeds Database

      Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

      • The HGTD Database now includes listings for 82 international test providers and 45 actively participating GTPs in 22 countries.
      • The database includes 346 phenes, with gene and mutations provided, links to research, clinical information, and additional publications. 195 phenes have at least 1 breed-specific reference, with most phenes also having additional breed-specific information on test usage or application in the breed(s).
      • Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) support evidence-based usage and application of genetic tests. BRRs are a way to capture current research, and expert opinion on breed-specific tests, as well as many crossbreeds. Canine health specialists, as well as dog owners, can use BRR to more easily identify tests that may be important to consider in health and breeding decisions.
      • Complimentary to BRR, the information gathered in producing BRRs has added significantly to our phene database, providing more breed-specific research links, contributions from Breed Clubs, researcher commentary, and test application recommendations.
      • Despite only launching this year, more than half of the almost 2000 breed-specific phenes have been assessed for a Breed Relevance Rating. This represents hundreds of hours searching and reviewing research papers, liaising with international researchers and experts, and cross-referencing with external research groups and databases. Significant contributions for review and inclusion have come from breed experts representing years of experience as breed health liaisons, health advocates, and breed clubs and councils.
      • Breed-specific genetic testing information is being integrated into Get a GRIHP! developments.
      • A 3-tiered system for commercial participant has been revised: Sponsors, Supporters, and Participants.  We are having good response to our annual request for donations from the test providers.
      • This year also saw a major change in our HGTD page display, showing not only all breed-specific tests, but also tests available to all dogs, in one easy search. For those breeds who do not currently have any breed-specific tests available, they are linked to closely associated breed options. Four major database reviews were undertaken to improve and update gene and mutation information, links to our research collaborators and peer-reviewed publications, and accommodate the expanding breed-specific information.
      • Twelve entries in the new HGTD & Genetic Testing blog, providing regular updates on our expanding genetic testing resources.

      Bringing it all together: Let’s Get a GRIHP!

      Dog problems are complex and require a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach. The pieces of the health puzzle are addressed by: breed clubs identifying conditions of interest in their breed, kennel club recommendations/requirements, researchers studying disease and population statistics, genetic test providers’ offerings, national population stats - and all this must be integrated. Use and interpretation of genetic tests, e.g. needs to be balanced with other disease risks and health and welfare concerns. Veterinarians, owners, breeders, and health advisors need tools to help them pull it all together. 

      IPFD’s answer is to Get a GRIHP! - a Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profile. IPFD is creating a series of articles on the Big Picture of health and welfare within breeds as resources for veterinarians, owners, caretakers, breeders and others who want to understand the key issues for individual dogs and breed populations, internationally; under the 'Get a GRIHP!' initiative. Creating the GRIHP profiles involved not only working with our existing resources (Agria data files and RAS/JTO) but included consultation with breed specialist collaborators as well as collection of data available via IPFD Partner's tools and resources. Use of KC tools from several countries allowed us to create a more 'global' view of breed-specific health profiles.

      Ultimately, we are working to establish the Health Strategies Database for Dogs (HSSD) that will be an interactive resource of health strategy information from many stakeholders and collaborators. Structured similarly to the HGTD, but with information on all conditions of interest in a breed.


      Reframing Current Challenges Around Pedigree Dogs


      IPFD – Into 2021

      Controversies and challenges to dogs internationally continue to underline the need for broad-based collaboration and the impartial voice of IPFD. Initially we were concerned about impact on our Partners due to COVID-19 and associated challenges; however, it seems that with increased dog registrations in 2020, our funding base from most of our existing kennel club partners, e.g., will be stable. And yet, our big ideas need further support. In 2021, we will step up our outreach to enlist new supporters and secure additional revenue through enhanced fundraising efforts. Watch for our 2020 Annual Report early in the new year.







  • Our Signature Work


    Our Platform -


   is the online platform for IPFD and is a curated information hub as well as housing resources to support actions by IPFD and its Partners and Collaborators.




    International Dog Health Workshops



    The IPFD's signature events, the IDHWs bring together decision makers from professional, regulatory, national and regional, welfare and other organisations that are stakeholders in dog health, well-being and welfare and human-dog interactions under the tagline 'From Information and Collaboration to Action'. The 5th IDHW takes place 13-16 June 2024, in Espoo, Finland and will be co-hosted by the Finnish Kennel Club.




    Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Database


    The HGTD Database catalogs information provided voluntarily from genetic test providers (GTPs) including information on their company and services, quality measures and expertise, tests offered and more. We are continually engaging more GTP participants. IPFD has collated and assembled existing and new resources for genetic counselling and education and provided the foundation for further developments.




    Health Strategies Database for Dogs


    The HSDD Database includes breed-specific health/mentality testing requirements and recommendations established by Health Strategy Providers (HSPs) including kennel clubs, breed clubs, veterinary organizations, and others.



    Pedigree Breeds Database



    As of September 2023, our Pedigree Breeds Database lists 184 breeds. Information includes breed standards, population data, club newsletters, breed databases, videos and much more. Sections on Native Breeds and Additional Resources including Agria Breed Profiles; Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profile (GRIHP) articles, which describe the Big Picture of health on (all) conditions that are of interest within a breed; and associated IPFD WSAVA Meet the Breed articles are available. Many thanks to breed experts and clubs who share information on their breed with the Community.




    IPFD ANNUAL REPORT 2022 - Cover.png




    Download IPFD's 2022 Annual Report: A New Chapter



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