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Brenda Bonnett

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About Brenda Bonnett

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Region
    North America
  • Location
    Georgian Bluffs, Ontario, Canada
  • Country
  • Current Affiliation
    International Partnership for Dogs, CEO
  • Position / Title
  • Interests
    Dog Breeding
    Dog Health
    Legal/Regulatory Issues
    Kennel Clubs
    Human-Dog Interactions
  • Academic Credentials
    Bachelors degree
    Veterinary degree (e.g. DVM)
  • Expertise/Proficiencies
    Dog Health/Veterinary Medicine
    Dog Breeding
    Human-Animal Interactions
  • Specific Breed(s) of Interest
    Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Breed Club Rep; Board Member or Breeding/ Health Committee member
  • Attended an International Dog Health Workshop
  • Theme attended at 3rd IDHW in Paris
    IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs

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  1. IPFD's Annual Reports summarize our achievements and preview our plans for the future IPFD Annual Report 2018: Hitting Our Stride IPFD Annual Report 2018 - Web (1).pdf IPFD Annual Report 2018 - In German IPFD 2018 - German Summary (1).pdf IPFD Annual Report 2017: Building for the Future IPFD Annual Report 2017 Final for Web (2).pdf IPFD Annual Report 2016: A Community Growing Strong IPFD Annual Report 2016 (1).pdf IPFD Annual Report 2016 - en Français IPFD Annual Report 2016 - français (1).pdf IPFD Annual Report 2015: A Community Takes Shape IPFD Annual Report 2015 (1).pdf
  2. IPFD Officers and Board Brenda Bonnett - CEO, International Partnership for Dogs - Canada As the driving force behind the creation of IPFD and the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Brenda is responsible for the development and operation of the IPFD including Partnership building, programs and projects, and more. Formerly tenured faculty at the Ontario Veterinary College, Brenda is a veterinarian and Consulting Epidemiologist. Her research and projects in Europe and North America include, e.g., development of national and international programs with kennel clubs; extensive work with / publications on animal insurance data; human-animal interactions, numerous pet welfare initiatives spanning the National Council on Pet Overpopulation (1993) and, e.g., for the American Humane Association: Cat Welfare Forum (Sept. 2013) and Keeping Pets (Dogs and Cats) in Homes: A Three-Phase Retention Study. As Lead Scientist at Morris Animal Foundation (2010) she assisted in development of the (now titled) Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Brenda is a frequent speaker on topics of animal health, welfare and human animal interactions at scientific meetings (e.g. Waltham-WSAVA Welfare symposium at the North American Veterinary Conference, 2013); plenary at Association of International Human Animal Interactions Organizations, Stockholm 2010, as well as to many stakeholders in the dog world, i.e., breed and kennel clubs, judges and veterinarians. Since the autumn of 2011 Brenda has spearheaded the work which has resulted in the creation of the IPFD and DogWellNet.com. Academic: BSc, DVM, PhD Papers (79) in refereed journals: 60 companion animals/ human-animal interactions/ education, 11 food animal, 8 horse; Co-author of book chapters: Selective Breeding, in Companion Animal Ethics: Sandoe, P, Corr, S and Palmer, C. (in preparation); Epidemiology and the Evidence-Based Medicine Approach, in Withrow and Vail / Small Animal Clinical Oncology, 5th Edition. Saunders, 2012; Evidence-Based Medicine: Critical Evaluation of New and Existing Therapies, in Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine. A.M. Schoen, S.G. Wynn (ed), Mosby, 1998. Supervisor/Co-advisor of 12 Doctoral (PhD, DVSc) and 10 MSC students; examiner on numerous qualifying exams and thesis defences. Other affiliation: President, B Bonnett Consulting, Canada Pekka Olsen - Chair, IPFD Board - Sweden Veterinarian 1975, DVM, DR. h.c. (Honorary Doctorate Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) 2013. Clinician/lecturer at the faculty of veterinary medicine, SLU, 1976 – 1996. Working at Agria Animal Insurance since 1996 and ongoing where he has had various roles including Veterinary Manager, Marketing Manager, Managing Director of Agria Pet Insurance, in the UK. Currently: Manager for Veterinary Strategies, Agria Animal Insurance, Sweden Chair, Swedish Kennel Club (re-elected to 2nd term in 2019) Vice Chair, Hundstallet (Swedish dog shelter and humane organization) On the boards of the Agria/SKK Research Fund; the Swedish/Norwegian horse research foundation, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and Tröfast AB (an IT company providing service to 50% of Swedish veterinary practices). Bill Lambert - Vice Chair IPFD Board, UK Bill Lambert is Head of Health and Welfare at the Kennel Club, where he has worked since 2005. He has overall responsibility for their numerous health and welfare initiatives, which include the Breed Health and Conservation Plans, tools for breeders to help breed healthy dogs and the numerous health schemes that the Kennel Club are involved in as well as having overall responsibility for Kennel Club Breed Rescue. In addition, he is the chief Kennel Club spokesperson, and as such represents the KC both in the media and on internal and external committees and groups, including in Parliament. He is an IEMA approved Lead Auditor and formulated the process for assessing breeders’ premises on behalf of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme – the Kennel Club is the only body worldwide currently able to provide UKAS certification to dog breeders. Bill is also a recognised authority on the Bull Terrier Breed, is a successful breeder and judge, and was former Vice-Chair of the Bull Terrier Club as well as being a volunteer for The Bull Terrier Club (UK) Welfare Trust. He has lobbied for changes to the Dangerous Dogs act since its inception in 1991. His previous career involved providing customer service where he has a long history in raising and applying accreditation standards as well as being involved in the specialised IT and print industries, where he ran a successful printing business for a number of years as well as being employed in the advertising industry, where he was responsible for the delivery of the world’s largest newspaper advertising campaign. Currently: Senior Health & Welfare Manager, The Kennel Club Peter Friedrich – IPFD Board Member - Germany Education and Profession Studies in Psychology and Biology; Professor for Psychology and Criminology : Analysis of extremely violent actions, especially cases of murder in the context of investigations, when the offender is unidentified, in the context of interrogation and questioning of accused, suspects and witnesses, in the context of court cases, in the context of prevention Memberships: Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub since 1980, Deutscher Windhundzucht- und Rennverband since 2000, Deutscher Doggen Club 1888 since 2005 Breeding and Racing Society 2008 - 2011 Working Judge (IPO, FH, BH) since 1990; Specialist Breed Judge since 2008 Honouring : Großes Hundeführer-Sportabzeichen mit Kranz of the German Kennel Club (VDH) 1989 Kennel Rottweiler "vom Sternbogen" together with Elvira and Reinhold Mühle and Manfred Mayer; Tahuara's Greyhounds and Sloughis , Owner: Heide Friedrich (Teamwork) Currently: President of the German Kennel Club (VDH) since 2009 Professor for Psychology and Criminology Kirsi Sainio – IPFD Board Member - Finland Education: Ph.D., University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine 1998 Adjunct Professor in Developmental Biology, University of Helsinki 1999 - ;Principal Investigator, Institute of Biomedicine, Biochemistry and Developmental Biology 2003 – ; Senior University Lecturer, Institute of Biomedicine 2008 – Research Activities: 50 original scientific articles; Other publications: 15 (chapters in books, reviews); Supervisor of numerous Ph.Ds and master’s thesis Public Relationships: Specialist in Radio Broadcasting and TV news and special programs (Finnish Broadcasting Company News, Finnish Broadcasting Company Prisma-program; Swedish Radio Vega etc.), interviews to Newspapers; Numerous articles in magazines Currently: Member of the Board of The Finnish Kennel Club 2008 Finnish Kennel Club: Chair of the Breeding and Scientific Commission Finnish Kennel Club: Chair of the DNA-group Nordic Kennel Union: Chair of the Scientific Committee and DNA-group Fédération Cynologique Internationale; Scientific Commission, member Fédération Cynologique Internationale; Breeding Commission, member and secretary Finnish Kennel Club: conformation judge (FCI group 3; Terriers) The Skye Terrier Club of America, Health Committee Chairperson Skye Terriers since 1974, breeder (prefix of Skyeline). Dave Eikelberg – IPFD Board Member - USA Dave Eikelberg lives in Knoxville, Tennessee in the USA and has been married 38 years to his wife Kennetha. They have one son (an attorney in Boston, Massachusetts), and Dave and Kennetha are expecting their first grandchild in January of 2020. Dave grew up on an apple orchard in Indiana and learned the value of hard work. He later joined the United States Navy as a propulsion engineer and served in the Pacific and Atlantic fleets earning commendations and an honorable discharge. From the Navy, Dave went directly into industry refueling commercial nuclear power plants and eventually went on to work at the Department of Energy as a nuclear safety analyst, where he currently works. Throughout those years Dave earned a Master’s degree in Information Technology and completed all his coursework for a PhD in Business specializing in Project Management. He also became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute. Throughout all those years, Dave and Kennetha enjoyed raising and breeding dogs of many types including Maltese, Boxer, Bull Dog, Afghan Hounds, and currently, they breed Black Russian Terriers. Their four Black Russian Terriers, Zeus, Enya, Hunter, and Saphira keep them busy and passionate about responsible breeding, health testing advocacy, and the future health of canines throughout the world. His work with the Black Russian Terrier Club is an example of his dedication to canines of all types as he is developing a health research program in cooperation with various U.S. institutional research organizations to benefit the BRT. Dave looks forward to bringing his business, financial, and practical dog breeding and rearing experience to the IPFD and helping to further the position of the IPFD as the global leader in canine advocacy. Marty Greer - IPFD Board Member - USA Dr. Marty Greer received her Bachelor of Science in 1978, her DVM in 1981 from Iowa State University, and her JD in 2010 from Marquette Law School. Dr. Greer and her husband, Dr. Dan Griffiths, own Veterinary Village and International Canine Semen Bank WI-IL. She has a special interest in Pediatrics, Small Animal Reproduction and behavior. They have 2 married grown children, Katy (Tim Anderson) and Karl (Kelly) and one grandson, Jorin. In addition, they raise and show Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Danish-Swedish Farmdogs (and Bengal cats in the past). Her family has raised six puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, a bona fide service dog program that trains all varieties of assistance dogs except those for visually impaired handlers. She is Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health, a catalog company. Dr. Greer practices law part-time with her law partner, Sheila Kessler, at Animal Legal Resources, LLC. Her passion is to educate clients and keep puppies and kittens healthy. Dr. Greer's work on education and outreach extends to a wide range of breeders, e.g. through her work with AKC on the Bred by Heart program, as well as commercial breeders on topics of theriogenology, breeding standards, and kennel management. She is a serious foodie, loves beer, cooking, knitting, and photography. Dr. Greer has recently published the book: Canine Reproduction and Neonatology – for Veterinarians, Veterinary Staff, and Breeders. Currently: Veterinarian, Co-owner Veterinary Viillage, Lomira, WI; Law partner at Animal Legal Resources LLC. Gregoire Leroy– IPFD Board Member - France Grégoire Leroy hold a PhD in animal genetics. He is, assistant professor at INRA/AgroParisTech Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative joint unit since 2008. His research activities focus on characterization, sustainable management and conservation of animal genetic resources. Academic: PhD, HdR 43 peer reviewed publications; 6 chapters in book; 6 books or reports. Currently: Assistant professor at AgroParisTech and currently seconded to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club): Scientific Commission, member Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club): Breeding Commission, member Fédération Cynologique Internationale: Scientific Commission, member View Grégoire's Blog on DogWellNet.com Barbara Thiel – IPFD Board Member - Germany Education and Profession: Veterinarian, graduated in 2000 at the Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen. Worked for Royal Canin since being a student, then in the department for training and development as well as in the private label department at Fressnapf / MaxiZoo for seven years. Since 2013 and ongoing employed at Bewital petfood. Memberships: Rassezuchtverein für Hovawart-Hunde e.V. since 1991, Deutscher Windhundzucht- und Rennverband since 2002, De Greyhound Club (NL) since 2018. Co-Breeder of "Koseilata’s"-Whippets from 2003 – 2018. Doing temperament tests for breeding licenses in many different breeds for the VDH and the DWZRV since 2012. Currently: R & D, training and development, Bewital petfood, Germany Head of the Breeding Board of the German Sighthound Association (DWZRV) Liaison for IPFD at the German Kennel Club (VDH) Currently owner of 9 Skye Terriers in USA and in Finland and 1 Airedale Terrier Ulf Uddman – CFO, Sweden CEO of Svenska Kennelklubben (SKK) since 1984. Before that he was employed at EY (firm of accounts) after studying economics at the Stockholm University. Ulf has been the SKK representative in a number of governmental investigations regarding animal issues e.g. animal protection, disease control and import of pets. Representing the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in various international working groups e.g.: the development of an ISO-standard for chips for pets, FCI Task Force 2010 producing an operational plan for a modernization of FCIs activities. Currently: CEO, Swedish Kennel Club, (Svenska Kennelklubben (SKK)) Chair, Board of the Hundstallet (Swedish dog shelter and humane organization) Member of the Boards: Agria/SKK Research Fund, Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) Research Fund for Pets Monique Megens - COO - Spain Monique has a passion for companion animal health and welfare. She dedicates much of her time to help raise awareness, to liaise between stakeholders, and to help ensure companion animal health and welfare is high on the international agenda. Graduating from Utrecht University, The Netherlands (1998), Monique started her career as a companion animal veterinary practitioner. In 2008, she sold her clinic to work as an independent project manager and consultant. Monique has been involved in veterinary politics in Europe for many years, serving among many positions as the President of the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA). On behalf of FECAVA, she was a member of the joint Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) & Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) Animal Welfare Working Group. She was responsible for the European veterinary position paper on stray dogs, the position paper on (il)legal dog trade, and the position paper on the responsible breeding of dogs. Monique has been a speaker on these topics at many International conferences. Currently, she is a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Hereditary Disease Committee, a member of the Health Committee of the Dutch Kennel Club, and of course, the COO of the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD). In 2019, Monique moved to Spain. Together with her husband, her son, and her German shepherd dog, she enjoys the beautiful countryside of the island of Ibiza. IPFD Consultants Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi - HGTD Project Manager, USA Aimee is responsible for maintaining the quality and completeness of data in the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs database. This includes updating the generic phenes (test) information. Aiimee coordinates the Breed Relevance Rating and is close communication with our Collaborating Experts. In addition, Aimee fields queries from our DogWellNet.com members and breeders on issues related to genetics and genetic counselling. You can contact her: Aimee.Llewellyn-Zaidi@IPFDogs.com Formerly Head of Health and Research at the Kennel Club, Aimee provided bespoke advice to Kennel Club clients, and developed evidence-based canine health resources and engagement programmes for the public and professional.Aimee's experience at the Kennel Club included: development of the Health Team, active engagement and involvement with committees of the Kennel Club and British Veterinary Association (Canine Health Schemes); direct collaboration with international universities, and the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, and engagement with exciting external projects such as Vet Compass (RVC), and as a speaker at BSAVA Congress, as well as numerous publications and media engagements. Aimee was also involved in the initial development of the journal “Canine Genetics and Epidemiology,” and remains active as an editorial board member. When not working on Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs, Aimee spends her time walking her Pembroke Corgi, McDuff. Ann Milligan - DogWellNet Website Content Manager She spearheads collaborative efforts to build breed-specific content and to expand our Breeds Database and and maintains the ever-increasing wealth of information on DogWellNet.com. Ann's youth involved spending many weekends with her parents training Labrador Retrievers and attending AKC Field Trial events; so dogs, the sport of purebred dogs and AKC events have always been a big part of her life. As an adult, Ann's involvement with Bernese Mountain Dogs started when she purchased her first Berner in 1983, and shortly after, became a part of the BMD community when she joined the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southeast Wisconsin and the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America in 1984. From 1985 through 2003, Ann was active in showing and breeding BMDs under the kennel name BonMead; the breeding program focused on breed temperament, soundness, health and longevity, produced 23 home bred litters. Ann has served in many different roles in Bernese Clubs since 1984, working in breed education, rescue, and website development/management. Experiences gained while working with dog clubs include event hosting execution, graphic and print arts branding, and fundraising at Regional and National levels. She became an AKC Conformation judge for BMDs in 2006 and judged intersex at the 2018 BMDCA National Specialty. Currently, Ann is the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America’s website committee chair, content manager, and a site developer, and serves as webmaster for a regional BMD club. Dave St. Louis - Communications Specialist - Canada Dave is a seasoned communicator with more than two decades of diverse experience in communications, public relations, and marketing. As a member of the DogWellNet Team, he helps develop and manage website content, produces DogWellNet Digest and IPFD's Annual Reports, and co-manages IPFD's social media accounts. In addition to being one of Mindy the Golden Doodle's favourite humans, Dave maintains a small menagerie of more exotic critters, including chameleons, geckos, birds, and tropical frogs. James Skinner - Recording Secretary - UK James Skinner acts as the recording secretary for the IPFD, taking minutes at meetings and teleconferences. His day job is PA to the Secretary of the Kennel Club in the UK. He has worked for the Kennel Club for the past sixteen years and finally got his first ever dog, Bertie the Westie, in July 2018. James Skinner - Recording Secretary - UK James Skinner acts as the recording secretary for the IPFD, taking minutes at meetings and teleconferences. His day job is PA to the Secretary of the Kennel Club in the UK. He has worked for the Kennel Club for the past sixteen years and finally got his first ever dog, Bertie the Westie, in July 2018. IT Consultants Robert Simons - Provisionists - Web Management Provisionists provides IT support and management for DogWellNet.com Michael Edwards - Coding Jungle - PHP Programmer Developer for DogWellNet.com
  3. IPFD At-a-Glance: Non-profit, registered in Sweden Independent, international, multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary Facilitates collaboration and sharing of information and bringing the dog world together for action to enhance dog health, well-being, and welfare. Our Partners and Collaborators are organizations that share our interest in dog health, well-being, and welfare. Our Founding Partners were national kennel clubs, international cynological organizations, and from pet industries; our collaborating partners include groups from academic institutions, breed specific interests, educational and professional organizations (include both for profit and non-profit organizations). The target audiences for our online platform DogWellNet.com (see below) are first and foremost committed and health-conscious breeders, as well as those who support and advise them (kennel and breed club health committees, breeding advisors, etc.), but also include essentially all those involved in the world of dogs including, veterinarians; researchers; kennel/breed clubs and their members; dog owners; and more.
  4. A Continuing and Sustainable Development The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) and DogWellNet.com have come into being following a long history of efforts by many stakeholders to address dog health and well-being. An abbreviated timeline of key developments will highlight the complexity of issues addressed by the IPFD and DogWellNet and will list some of the many supporters and collaborators that have contributed directly or indirectly to this important work. Development was inaugurated under the patronage of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The major contributors (in-kind and funding) since 2011 have been, chronologically, the Agria Animal Insurance-Swedish Kennel Club Research Fund, the Swedish Kennel Club (SKK), and the FCI; as well as, other national kennel clubs (from Finland, The UK, France, Germany, Ireland, and the USA (AKC)). This document presents an historical background to the work and current status. Timeline: Understanding the Sequence of Development 1994-Present - Historical Underpinning: Collaborative work to develop and use the Agria Pet Insurance Database (Agria) to provide breed-specific statistics on disease and death in dogs. Partnership with Swedish Kennel Club (SKK); material used by all Swedish breed clubs to develop breed-specific breeding strategy document (RAS); also used in support Breed Specific Instructions for judges program. Breed Updates also used in Denmark and Norway. Many international presentations and workshops to various stakeholder groups: breeders, breed clubs and health committees, international veterinary and scientific congresses, human-animal interaction meetings, dog judges, government welfare committees in addition to numerous publications in refereed scientific journals. Leading national kennel clubs (KCs) and other stakeholders, e.g., Agria Animal Insurance, Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and many professional, welfare, academic and other organizations are doing their own work on issues of health, well-being, and welfare of dogs. It is becoming increasingly apparent that many important issues are truly international in nature, and many of these groups increase collaborations with others. From 2008... Kennel clubs (KCs) everywhere are under pressure to improve and expand activities under almost all areas of their mandate (e.g. breeding, legislation, information technology, etc.). Two global examples: Media and societal pressure about health, well-being, and welfare in dogs Need to be more proactive in addressing issues and highlighting positives of dogs, in general, purebred dogs and shows/performance and breeding Regulatory issues, governments, etc., e.g. dangerous dog legislation, restrictions; guidelines for dog breeders (especially commercial) Similar efforts in many countries; poor synthesis of existing information, decisions not always evidence-based KCs, breeders and other stakeholders need improved access to existing information and resources Many stakeholders/KCs have a lot to share, however, many resources are difficult to locate and language may pose difficulties. Once information is found or assembled, there is a need for synthesis and expert evaluation of that information to promote guidance- and evidence-based decision making. Issues affecting the health and welfare of dogs are global in scope, therefore international collaboration and co-operation are needed. Fall 2011: Dr. Brenda Bonnett makes a proposal to develop a canine health and welfare information network, which is funded by Agria-SKC Research Foundation, to: Capitalize on the strengths of the international cynological community through enhanced sharing of information and expertise and facilitation of on-going collaboration Present a ‘united front’ (all KCs/stakeholders together for the good of dogs) Build a sustainable model to accomplish goals/address needs. Specifically: Create an Organization (i.e. The International Partnership for Dogs (originally 'Sharing and Caring for Dogs)) that will oversee development of the internet resource (DogWellNet.com). This will facilitate partnerships and sharing of costs for long term functionality. Initially to be organized under the direction of the SKK due to its extensive experience with Information Technology (IT) development and a willingness to commit further resources to this development. However, other partners will be a key part of the development. Enhance distribution of information to underpin decision-making Develop and support international partnerships Provide a forum for informed discussion by stakeholder experts AND TO PRESENT THIS INITIATIVE AS PART OF THE DOG HEALTH WORKSHOP IN STOCKHOLM, JUNE 2012 AS UNDERPINNING DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL PLATFORMS. The Agria-SKC Research Foundations directs project team to first meet with FCI, as a globally recognized leader in cynology, to determine if they are willing and able to take a leadership role in the development of this resource. Spring 2012 - December 2013: Work with/support from FCI: Presentation of background and proposed structure for the information network, at that time called Sharing and Caring for Dogs, to the FCI General Committee (GC) in Vienna. The GC decides the initiative is relevant and refers the project to the Working Group 2012 (originally called Back to the Standards). The working group presents a proposal to the GC in October 2012. (No decision from the FCI, at that time) Spring 2013: At the end of March 2013, the GC allocated funds for a contract with an IT company to help further define the platform for the Information Network and to engage Dr. Bonnett to organize, support and summarize that work. This work was overseen by Ulf Uddman of the SKK. Presentation on the initiative to the General Assembly in Budapest in May. Summer 2013: FCI allocates further funds to continue development and authorizes Project Team to engage other potential partners. Fall 2013: Formal proposal submitted to the GC and presentation made (The FCI decides not to take primary responsibility for this development.) Parallel Development: In June 2012, the Dog Health Workshop occurred in Sweden. (Organized by SKK with other partners, funded by SKK and other sponsors) Over 20 countries were represented by 120 geneticists, researchers, veterinarians, dog breeders, cynologists (many from FCI), judges, welfare organizations, government/regulatory representatives, and more. The Sharing and Caring initiative and design was seen as an appropriate platform to facilitate the international collaboration and distribution of knowledge, expertise and experience that all agreed was crucial in order to address many issues related to health and well-being of dogs at a global level. In the final summary session, the participants collectively agreed that there was a need for a collaborative structure, i.e. a Foundation/Organization that would function to bring together stakeholders in dog health and well-being. Representatives of FCI, The Kennel Club (i.e., Steve Dean, Chairman) and various FCI member KCs (e.g. all Nordic clubs and Germany) indicated that they supported and were willing to spearhead the development and establishment of this Organization. As the needs/desired initiatives identified by the many stakeholders were very similar to the work started with Agria-SKC and with FCI it was, essentially, decided to await developments on that front rather than possibly duplicating efforts. Project Team (2012-2013): FCI and SKK/Agria-SKK Research Fund supports ongoing development. Many experts volunteer time and expertise. Discussions ongoing with other potential partners (other KCs, etc.) (who self-fund to attend meetings and support experts and staff to provide information and expertise), including The Kennel Club (UK), and the national KCs of Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, and Finland, among others. December 2013 - Spring 2014: Funding provided by Founding Partners to support basic web development by Dr. Brenda Bonnett, together with Topshare (IT company in The Netherlands), Continued meetings and communication with other national KCs to refine possible structure and function of the IPFD June 2014: Confirmation of Commitment by the Founding Partners: The national KCs of Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, The KC (UK), The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (USA), and the Agria-SKK Research Fund. August 2014: The first meeting of the Board of the International Partnership for Dogs was held Thursday 28th August at the Kennel Club in London. The Board is comprised of Pekka Olson (Chair, Sweden), Caroline Kisko (Vice Chair, UK ), Eddie Dziuk (USA), Peter Friedrich (Germany), Jean-Pierre Genevois (France), Patricia Olson (USA), Kirsi Sainio (Finland). Brenda Bonnett (Canada) is the Chief Executive Officer and Ulf Uddman (Sweden) is the Chief Financial Officer. See brief curriculum vitae for the current IPFD Board here. Fall 2014: Engagement of further Initiating Partners (e.g. Irish Kennel Club); continued development of DogWellNet.com. FCI maintains Founding Patron status. Cooperation with the German Kennel Club (VDH) on plans for the 2nd International Dog Health Workshop 2015: Launch of DogWellNet.com at the 2nd International Dog Health Workshop in Dortmund, Germany. The American Kennel Club joins as an Initiating Partner; Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club) agrees to host 3rd IDHW. 2016: Organization of the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop together with host Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club) Launch of the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs initiative, including engagement of key leadership sponsors and international experts First issue of DogWellNet Digest - a collection of the latest news and highlights from IPFD/DogWellNet.com Launch of IPFD Summer Student projects with an outstanding veterinary student from Colorado State University Expanded our Breed Database, engaged breed clubs from numerous countries, health representatives, and experts in providing new content and expanding existing content DogWellNet.com serves as the hub for international efforts on various Hot Topics, including health and welfare in brachycephalic dogs, cross-breeding for health, and highlights and resources from various countries. 2017: Co-hosted the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) with the French Kennel Club (SCC) in Paris in April Engagement of first 17 Leadership Sponsor Genetic Test Providers/Labs for the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative; HGTD online resource enters Beta Testing phase. Our Collaborating Partner, Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, publishes IPFD paper: Moving from information and collaboration to action: report from the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, Paris in April 2017. Second IPFD Summer Student project grows out of the 3rd IDHW, addressing issues of antibiotic resistance. 2018: Launch of Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) Quality Testing Database Engagement of additional HGTD initiative Leadership Sponsor Genetic Test Providers/Labs IPFD Initiating Partner, the AKC, changes its status to a Sponsor of IPFD's Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative. Planning continues for the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) in the UK in 2019, co-hosted by the UK Kennel Club. 2019: The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) joins IPFD as Contributing Partner Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club (DKC)) joins IPFD as Contributing Partner The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) changes its status to IPFD Partner Collaborators IPFD and The Kennel Club co-host the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) in Windsor, UK.
  5. Brenda Bonnett

    IPFD Today

    IPFD is a growing voice for dog health, well-being and welfare... and human-dog interactions.
  6. 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, multi-stakeholder approach. And about how grateful we are for the Partners, Sponsors and collaborators who make our work possible. We have created a short, 'lite' video to highlight these issues and then expand on examples below. IPFD's International Dog Health Workshops have helped to pull the vision of and methods by which the goal of better health and welfare for dogs is achieved. Breed Health Strategies are the foundation of planning for health and welfare improvement in dogs. A strategy for a breed may include any, or all, of the following: disease, longevity, genetic diversity, conformation, temperament, working ability. See Breed-specific Breeding Strategies - 3rd IDHW follow-up and a subsequent document which provide specifics for establishing a sound, workable strategy. These documents define projects and processes that focus on the objectives to safeguard and improve the future of a breed. (Breed Strategies IDHW content is attributed to Ian Seath, dog breeder, chair of the Dachshund Breed Council in the UK, and leader of the Breed-Specific Health Strategies theme at the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (IDHW).) Also see IPFD CEO Brenda Bonnett's plenary talk at the 4th IDHW: Get a GRIHP on Breed Health, which addresses the complexities of big picture health concerns that must be addressed by collective information and actions. From the Genetics theme-based topics discussed at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop, a pressing need for genetic counseling experts emerged - experts to provide meaningful evaluation of and advice on breed-relevant use of the growing number of DNA and health screening tests available to dog owners/breeders. A key action/project at the workshop was interrogating the concept of “validation” – which pulled together many specific genetic test issues. It was decided that creating a model for addressing Validation for genetic tests would be the best use of time for the workshop. This was effective in guiding discussion to identify specific actions/projects moving forward. The questions from the breed community: How do we know what tests to use? How can we trust the test results? See the Report from the Genetic Testing Theme, from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop. Tools are needed! Why? Direct-to-consumer genetic tests have provided greater access to many different breed-specific and general genetic tests for dogs. This has raised concerns from owners and breeders who need more guidance and direction in making informed testing decisions. To help with this, the HGTD in December of 2019 added relevance ratings to the interface. Currently, the relevance rating is determined based on a wide-variety of evidence sources. This includes peer-reviewed research papers, recommendations from the original researchers/test developers, input from additional experts including veterinary specialists, and breed experts. It is important when considering the ratings to understand that this effectively indicates how much we currently know or do not know about a specific test for a specific breed. This does not necessarily indicate how “good”, or “bad” a test is. It also does not indicate the clinical importance of a test. So who is doing what in the big picture - of course management of dog's well-being includes and goes beyond DNA tests - health screenings matter, temperament matters, conformation matters... The Health Strategies Database for Dogs is in the works to augment health information available on DogWellNet... stay tuned. The ongoing creation of tools and educational content to improve the health and welfare of dogs by kennel and breed clubs, and work done by groups of breed enthusiasts drives the big picture forward. In the Blog post, Breed Health... What is your vision?, the take-away message is, undertake actions and make decisions that can impact the dog world in beneficial ways. We continue to promote international efforts on the challenges for dogs; we work to bring together stakeholder groups and organizations.
  7. 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, but these challenges are an increasing priority for veterinary associations over recent years. Issues like depression, anxiety and burnout build on crippling debt for many graduates. Unfortunately, there are many more articles on this topic. When I graduated - many years ago - vets were at the top of the lists of most respected and trusted professions. That status has diminished. I don't want to go into all the reasons, but I will say this. Years ago when someone would ask what I did and I would say I was a vet, I heard nothing but accolades, and heartfelt thanks, and people telling me they had wanted to be a vet. It was humbling and gratifying. These days when it comes up, the first thing I hear is 'Do you know how much I had to pay for my last vet bill?' or worse. There are a lot of changes in the veterinary practice world, and I can say I am not sorry to be off the front lines. There are lots of frustrations for consumers as well. The majority of vets are devoted to being in the profession and to the animals and people they serve. Unfortunately, the stresses that go beyond the care of animals are simply insurmountable to some. A former graduate student recently contacted me; she is a practice owner and committed to supporting her colleagues, especially the newer ones. She was shocked at a recent support meeting to hear that the majority of veterinarians in that group had, at some point, considered suicide. All health professions struggle with such issues because our work is intense. But the rise in concerns in veterinary medicine are beyond troubling. As is the fact that there is a need for this site: 'Not One More Vet'. I wanted to let you know that the veterinary community has recognized this as a major priority. The VMX meeting (formerly NAVC) is a massive conference at which I have spoken on numerous occasions. Today another former student shared this link on my personal facebook page... and it prompted me to pass it along with these personal comments. A Poem for the Veterinary Community - performed by Andrea Gibson, an American Poet at VMX 2020. Please have a listen to this powerful and heartfelt message. I know many of you will identify with it. What is important to understand is just how desperately many veterinarians in practice need to hear that they are appreciated. If any of you are motivated to reach out to a veterinarian who has helped you and your beloved animals, to acknowledge anyone on the clinic team ... please do so; don't hesitate. In spite of all the challenges for clients of veterinarians these days... we might all agree that the world is better place with veterinarians than without them. For any vets reading this, always ask your colleagues how they are doing and if they need help. And if you are a vet who needs support, your veterinary community has resources - please reach out.
  8. 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 (IDHW). In the description of his efforts, he provides great information on the process and structure of building health strategies for any breed, and he shows himself and the Dachshund groups in the UK as role models for other breed clubs. And he credits others who are doing good work. He 'walks the walk' (definition: 'to show that something is true by your actions rather than your words'). I know Ian well, and he is not doing this for personal acclaim. He passionately cares about the health and well-being of dogs - all breeds - and he does everything he can to say to all of us - "C'mon... we can do this!!" Ian challenges everyone to look ahead to 2030 and to seriously consider how what they are doing will impact the breed over that period. And he says: "It’s that time of year when New Year Resolutions have either already been forgotten or are well on the way to become good habits." I would encourage everyone to do as he says and to look ahead - not just breed club health committees but individual breeders, judges, veterinarians, researchers, owners... all stakeholders in the dog world. Too often we look to others to take responsibility... too often we give up because we don't see the potential for change (or just think it is too much work). And I would also like to stress the mention of good habits. It isn't just about knowing, it is about doing. Saying one thing and doing another is a very bad habit. I will risk offending you by suggesting some examples, all in the spirit of improving the health, well-being and welfare of dogs over the next 10 years. Health committees, breeders, individuals say: 'We want healthy, long-lived dogs!'. But do their health programs, recommendations and ACTIONS! truly reflect that goal? If the tendency is to select for the physical characteristics that are being rewarded in the show ring... you are not going to just accidentally get health and longevity... in fact, it's more likely you will get the opposite. Every individual breeder's decisions impact the whole breed! In another blog I described an interactive session at the Canadian Kennel Club genetics symposium, where a breeder, after listening to Dr. Kari Ekenstedt and I talk about many issues, including inbreeding, wanted us to specify 'what level of inbreeding was ok?'. In other words, sure, father X daughter was out... but what was okay? I challenged her to consider why she wanted to do inbreeding? Was it because she thought this would improve health and longevity in the breed? Almost undoubtedly it was not - it was to as quickly as possible achieve 'a look'. We all need to think about the big picture. Veterinarians - what are you doing within your practice, one on one to stop the normalization of health issues - genetic and otherwise? Do you make clear to your devoted owners of brachycephalic dogs that snorting and snuffling and bug eyes are not 'cute' or 'funny' but serious concerns? Do you work hard to counteract the rampant obesity problem in pets? No, your clients may not want to hear the messages... but what is your personal responsibility? Pet industry - are you focusing your marketing to profile healthy dogs... or still using challenged but popular breeds? So, at IPFD we continue to promote international efforts on the challenges for dogs; we work to bring together stakeholder groups and organizations that can undertake actions and make decisions that can impact the dog world in beneficial ways. But I urge people to read and hear the messages in Ian's article - at both a group and individual level. As he says, echoing the wide focus of the 4th IDHW in Windsor, "The final element in making progress is engagement with breeders, owners and buyers. They are the primary groups whose behaviour needs to be influenced if the plans are to be implemented. There are others to engage with (e.g. vets, KC, researchers, judges) but taking action on both the supply and demand side of the dog population is essential." I am an impatient person... 10 years is too long to wait for an improvement! But I know how fast it goes. Get going on those good habits for dog health so that when Ian writes another article you can say, with great honesty: 'Yes sir! I am doing my bit!'
  9. 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, dog breeds... and more. The catalogs include thousands of images which can be purchased. Just browsing through them will remind you of the diversity of ways in which we interact with dogs... ways in which they enrich our lives. In the face of criticism of purebred dogs a collection like this can serve to educate others and remind us that the world of purebred dogs involves so much more than conformation dog shows. These still images enforce the the link between form and function - especially in categories like "Contest of Use" which includes e.g. water rescue, tracking, utility search, and more. Thank you to the SCC for sharing this wonderful resource! Championnat de France de chiens de sauvetage en mer 2012
  10. New in 2020: Genetic tests listed by breed include a 'relevance rating'. Here is what that is and why it is important. A work in progress... this will be a dynamic index that may change as new information becomes available. Essentially, it is a visual expression of the level of evidence we have for the use of a given test in a specific breed. The red, yellow, green ('traffic-light') layout is shown in paw prints beside the test listing returned in a breed search (see below), or as coloured badges on the Generic Phene page.
  11. 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 in our Supply and Demand theme at the 2019 International Dog Health Workshop - the issues surrounding why, how and from where consumers acquire puppies is a complex issue. Although Ian's categories are very helpful to educate those buying pets, the further complication is that there are better and worse sources within each category of breeder, and there are no guarantees of overall quality, welfare, socialization or short or long term health based simply on the type of breeder. We can likely assume a higher probability of a good 'product' from some categories, but it is not a 'given'. And unfortunately, depending on country, region, licensing requirements and, most importantly, enforcement of any regulations there are few sources of information on specific breeders for prospective buyers. I am reminded here of our challenges in deciding what is the most important health issue in a breed, i.e., the most common? the most severe? the one that is most topical on social media? the one that seems to be affecting MY dogs? And how we have tried to use ranking systems. e.g. GSID, but challenges remain. We need to consider breeders from several angles; not only on volume of puppies produced, but also on, e.g.: Quality of the whelping and puppy-rearing environment. I have seen some commercial breeders with phenomenal facilities and puppies in 'the home' in deplorable conditions. Socialization - same thing; producing just one litter at a time does not guarantee that puppies will be well-adjusted to other dogs or people. Attention to good breeding practices - e.g. health testing, genetic testing, consideration of impact on the breed (e.g. use of Coefficients of Inbreeding). And these are just a few examples but they underline that it is the actual circumstances for each puppy that are important... which may not be reflected in a description of the breeder, per se or their operation. I have to also point out the probability of a safe and successful acquisition is also variable when getting a dog from a 'shelter' or 'rescue' organization. As discussed previously, [see DHW Supply & Demand resources] unfortunately, among the groups sourcing re-homed pets are both bonafide and questionable/ unknown or downright dodgy suppliers. There are many doubtful groups that have jumped in to supply the internet-fueled demand for rescues over primary-sourced dogs - even though it has been shown that there are groups buying dogs from large commercial breeders and puppy farms and re-selling them as 'rescues'. It is very difficult to distinguish the well-meaning from those out for commercial gain. And, sadly, just as for breeders, being 'well-meaning' is not enough to ensure health and welfare of the dogs on offer. So for now, we can try to educate with articles like Ian's, and perhaps lobby for better oversight, but the phenomenal demand that is driving the problem is unlikely to change soon. In fact, consumers also may be 'well-meaning' in terms of intending to carefully research what pet suits their situation and to carefully screen the source...but then succumb to their desire for the trending pet of the moment and wanting what they want right now. Kennel clubs may also have shied away from regulations, as, there being such a difficulty in defining a 'good breeder', most proposed regulations may be seen as a threat to their members. The most important thing is to keep this topic front-and-center in all discussions of dog health, well-being and welfare. And - work across stakeholder groups and internationally for solutions. We look to many of our working groups identified at the 4th IDHW to help us advance... Thanks Ian! See additional information: Detailed Discussion of Dog Auctions and Retail Rescue
  12. 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 independent voice in addressing complex and often controversial challenges, including "Hot Topics" such as canine genetics; and shared resources e.g. on health and welfare issues in brachycephalic breeds. See other interviews and news reports featuring IPFD here. As a start up non-profit five years ago, we represented a good idea, with an admirable mission. Many were enthusiastic about the concept, but perhaps unclear about the details of what could be accomplished. IPFD developed based on a strategy of 'if we build it, they will come'. The progress has been gratifying, but never fast enough for me, personally. The acknowledgement of the need for multi-stakeholder, international collaboration and action is widespread; but the realities of the dog world and the demands of local, regional, and national responsibilities of our volunteers and collaborators continues to pose challenges. As we move into a phase of enhancing stability and sustainability, we have a lot to celebrate and great potential on which to capitalize. The word cloud created from participants' comments from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop exemplifies many of our issues, goals, and efforts We have a substantial focus on science and evidence, but we never forget that the human element underpins everything we do. Our Spotlight video in December's Digest shows a softer side, reminding us that it is our love and appreciation for dogs that motivates us. People are always the strength of an organization, and now is a good time to acknowledge and thank the small but committed team of consultants who do the lion's share of work at IPFD. Please check out their profiles and read more about their efforts, below and in the Digest. The IPFD Board has gone through a transformation in 2019, with three members transitioning off the Board and five enthusiastic new Board members joining. The Board now comprises both old friends and new faces with renewed energy and purpose to help launch IPFD into the new decade, capitalizing on existing strengths and addressing ongoing challenges. Bios for the Board are here; we can all look forward to learning more about them in our 2019 Annual Report, and hearing from them in articles and blogs. In the spirit of the season, below are some highlights from 2019 – these could make for some great holiday reading! Thanks to everyone who has supported IPFD and participated in our work in 2019. And here's to a stellar 2020... as we leap ahead with great aspirations. New IPFD Contributors We welcomed two new Contributing Partners in 2019: The Canadian Kennel Club (January) Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club) the official kennel club of The Netherlands (February). A new two-year Sponsor, the Morris Animal Foundation (July). And several Non-Breed Specific Collaborators, which are organizations serving health and welfare interests for all breeds: European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS) (June) Global Pet Obesity Initiative (August) And going into 2020, we have renewed and ongoing contracts with all existing Contributing Partners! Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) The HGTD Project has seen significant growth in 2019, and currently lists 76 Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) across 22 countries, worldwide with 42 currently participating or starting their participation. Thanks to Project Director Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi! We have made several improvements to the information we record for both genetic test providers and test information. This includes clearer information on what laboratories are used for outsourced testing and when information has been updated by GTPs. Thanks to our App developer Michael Edwards (Coding Jungle), we continue to further automate the updating process and add on new functions. See further details on HGTD in the Digest. In 2020, in addition to expanding engagement with GTPs, we will integrate various projects (Expert Panel, Health Strategies Database (HSDD), the Get a GRIHP Program) to enhance breed-specific information and outputs. Read about these initiatives in Brenda's presentation under Breed-Specific Health Strategies at the 2019 4th IDHW, here. 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) The IDHWs bring together a wide range of stakeholders in dog health, science, and welfare to improve international sharing of information and resources, provide a forum for ongoing collaboration, and identify specific needs and actions to improve health, well-being, and welfare in dogs. IPFD is responsible for the International Dog Health Workshops and partners with other organizations who manage meeting logistics. Access the amazing resources from the four IDHWs here. The 4th IDHW, co-hosted by the Kennel Club in Windsor, UK, in May/June 2019, included more than 130 decision leaders from 17 countries, who joined us to share their experiences and expertise across five Themes addressing some of the most pressing issues in the dog world. We’ve compiled pre- and post-meeting resources here, both for the benefit of workshop participants and for those who were unable to attend. We continue to see the dividends of the important work done at the first three IDHWs (read more in our publication from the Paris 3rd IDHW and look for a new publication in the Journal of Canine Epidemiology and Genetics in 2020), and Working Groups have begun work on issues addressed at the 4th IDHW earlier this year. The 5th IDHW takes place in 2021, with the date and location to be confirmed soon! DogWellNet.com Our internet platform, DogWellNet.com, is an open access, ever-expanding information hub, providing links, documents, and additional resources to breeders and others in the dog world. For an overview of the site, including an explanation of key content areas and features, please visit DogWellNet.com: At A Glance. Although almost all DogWellNet content is available to guests, we encourage readers to sign up as members on the site. As of the publishing date for this issue, more than 1,200 people have signed up on DogWellNet.com, including more than 500 Members and 700+ Advanced Members. One of the popular resources on the site is the Breeds Database, ably overseen by our Content Manager Ann Milligan. A former breeder, and current judge, Ann is always thrilled to get information from breed clubs and breeders, as we continue to expand this resource. In 2020, there will be further integration of material from the breeds database with our other initiatives (HGTD; HSDD, etc.). DogWellNet Digest This is our eighth 2019 issue of DogWellNet Digest – a collection of the latest news from IPFD and DogWellNet.com. A link to each new issue is emailed to all IPFD Members and posted to our social media accounts, and all previous issues are archived on DogWellNet.com. See also IPFD in the Media for excerpts or links to published articles, etc. that reference IPFD or DogWellNet. IPFD Social Media In 2019, our social media presence expanded further into the dog world with several targeted campaigns and a growing following of our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Thanks to Dave St. Louis, our Communications Specialist, for keeping us in touch with our Partners, Members, and the dog world, in general. Another key online tool is our video resources. See our latest, a feel-good offering for the season, and tantalizing, early glimpse of our 2019 Annual Report. Enough looking back, let's talk about... Moving Forward in 2020 With additions to HGTD and other genetic counseling resources, implementation of the Expert Panel, creation of the HSDD, planning for the 5th IDHW; enhanced activities with our revitalized Board, ongoing outreach with our Partners and Sponsors...the possibilities are exciting! All the best for the holiday season and Happy New Year from IPFD...where every year is the Year of the Dog.
  13. 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 thought-provoking. Read more here. Download the schedule here: CKC Seminar Schedule Final.pdf My talks covered the Harmonization of Genetic Testing and the many initiatives IPFD is pursuing to support breeders, as well as a talk together with Kari on Ethics and Welfare. In addition, both speakers addressed issues about genetic diversity, selection and inbreeding. Dr. Ekestedt's presentation was a primarily science-based coverage, including description of various tools, including calculation of Coefficients of Inbreeding (COIs). My talk on Population Health and Diversity presented a more conceptual coverage of diversity (see below), including examples from other species. Both talks included practical suggestions for including these aspects in breeding decisions, but this was also meant to promote discussion and consideration by breeders as they examine their own role, as well as the roles of breed and kennel clubs in promoting and conserving health and longevity in their breeds. It is clear that many breeders are struggling with definitions and implications of genetic diversity, inbreeding and line breeding, and with resolving new information from the fast-advancing world of genetics and genomics with long-held attitudes and practices that are firmly embedded in dog breeding culture. Below are some key points and challenging issues raised in these talks and in the interesting and frank discussions with participants. Thanks to the Canadian Kennel Club and all the participants for a stimulating and enjoyable weekend of continuing education! Congrats to the CKC team who put on a great event. Stay tuned as we will post on DogWellNet.com the video of my talk and links to the rest of the program - hopefully in early January 2020. Additional reading on Genetic Diversity Understanding Breeds as Populations - J. Bell What we can learn from each other: Show Greyhounds Is Crossbreeding a Part of the Plan for Bulldogs -- Genetic Considerations (references Pederson Study) Small Population Breeds and Issues of Genetic Diversity - J. Bell
  14. 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 applications. In this excellent overview, parts of the presentation were somewhat technical – digestible to a veterinarian or researcher level audience – but nonetheless also of interest to breeders. The application side of this test, i.e. what results mean and how the test should be used to support breeding decisions, is particularly complex, and the situation is very different in various breeds. This complicates the situation for owners and breeders in terms of deciding whether this highly-marketed test is needed, and in interpretation of the results. Dr. Coates mentioned that, in the paper by Jonas Donner and colleagues: Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs, Degenerative Myelopathy is the most common 'disease'. [See statistics: Rank 1: Allelle frequency]. BUT, it is really the most commonly tested for disease – for various reasons. We do not have great evidence on the actual prevalence of the condition across or within breeds. Challenges - Confusion over interpretation and application of DNA tests within the breed and veterinary communities is not unique to DM. Working groups coming out of the genetic theme at the 4th IDHW are underway to address validation issues in genetic testing. Stay tuned to DogWellNet.com, as we will be providing more information in the near future. The DNA testing topic is being addressed by IPFD's partners, collaborators and team through development and implementation of tools such as the HGTD as well as covered in Themes work done at the IPFD's International Dog Health Workshops, the IPFD CEO's outreach presentations, articles and blogs* - work done in collaboration with individuals and groups of multidisciplinary stakeholders, all of whom share the aim to improve the health and welfare of dogs. Additional information... Talks & Blogs - Genetic Testing Recently, Brenda Bonnett blogged about challenges faced by breed clubs related to applying results of this particular DNA test (DM) to breed management in Concern about genetic testing Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) in French Bulldogs. The blog includes a link to a letter, Degenerative Myelopathy Does NOT Occur in French Bulldogs that IPFD collaborator Dr. Jerold Bell circulated to add to the discussion/understanding of DM testing in the French Bulldog breed. The current state of affairs for canine genetic testing development and distribution, along with comments on appropriate interpretation and application of DNA tests to improve health of dogs, are discussed In Brenda Bonnett's talk to AVMA in August 2019: Genetic Testing to Improve Canine Health: The Big Picture & the Blog covering the AVMA conference. A presentation Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed-Specific Resources was given at the AKC-CHF Parent Club Health Symposium. Brenda’s Blog offers further discussion. RELATED: Video: Canine Degenerative Myelopathy - Stages of Disease "Veterinary neurology expert Dr. Joan Coates, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology) discusses the progressive nature of canine degenerative myelopathy and provides examples of affected dogs in the various stages of progression. Learn more on this topic and view the entire presentation On Demand.
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