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 to date in 2020. – Dr. Brenda Bonnett, CEO
(click to download/share as a PDF): IPFD Milestones 2020 August 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.”
Transitioned in three new Board members, from the USA and Germany. The Board has added new committees to increase its effectiveness. The IPFD Communications and Fundraising Committees, e.g. will be looking to expand with external members to broaden representation. See Board and Officer profiles.
Monique Megens joined as IPFD's first Chief Operating Officer (COO). Her impressive credentials are assisting us to streamline 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
In 2019 we had renewed or continued ongoing contracts with all Partners, and in 2020 we have welcomed/ are in discussions with several new IPFD Partners/Sponsors. See 2019 Annual Report for list.
We continue to develop outreach tactics with our partners, such as IPFD Collaborating Partner, The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). IPFD is submitting a monthly feature, called Meet the Breed, as a monthly feature in their online news section and WSAVA Bulletin, which highlights IPFD resources on a particular breed with a focus on breed-specific diseases, international health data, and more.
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 DogWellNet.com 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.
DogWellNet Digest, our newsletter is sent to all members, highlighting new content and with a spotlight on major current issues, e.g. 'Pandemic Puppies' and Brachycephalic issues.
Social Media: continuing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram (added in 2020).
DogWellNet.com 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.
The next IDHW has been postponed to 2022. There may be a virtual meeting in 2021, and the Canadian Kennel Club has indicated an interest in discussing hosting in 2022, in Toronto.
Continues to expand both in terms of the content and the number of breeds (180 in total, including 7 new, many updated in 2020). Breed experts and clubs continue to share material, and we are expanding our collaborations. Our breeds material is integral to the new Get a GRIHP! articles (see below).
Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
The HGTD Database now includes quality information on 76 academic and participating commercial genetic test providers (GTPs) in 22 countries and 370+ phenes/tests, as well as genetic counselling resources.
Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR): This new initiative characterizes the scientific backing for available tests, across breeds and crossbreeds, and is expanding rapidly with input from experts who have welcomed this development. The BRRs support owners, dog health advisors, veterinarians, and experts and several major commercial test providers are enhancing their breed-relevant reporting and collaborating with us.
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.
The new HGTD & Genetic Testing blog: 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. Our first articles in this series are for Welsh Corgis and Dachshunds, linked with the WSAVA Bulletin articles and all our other breed-specific information. With support from Morris Animal Foundation, we are preparing a Get GRIHP package for Golden Retrievers. 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.
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 the financial health of our contributing partners due to COVID-19 challenges; however, it seems that with increased dog registrations in 2020, our funding base from most of our existing kennel club partners, e.g., should be stable. And yet, our big ideas need further support. A major effort for the end of 2020 and into 2021 will be fund-raising.
Contact: Brenda.Bonnett@ipfdogs.com. Excerpts from Get a GRIHP articles: