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David Eikelberg

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About David Eikelberg

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Profile Information

  • Region
    North America
  • Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Country
  • Current Affiliation
    Black Russian Terrier Club of America
  • Position / Title
  • Interests
    Dog Breeding
    Dog Health
  • Academic Credentials
    Masters (e.g. MSC)
  • Expertise/Proficiencies
    Dog Breeding
  • Specific Breed(s) of Interest
    Black Russian Terrier
  • Breed Club Rep; Board Member or Breeding/ Health Committee member
  • Attended an International Dog Health Workshop

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  1. This newsletter is outstanding! Love it! I am so excited about what the IPFD is doing for our canine companions. The world needs a leader organization and IPFD fills that void.
  2. What Dr. Bonnett says is so true. IPFD is the perfect and obvious organization to orchestrate just such a world-wide collaborative effort. This is such a worthwhile endeavor lacking only major funding to make it happen. We must all work toward finding a way to fund this work within this organization.
  3. I believe BetterBred.com has a great system for helping breeders make better decisions regarding breed pairs. However, it seems their services are vastly underutilized. They need more exposure in the media for their capabilities and services to become more widely known.
  4. I love this page! It most importantly captures the heart, as well as the soul of what IPFD "is", and where it is headed in the future. As mentioned in the article at the very end..., "The possibilities are exciting!" I agree!
  5. I am confident that I could be useful as a breed expert for anyone with questions about the Black Russian Terrier (BRT). They are not for the first time dog owner, as is commonly advertised. However, despite the depth and breadth to which this advice is transmitted, there are still people who get BRTs and end up giving them up because they cannot handle them. If my acting as a breed expert for the BRT can help prevent even one BRT from being abused, or from having to be re-homed, I would be happy to provide advice to inquiries on this breed.
  6. It is my privilege to be associated with such esteemed and accomplished professionals from industry and academia. It is my sincere hope that I can contribute to this most worthy cause of helping to grow the IPFD in its roll as global leader in all things canine. I am dedicated to the advancement of the IPFD mission and vision. For one thing, the IPFD stands as the most promising organization in helping to standardize and organize genetic testing protocols on a global scale. That is going to be better for all canines and owners. Perhaps most importantly, the IPFD is poised to lead the world in fostering ways to help all canines everywhere live longer, happier, healthier lives. I hope many will join me in serving the IPFD so that these most worth-while goals can be realized.
  7. Thoughtfully researched and well written. Much appreciated. In the U.S. it seems to me that the best bet, although not a perfect solution, is to consult with the database available at www.ofa.org to see if the dame and sire have been health tested and if so to what extent. From there one can have at least an idea of the likelihood of obtaining a healthy puppy from a litter. It is far far better than nothing. While there can be lying by omission, and refusing to post results for certain tests, even that tells somewhat of a tale when evaluating and considering a puppy from a breeder. There is also a "Puppy Selection Tool" available at www.BRTCA.org, which I helped create and which should be widely publicized and used in selecting a puppy regardless of the breed. It simply causes the puppy buyer to ask breeders the right questions. So perhaps it is more useful than most other solutions to simply educate the public about informational resources which are available such as www.ofa.org rather than just the issues surrounding poor versus excellent breeding practices. I have noticed that the Irish Wolfhound organization in the UK possesses a program rich in breeding checks and balances. So does the American Leonberger organization. There are others as well but the IPFD seems to be the best clearing house organization for dissemination of such valuable information. Let's get together and promote the IPFD and Ian Seath's tenets for responsible dog breeding and puppy selection.
  8. Hello Aime, Very well said on your above response. In the Black Russian Terrier breed here in the U.S. w have changed people's behaviors to the point of hip and elbow testing being a standard approach and a "given". We are even moving ever closer to the DNA testing becoming the norm as something that owners just do as a matter of course. Temperament testing and skills competition still need more attention as does general canine health and wellness. Our next area of effort will be to encourage BRT owners to submit general data about their BRT breeding, environment, feeding, medical care, etc. to see if any new information can be gleaned from the data that will help improve the lives of BRTs in general. How exciting it would be if this data gathering initiative could be global in nature for BRTs, and perhaps eventually for all breeds. The future is bright if we can get enough organizations and supporters to participate. I think the IPFD is poised to be that globally unifying agent. All the best! Dave
  9. I wonder if there is a possibility for a viable and productive/useful partnership/joint venture between IPFD and BetterBred.com. BetterBred's "Rebeka" provided us with a valuable breeding simulation based on our pre-existing U.C. Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) information for our Black Russian Terrier (BRT) matched with test results for another female BRT which also had DNA information in the BetterBred database. This sort of genetic/health/breeding "counseling" service is what is needed on a large-scale basis to the general dog breeding industry..., so much so that the marketing and profitability potential would seem nearly limitless. Certainly, most of us know that genetics is complicated and as of yet still a very inexact science. However, as things are right now, without BetterBred and reliable private breeding counseling services, a BRT breeder feels as if they have to first become an amateur geneticist..., keep your fingers crossed that the testing is accurate..., combine that understanding with their knowledge of longevity, phenotype, conformation, movement, hip and elbow x-Rays, thyroid testing, cardiac test, eye test, Hyperuricosuria (HU), juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy (JLPP), coat color, and temperament..., then conduct the breeding and hope for the best without ever having benefit of a canine health provider's aggregate professional input. While this is an enormous step in the right direction from where things used to be in a standard breeding schema, it still lacks the sensibility and scientifically-based judgement necessary to make the best possible decisions. Add the fact that a great many breeders simply do not have the resources, education, or time to dedicate to making breeding decisions using this level of science, and we are very quickly right back to "Well..., they both look pretty good so let's breed them and see what we get." Our dogs deserve the very best we can offer them in living long, happy, healthy lives. Experienced dog owners know that canine health is a "pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later" prospect. One can pay upfront for orchestrating the best possible breeding and hopefully avoid at least some health problems later..., or simply pay thousands of dollars in Veterinarian bills trying to prolong life and keep their precious companion as active, happy, and as comfortable as possible. However, as we all know it often comes down to euthanasia simply due to medical costs. Euthanasia exacts such a huge emotional toll on owners and Veterinarians. Let's do what we can to come out of the dark ages and into the bright light of science.
  10. It is my hope that IPFD will become the global presence and central repository for information on breeding healthy canines.  The mission is so important and so large that it will require the financial support of institutional backers and supporters.  Please join the IPFD and help work toward this goal.  Consider becoming a benefactor to this most worthy cause.  Or if you are familiar with corporate entities that would be suitable as partners with the IPFD, consider asking them to contribute long-term financial support to the IPFD.  My breed happens to be the Black Russian Terrier (BRT) (we have 4!) and here is our favorite quote about the BRT.  He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, and his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.  You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”  Regardless of your breed, lets's all try to be worthy of our essential canine companions.  They do so deserve our very best efforts.  The IPFD is an ideal organizational steward for this important global mission.  See what all the IPFD has to offer and get involved today.  All The Best My Friends!


  11. Hello again Dr. Bonnett, I took your splendid advice and explored what the UK Irish Wolfhound organization is doing. I must say they are (in so far as I am familiar with these things) quite an outstanding benchmark in their efforts. I personally have seen none better. This includes not only their health testing, historical records collection efforts, and health research initiatives, but even the very content and usability of their web site/presence. Most of the rest of us would do well to emulate their efforts! It is my hope that we in the U.S. Black Russian Terrier Club of America (www.brtca.com) can advance our efforts in a similar manner. We have a lot of catching up to do and it is so encouraging to have their organization as a model after which we can pattern and fast track our own efforts. Many thanks to the Irish Wolfhound folks for standing up..., doing what needed to be done in such an outstanding and organized manner..., and sharing it with the rest of us..., so that we can move forward with our own breed enhancement efforts. As with the Irish Wolfhound and many other breeds, the BRT is so very deserving of our best efforts! FAVORITE QUOTE: About the Black Russian Terrier: “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, and his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” What a wonderful sentiment, which I am sure applies to nearly every breed. After all they do for us, we owe them nothing but the very best. Thank You Dr. Bonnett and Thank You to the UK Irish Wolfhound Organization for your outstanding leadership. Respectfully Submitted, Dave Eikelberg deikelberg@gmail.com
  12. Here in the U.S., our club, the Black Russian Terrier Club of America (www.brtca.org) has elected to team with www.embarkvet.com to offer a battery of genetic testing through a single sample submission for $99.00, if purchased through our club website. The price for the battery of testing is normally $140.00 I believe. This group rate and bundled testing will be beneficial to our members and their breeding decisions and be possible at a price most breeders can afford. It also replaces multiple tests from other labs that collectively cost two or three times as much. Regardless of what testing lab breeders use, we are also hoping that people from all over the world will want to have their canine's test results logged with www.ofa.org so that we can all have one single, effective, globally accessible central repository/database to deposit our information and from which to draw genetic data for breeding decision-making. If we could get global participation, what a fantastic resource this would be to improve the lives of every breed in a great many parts of the world. An initiative is also in the planning phase for collection of all BRT medical, rearing, temperament, growth, environment, and any other records an owner is willing to archive. The records would be donated to a central collection point either during the BRTs life or postumously, scanned electronically, and kept for future research. At the first 5 year point and consecutive 5-year increments thereafter, a research grant would be available for a veterinarian university or similar group/researcher to correlate the data in an effort to determine what effects beyond genetics are produced in BRTs as a result of the way they were whelped, raised, given health care, trained, exercised, fed, medicated, etc. I was wondering what your organization's thoughts on these initiatives might be? Kindest Regards, Dave Eikelberg, deikelberg@gmail.com
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