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Found 81 results

  1. News & Highlights 2019 IPFD Annual Report: A Growing Voice Make a Donation Stay Informed!
  2. The SKK - Svenska Kennelklubben (Swedish Kennel Club) is Sweden's largest organisation dedicated to dogs and dog owners, representing the interests of their 300,000 members – first time dog owners, experienced breeders, hunters, dog lovers, puppy buyers, exhibitors, agility competitors, and many more. The SKK is one of the founding partners of IPFD.
  3. AKC Press Release September 27th: The American Kennel Club Announces the Launch of the AKC Canine College By: Samantha Seymour 2016 excerpt... "The initial launch features a course on the Lagotto Romagnolo; online exams for conformation judges seeking approval to judge dogs in the Sporting, Terrier, and Toy Groups; and, educational material for all breeders, including required education for Bred with H.E.A.R.T. members. Content will continue to be developed and added to the catalog of courses; including training for Canine Good Citizen Evaluators and Groomers, additional breed courses and exams, tests for performance event judges, and more." UPDATED: 5-18-2020: Learn more about the AKC's online learning platform, the AKC Canine College.
  4. Breeder Education The Breeders School (Oppdretterskolen) of the Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK) was established in 1992. This education for dog breeders include two week-end seminars, which are hold in all the 11 regions of the Norwegian Kennel Club, to make the education available for breeders all over the country. Everybody will have a lot to learn on these courses, both people who consider having their first litter, as well as breeders with life-long experience.
  5. Updated information from the FKK: https://www.kennelliitto.fi/en/about-us/news/finnish-kennel-clubs-walk-test-helps-eliminate-dogs-severe-breathing-problems-breeding The Finnish Kennel Club (FKK) has today released information about a ongoing project 'Fitness examination being prepared for Bulldogs' [Dated link; see Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20151012050702/http://www.kennelliitto.fi/en/news/fitness-examination-being-prepared-for-bulldogs]in the English Bulldogs. This is a collaborative program between the kennel club, the breed club and The University of Helsinki Veterinary Hospital. Thirty English Bulldogs are being monitored for breathing, balance, a walking test, skin problems and x-ray'd from head to tail. The FKK has bought some equipment for the project and will pay for the study of the 30 dogs that the Breed Club has chosen to be tested. The aim is that this test could be used to evaluate dogs that would be suitable for breeding. Ultimately, the idea is to decrease health problems in any brachycephalic breed.
  6. 4th International Dog Health Workshop (2019) Poster .............................................................................................. Breeding dogs in Sweden – SKK’s tools and efforts for improved canine health Sofia Malm's presentation given at the 2015 Tufts' Canine and Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference... "The Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) owes its existence to the work of breeders and the results of their efforts. This is why breeding issues are given such prominence within the organization and why SKK dedicates substantial resources to helping breeders breed dogs in a way which benefits both the individual dog and the development of the various breeds." This article provides an overview of the SKK's structure, working programs and strategies to improve health in purebred dogs. Genetic health programs, use of Molecular genetic tests as well as a focus on the need for an international approach to management of health are discussed. ARTICLE AVAILABLE IN DOWNLOADS: Breeding dogs in Sweden - SKK's tools and efforts to improve canine health
  7. The Finnish Kennel Club has written instructions for breed crossing. The instructions are of help for breeders and breed clubs in planning, applying and monitoring breed crosses and crossbred individuals. This information is presented in The Finnish Kennel Club: Crosses between Breeds on DogWellNet.com in the Breeding for Health section: sub.section Crossbreeding.
  8. "The IPFD's signature event, the International Dog Health Workshops (IDHW) bring together decision makers from kennel and breed clubs, 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'." We are excited to report the online publication of the report on the 4th International Dog Health Workshop. We are particularly excited to report that actions prioritized at that meeting are underway and outcomes are being realized. Links to come.... Open Access - thanks to our Collaborators at Canine Medicine and Genetics Author details: 1 The Royal Veterinary College, UK; 2, 3 CEO, IPFD Canada and Sweden; 4 Svenska Kennelklubben, Sweden; 5 Queen’s University Belfast, UK; 6 The Kennel Club, UK; 7 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; 8 Université Paris-Saclay, Inrae, AgroParisTech, France; 9 Project Director, IPFD, Oregon, USA; 10 Chairman Dachshund Breed Council, London, UK. View Full Article at Canine Medicine and Genetics Here Download PDF: Report on the 4th IDHW Canine Medicine and Genetics May 2020.pdf
  9. Thanks to our co-hosts, The Kennel Club, the 4th International Dog Health Workshop was a great success. The consensus seems to be that the IDHWs just keep getting better and better. This is due in great part to the efforts of the attendees - decision leaders from 18 countries, representing all stakeholders in dog health and welfare - including representatives from research, the veterinary world, welfare organizations, kennel and breed organizations, and more. Stellar plenary speakers set the tone for intense and productive breakout sessions in the various themes. The themes were: Genetics, Breed-Specific Breeding Strategies, The Concept of Breed and its Impact on Health, Supply and Demand, and Extremes of Conformation. Below you will find links to fantastic pre- and post-workshop materials. Be sure to check in to DogWellNet.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for important updates from the several working groups who are already moving ahead with needed actions. As seen in the word cloud from our participants, a key aspect of this meeting is collaboration and networking. Coming together with others who are dealing with similar challenges and who share a commitment to health dogs provides a boost of energy for both cooperative efforts as well as the day to day work by these committed dog people. Below you will also see reports and write ups about the 4th IDHW, and there will be more as the work continues. Thanks to all who attended, and we will keep you informed on developing plans for the 5th IDHW in 2021. 4th IDHW Pre- and Post-Meeting Resources From pre-meeting reading material to posters and slide presentations from the workshop, we've compiled materials from the 4th IDHW, so that participants can refer back to them - and so that those who were unable to attend can also benefit from this impressive collection of downloadable resources. Pre-Meeting Resources | Post Meeting Resources Articles on the 4th IDHW Vet Record News: 4th IDHW workshop - "Improving the health of pedigree dogs" Lance Novak, Executive Director, Canadian Kennel Club: From My Side of the Desk: Canine Health and Wellness Several articles by Ian J. Seath of the Dachshund Breed Council (DBC): My report on the 4th International Dog Health Workshop for Our Dogs My presentation to the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW4) Breed Health Strategies – Addressing the challenges: My July 2019 “Best of Health” article The why and how of Breed-specific Health Strategies – “Best of Health” June 2019 Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi's Report from the Genetic Testing Theme, from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop Canine Genetics and Epidemiology Journal. As following the 3rd IDHW, we are compiling a report on the 4th that will be review and published by our collaborating partners at CGE. If you haven't seen the previous article, check it out here. Global Pet Obesity Initiative After an overwhelming show of support by attendees of the 4th IDHW, IPFD has confirmed its support of the Global Pet Obesity Initiative Position Statement (launched by The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)) calling for the veterinary profession to adopt uniform nomenclature for canine and feline obesity. IPFD is currently in discussions with APOP to look at ways to collaborate on the important issue of canine obesity.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Is COVID-time the Right Time to Kon Mari Your Genetic Testing Plans? a blog by Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, MSc; Project Director of the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative. “People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.” -Marie Kondo, Founder of the Kon Mari method. If you’ve already, like so many of us, used the Kon Mari de-cluttering method of “sparking joy” and being “mindful, introspective, and forward-looking” in cleaning out your garage, re-organizing your closets, and finally hanging those shelves, then it is no surprise you might be feeling like your breeding plans could do with a little refresh and reorganize. Sometimes in life, it is really valuable to assess our habits and old ways to see if they still “spark joy” or in this case, are still working effectively to achieve breeding goals. With many breeder organizations encouraging caution when planning litters, or recommending delaying mating plans, (click here) this could be the perfect time to reflect on dog breeding, and be mindful, introspective, and forward-looking with genetic testing! Being Mindful: Identifying what you want to achieve with genetic testing is critical in ensuring that the tests you use are fit for your purpose, and that you are making informed breeding decisions. There are a number of potential goals: confirming a litter’s parentage, using disease/trait test results to guide breeding plans to reduce risks or promote desirable characteristics, or providing a genetic permanent identification for your breeding dogs or puppies. Genetic tests fall into a few different types. For breeders, you might mainly be interested in parentage testing (providing confirmation of a puppy’s parents), permanent identification (a panel of markers that provide a unique genetic “fingerprint” that cannot be removed), and disease/trait tests (individual tests, or packages of tests that give risk or inheritance information on a wide-variety of inherited diseases and traits, such as coat type or color.) There are also genetic tests that are diagnostic or used to assess clinical risks, and increasingly, tests that investigate breed diversity or breed determination. What types of tests you use is determined by what your goals are – it is easy to confuse testing options, and you don’t want to order a parentage test thinking you’re getting a permanent ID, or health information. If you have a number of goals, many genetic test providers offer packages of tests, or reduced costs when purchasing multiple tests and test-types. When choosing disease or trait tests for your breed, you can start by searching the breed-specific tests listed on HGTD. The HGTD project has recently launched Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) as a guide to what research and evidence (or not) supports available breed-specific tests. BRR uses a “traffic light” system to indicate what we currently know about a specific test for a specific breed. You can use this information in a number of ways, but it is useful when assessing how well-understood a specific disease test might be in your breed. These ratings are dynamic, and will change over time as more information becomes available. As HGTD also provides information on each disease/trait test, you can see the original research for many tests, and use this in conjunction with any information from your test providers to better interpret and understand test results. This is especially valuable when balancing a number of different test results in your dogs, with other breeding considerations. As more breed-specific tests become available, more dogs will of course have a variety low/medium and high-risk results. There is no such thing as a genetically “perfect” dog! We have recently heard from a number of kennel clubs who are either already starting to incorporate parentage testing and genetic permanent identification into their databases, or making plans for this in the future. It can be really reassuring to both breeders and pet homes to have genetic confirmation of parentage – and if you have a genetic permanent identification, it can’t get “lost”, be removed, or be changed. When choosing a parentage or ID test, look for ISAG accreditation to ensure that your test results are interpretable internationally. The ISAG panel used by many GTPs is considered a “gold standard.” They have recently released a new ISAG 2020 panel for SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) testing, in addition to the 2004, and 2006 STR (short-tandem repeat/microsatellite) panels. Once you’ve decided on your goals, and what test(s) you might want to achieve them, who is your best test provider? The Search by GTP/Lab option lets you review test providers, including what tests they offer, any accreditation, and special expertise they have. Many genetic test providers are able to perform and provide test results completely remotely and only require you to use a home kit to test your dogs. Keep in mind that during the COVID-19 pandemic that any tests that require a blood sample, or being sampled by a veterinary professional may not be recommended at this time. Other considerations for choosing a test provider might be which GTPs are “accepted” by your kennel club, what reports look like and any after-care, and what types of tests are offered. (click here) Genetic test providers are increasingly offering breed-specific “panel” tests, which can be really cost effective. It is worth checking to ensure the panel they are offering includes all the tests you’re interested in, or be ready to buy additional tests. In addition, it is recommended that if you are using a panel test, you take your time when reading breed-specific reports. Some panel test providers like to provide all results, irrespective if the test is yet known to be breed-relevant, and others prefer to report only results that are known or suspected to be relevant. Responsible genetic test providers have clear risk information in their reports, whichever style they use. There is a risk that making breeding decisions based on results from irrelevant tests (e.g. where the mutation in your breed has no known correlation with disease risk) could lead to an unnecessary reduction in genetic diversity, false-confidence in disease risk reduction, or welfare issues if a dog’s results are mis-interpreted as a diagnosis for a disease they will never have symptoms of. Introspective/Self-reflective: what to do when you get your test results? Unless you are only interested in parentage or permanent ID, you will almost certainly have more than one genetic disease/trait result to consider in your breeding plans. You will also have other aims outside of genetic testing such as conformation, behavior, and clinical test results, as well as, perhaps the health and longevity of dogs related to the breeding pair. There are many resources that can provide a wide-variety of breeding advice for your breed. (click here) It can be helpful to divide the genetic test information on the dam and sire into a number of categories – what test results do I have? Which are high, medium or low risk? Any that are no risk at all? And, with what I know about the disease test results, how important are they to the health and welfare of my dogs when balanced against other concerns in my breed? Part of what makes genetic tests such a valuable tool, is that you are able to make fairly confident decisions when it comes to paring dogs to reduce or eliminate disease risk, i.e. it may be strongest for rejecting certain pairings. In other words, after eliminating certain potential mates due to genetic incompatibility, you can go on to look at the pros/cons, benefits and risks of the options remaining. Even if genetic testing offers some solid information, do not get lulled into making false assumptions about the over-all suitability of mating pairs or the health of a dog or its progeny (see: Health tested does not mean healthy). Genetic testing is a core breeding tool, but breeders must not get complacent or allow the popularity, simplicity and ‘high science’ of using ‘DNA’ results to distract them from tackling the greater challenges of informed breeding decisions, e.g. prioritizing health, conformation or behavioral traits that don’t come with genetic tests. No one analytic tool or test can replace the broad knowledge and experience that is needed in order to adequately consider the big picture for breeding decisions. Take time to reflect back to your original goals, with your gained insight into the tests and results…“I want to eliminate this mutation from my breeding plans, but doing it slowly will be better for my breed as a whole” vs “this is a really rare disease with high welfare-impact, so trying to get it out of the breeding population quickly is important” vs “I have 20 important considerations, and this genetic test is only one of them.” This is a really useful way to keep your eye on the end-goals, use genetic tests to help hone your breeding plans, and focus your energy. Forward looking Genetic testing technology, including what tests are available and advances in interpretation and advice (as well as confusion!) are only going to increase over time. Most kennel and breed clubs are already including genetic test results in breed records to some extent , and as the genetic technology advances and becomes more accessible, the future is likely to include genetic testing as standard practice, especially when it comes to registration – with parentage testing, and/or health testing regulations. Being informed now will help you to be prepared for the future, and improve your breeding plans moving forward. As a final note, a key part of the Kon Mari method of organizing includes the concept of “thank you, and good bye.” This philosophy allows you to reflect on what worked in the past, be okay with it, and also say good bye to move onto better things for your future. This is the same in dog breeding – you might have tried something in the past that doesn’t work now, or you might have had something that worked okay but could be better. Or you may have old habits and attitudes that could be dropped. Say goodbye, and move on. Learn the lessons from the past experiences, but only take with you when moving into the future, what is right for you and your breeding strategies now and moving forward. References: Kondo, Marie. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
  13. The wonderful thing about our IPFD collaborator, brilliant person, and incredibly knowledgeable dog person Ian Seath, is that, when major issues are at foot, my procrastination at commenting is rewarded by him posting an article that says almost everything I wish I would have said. All that is left for me to do is to add a few comments and send it out. This is very true for his latest installment on his platform Dog-Ed: COVID-19: A (dog) world of unanticipated consequences Ian does a great job of describing our situation, with relation to other experience of times of disruption: "In the world of business and leadership development, there’s a concept that’s been around for a while that describes the world we’re in. It’s VUCA, which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. ...There are no simple solutions in a VUCA world; we need to understand that decisions made in one part of a system can have quite surprising and unanticipated consequences elsewhere. Often, those consequences will be counter-intuitive." He goes on to describe different possible outcomes and ramifications for dog registrations in the UK - a situation IPFD is monitoring together with our many KC Partners from different countries. As Ian suggests, things could go either way. In Iceland, after the financial collapse in 2008, breeders were worried they would not find homes for their puppies; in fact, demand was higher as people realized they would not be able to travel outside the country as much and embraced the new reality and options. It is clear that there is an uptick in adoptions in North America (and UK as described in Ian's article). And while we totally agree that pets are fantastic companions, we have to think about 'unintended consequences'. Where did your Covid-dog come from? And what happens when life goes back to normal? Ian does an excellent job describing concerns about sourcing of puppies, supply and demand, rescues, and more. In every case it is, at least potentially, a 'for better and for worse situation'. Firstly, being able to determine the quality and welfare of dogs from various sources of dogs is an ongoing challenge, possibly increased during the Covid situation when people are in a rush to get a pet. For example, some sources, especially with online sales, even if promoted as 'rescues', may be re-sourcing puppy-farmed dogs. Beyond that concern - in North America there is a generally positive response to news that shelters and rescues are emptying out... which is great as long as there is not a flood back to shelters when economic hardships hit if restrictions continue, or if, when people return to work, they suddenly remember why they did not really have the capacity to be responsible dog owners. And I saw a report that dogs adoptions were not allowed now in France, for various reasons, no doubt - and that approach may both prevent some and create other problems. Beyond immediate and short terms concerns, animal welfare problems are an ongoing concern throughout the world and may be more marked as we move out of the current crisis and into the new normal. One example - given economics and financial expenditures for the pandemic, many (most?) non-profits will be challenged in the near future with reduced funds and donations. And, will animal welfare programs suffer with the focus on the problems of people? We must work to be sure that does not happen. And, as has been discussed in other blogs, What about the dogs?!? Ian does a great job describing possible impacts on the dogs, themselves. I would add that online training courses are great, but without the opportunity for e.g. puppy classes, dogs might not get the socialization with others of their own kind. One of our IPFD consultants is concerned about similar issues with her 19-month-old toddler - surrounded by adults but deprived of play opportunities with other children. (We feel he may be fine however, as his best friend is their Corgi, who is likely an excellent surrogate for other kids!) Then, as Ian suggests, perhaps being overly-socialized (my term) with people - receiving 24/7 attention now - what happens when that suddenly stops? Ian's main point is unintended consequences - and I might add that in times of stress, urgency, and uncertainty there is likely an increased tendency for impulsive vs. well-considered decisions - about many things, including breeding or acquiring a dog. At IPFD, everything we do reminds us of the inter-connectedness of issues of health and welfare, the role of human-dog interactions, and the roles and contributions of many stakeholders. And everything we do, DogWellNet.com, International Dog Health Workshops, my blogs, etc. tries to remind us of the big picture. As Ian suggests, models are great - but! As an epidemiologist, I have been asked about this frequently lately. And this is the reality: Models are only as good as the data and assumptions on which they are founded. Even with great inputs models inherently output predictions not certainties which should be expressed as such, with ranges ('error' in statistical terms) and as best-case/ worst-case scenarios, never exact proclamations. In the case of the novel (i.e. new to us) coronavirus there are vast unknowns, and therefore the uncertainties for models and decision making are huge. Ian ends with: "There are unanticipated consequences of any decision, but my glass is always half-full and I am optimistic that we will come out of this situation stronger as a dog community. Remember: DOGS ARE FOR LIFE, not just for Coronavirus." And that last bit I started with as the title of this blog. Another blog is scheduled to cover the impacts in the veterinary world... including the constantly and quickly evolving world of veterinary regulations in the face of COVID-19, including the expanded possibilities or 'telemedicine'. Let' follow Ian's lead, and try to think about the glass being half-full, look for creative ways to remain positive, and move forward with compassion for all. After note: Since posting this blog, another article has come to my attention. "I Got a Pandemic Puppy, and You Can Too" in The Atlantic. This article is full of wonderful reasons why a dog is a great support and benefit to humans. And does caution, "as long as new owners act intentionally and with long-term planning in mind, the prolonged stretch of time at home might provide a unique chance for owners to bond with new pets." My concern is whether most people, in the rush to satisfy their short term needs, have really planned explicitly for those long term challenges or just think they can figure all that out down the road. And heaven forbid we start a trend where having a 'Pandemic Puppy' becomes a status thing. The authors go on to say, "This difficult period may mean that people become more attached and attuned to their pets than if they were seeing their animals for only a few hours a day, which may help get them through the hurdles of pet ownership with slightly less frustration." Indeed, and yet presumably people will transition rather easily to going back to work and adjust to less time with their dog. As mentioned it the blog above and the other we have cited... how easy will it be for the dog? Remember - that bond goes both ways. Will we have shelters getting inundated with 'Pandemic Puppies' with separation anxiety when their owners return to their busy lives? More unintended consequences? Also pertinent to the discussion above, and with absolutely no reference to specific sources mentioned to the article in The Atlantic, if a retail source can markedly and quickly increase the number of puppies available in response to Covid demand - I would want to carefully determine from where those animals came. Glass half full again - let's hope we end up with more committed, responsible dog owners and well-adjusted healthy dogs in good situations. Let's hope. .
  14. Breed Standards are valuable tools for defining, maintaining and preserving purebred dog breed's distinct type and purpose. Interpretation of conformation points described by the language used in Breed Standards is much debated among serious breed fanciers and judges. Recently comments have been made regarding the need to review and change the Breed Standards for some breeds with the aim of clarifying 'ideal' characteristics described, particularly with a mind to the Breed Standard's wording and its relationship to breed health and welfare. Preservation of a breed's cherished qualities rides on breeders' understanding and interpretation of the breed standard and real world application of choosing mating pairs likely to produce offspring that favorably 'measure up' to the ideal specimen described in the Breed Standard - including producing a dog fit for purpose and function.
  15. SWEDEN Collaboration and problem solving -- brachycephalic breeds... thanks goes to the SKK for their continued work to address health and welfare issues in dog breeds. Here you will find information pertaining to management of brachycephalic dog breeds - discussion and actions - by representatives from Swedish Veterinary Association, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the County Administrative Board, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and SKK. Many thanks go to SKK's Linda Andersson for sharing this write-up with the DogWellNet community.
  16. Jerold S Bell DVM (jerold.bell@tufts.edu) Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University presented this article at the 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference. The article has been reprinted here with the written permission of the author.
  17. Here we are pleased to present a Chapter from the Book - Standards, Health and Genetics in Dogs/Standards, Santé et Génétique chez le Chien GUINTARD C. and LEROY G. [Dir.], Standards, Health and Genetics in Dogs / Standards, santé et génétique chez le Chien /, FCI-SCC-SKK ed., 2017, ISBN : 9 782746 696730, 400 p. Relationships between genetics, breeding practices and health in dogs - Grégoire Leroy (France) English and French versions are available.
  18. I had the honour to be invited to give a talk at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association conference in Washington, DC on 04 August 2019. I was asked to speak on the One Health aspects of genetic testing. Many of you will have heard of One Health. The human medical establishment started to coin this phrase in the early 2000's to indicate an approach to health that considered humans, animals an the environment. As a veterinarian and an epidemiologist I can tell you that we had that figured out a long time before, but as it was also put forward by Hippocrates, I don't suppose we will worry about who came first! For more info see this article by One Health Sweden... and their image. I specify how genetic testing fits under that umbrella. It actually is a bit of a no-brainer isn't it? Everything we do with dogs is tied up with people and so many conditions of concern are affected by where and how we live, in the broadest sense. When we talk about genetic testing, both from the science to the commercialization and application there are so many points of intersection between the human and pet world. As you will see in my talk, attached below, the impacts can't be ignored if we are to successfully navigate the world of genetic testing. For us and for our pets! Although many of the issues raised are a cause for concern and increase our awareness of significant challenges, we should always keep in mind that there are a host of potential and even remarkable benefits to be realized from genetic testing. However, with Direct-To-Consumer marketing, the popularization of genetic testing, and the many challenges raised on the spectrum from discovery to application we all need the information and tools to make the best decisions. These issues were also raised, discussed at the 4th IDHW and working groups are moving ahead to address them. IPFD has the Harmonization of Genetic Testing already available and we are working on further developments like the Expert Panel and the Health Strategies Database for Dogs, as well as breed specific tools to help owners, breeders, advisors, researchers, veterinarians - really all stakeholders in the crazy-wonderful world of genetic and genomic testing. [[link to Aimee's article]] Warning - the complexities of genetic testing are not going to go away in the near future! Let's continue to work together for the health, well-being and welfare of our animal companions and the humans who wouldn't want to live without them. One Health! BONNETT - Genetic Testing The Big Picture_AVMA talk August 2019.pdf
  19. Thanks to Kevin Colwill for his thoughtful piece entitled "Breeding: Is it a moral choice" in the Our Dogs Newspaper and thanks to both for permission to reproduce here. In this concise yet thought-provoking article Kevin discusses his thoughts on the question: When it comes to breeding pedigree dogs, how much is too much and how far is going too far? Some points worth considering: Issues in extreme breeds reflect on all breeders. Certainly, negative attention in the media moves quickly from one particular issue or breed and soon expands to include all pedigreed dogs; Beyond that, legislation meant to address specific problems/breeds may result in broad restrictions on breeding - and often undesirable and unfortunate (even for the dogs) consequences. Although he says "Each breed is its own unique little, or not so little, community" and implies that trying to make blanket decisions for the massive diversity of breeds presents challenges. However, he is also saying that many issues, especially ethical ones, should apply across all breeds and breeding and cannot be left to e.g. individual breed clubs. The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is founded on the principal that although individuals may operate within a limited community - local or national - dogs and dog breeding are a global phenomenon and many challenges must be considered and addressed with an international - and multi-disciplinary - perspective. "Breed clubs aren’t defending the time-honoured look of the breed. They’re defending a relatively modem interpretation of how their breed should look." Here he is debunking the claims of some that extreme dogs must look the way they do to preserve the history and traditional of the breed, when, in fact, many/most breeds were originally both more moderate and more diverse in appearance. His suggestion that "the KC must be much more hard¬nosed in confronting breed clubs and insisting on change." Many KCs and breed clubs, especially throughout Europe are confronting the issues head-on. However, there seems to be resistance from breeders, judges and others. Support from the broader community of breeders to implement change is needed. For many years, lecturing about breed-specific issues in dogs, even before the existence of IPFD, in discussions with the breeding community, veterinarians and others, it was becoming self-evident that if concerns were not addressed by the dog community, society would likely impose 'solutions' on them. This is coming to fruition in many areas, and society and the media wants to move at a much faster pace than many in the pedigreed dog world. I think Kevin Colwill's call to action by KCs, and all ethical breeders - not limited to those in specifically affected breeds - is timely and important to consider. PDF version - Breeding-is it a moral choice - PDF.pdf
  20. Love is Blind is a joint initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA: "We’re raising public awareness about the animal welfare problems caused by exaggerated physical features such as brachycephaly, short limbs and excessive skin wrinkling, and how these problems can be prevented." This campaign stresses many of the issues in international work being presented on DogWellNet.com and the work - building on previous Workshops - that will happen at the imminent 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW), in Windsor, UK, 30 May - 01 June, 2019. Including: The challenges of the brachycephalic breeds need to be understood by current AND future owners, breeders, veterinarians, kennel and breed clubs and other stakeholders, All these groups need to work together for the benefit of individual dogs and the breeds. The material suggests actions needed to be taken by each of these groups, including attention to sourcing of dogs, breeding, showing and more. Resources: See the Australian Love is Blind homepage for links to material, including several videos explaining the increased susceptibility of these dogs to heat and providing practical advice for owners. We have recently posted on Facebook a video entitled 'The Purebred Crisis' that describes this campaign, interviews veterinarians, owners and a breeder-judge. This video highlights the very different attitudes and perceptions for various individuals. It is this variation in opinion and approach to these dogs that complicates efforts to improve health and welfare in these breeds. I have discussed this in previous blogs. There is no question that people are attracted and deeply attached to these dogs that have, as the Aussies say, "squishy faces", and that they have delightful personalities. However, it is also clear that some owners do not realize the health and welfare challenges in these breeds. One of the themes at the 4th IDHW is effective communication, and we need to use all available tools and knowledge from experts in order to change human behaviour - to not only educate people but also to encourage collaboration. See more in Brenda's blogs, including: French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018 Breeding: A Moral Choice? and: 4th International Dog Health Workshop Pre-Meeting Resources, for example: 4th IDHW Theme #5: Exaggerations and Extremes in Dog Conformation And this previous post on DogWellnet.com: Love is Blind - Dr Philip Moses
  21. Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals posted this on their Facebook page: "Fantastic work exploring the demand for rhino horn with the aim of creating campaigns with messaging that is more likely to work than current messaging. At HBCA we believe that it is vital that we don't make assumptions about why people do or don't do things and that we find out for ourselves so we enjoyed reading this article and the papers it links to." And directed us to: We asked people in Vietnam why they use rhino horn. Here’s what they said. (Image: Malaysia’s wildlife department seized 50 African rhino horns destined for Vietnam last year. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL) As I read it I noticed parallels to challenges with human behaviour change in dogs. Words like: deeply held beliefs... status... and focus on personal wants and needs and not what consumers consider 'remote' issues. From the article: "Our findings shed light on why current campaigns against rhino horn purchases aren’t working. For example, they tend to highlight the plight of rhinos, suggest that rhino horn doesn’t have medicinal properties or emphasize the legal consequences of purchasing it. ... From our research it’s clear that people who buy rhino horn won’t be won over by any of these arguments." As the authors suggest... in order for education efforts to make a difference - actually change outcomes - "[campaigns] must be "better informed about the values associated with the use of rhino horn and that target the most prevalent types of uses." I would suggest that we can cross out rhino horn and write in any number of current controversial issues in the dog world and take this as good advice. To become 'better informed' we must listen to each other and not impose our perception of the important issues or compelling arguments onto others if we want to be effective. Many of us are thinking about these issues as we approach the 4th IDHW in Windsor, UK, later this month. See, e.g. Ian Seath's latest blog: We need to stop trying to change people’s minds!
  22. Many of our colleagues, collaborators, members and readers have a special interest in their own breed(s) and on DogWellNet.com we try to provide extensive breed-specific content. However, a key underlying tenet of IPFD and our platforms is that there is great deal of information and experience that is relevant across breeds, across activities and across regions. Therefore our emphasis on sharing. Thanks to Barbara Thiel who recently shared a presentation on Actual challenges in breeding show type Greyhounds by Dr. med. vet. Barbara Kessler, scientist at the Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. Notwithstanding the title and the information on some Greyhound-specific diseases, much of this talk is about challenges of selection, inbreeding, and impact on diversity that applies to all breeds. Barbara Kessler has makes some strong statements based on her academic and personal experience. She lists, e.g. some autoimmune diseases associated with reduced genetic (sic) variability, including allergies, diabetes, and hypothyroidism - conditions seen, perhaps increasingly in some other breeds. There are great graphics provided by veterinarian Barbara Thiel highlighting the breeding separation of Greyhounds based on their activities. And Barbara Kessler contrasts the breeding approaches of 50 years ago to more recently. Some of the challenges they highlight exemplify discussions at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop on 'The Concept of Breeds and its Impact on Health'. This recalls to mind a discussion I observed at an international meeting of Springer Spaniel Clubs at the time of the World Dog Show in Sweden in 2008. There were passionate and conflicting claims that the breed was first and foremost a working/hunting breed or now a show breed; long time breeders and experts were adamant that it was a breed with strong working capabilities that was also beautiful - just as it was (i.e. without a long, silky coat or other adaptations to the show ring). I do not want to imply that any one approach is the only or right one. However, I can concur strongly with one of Kessler's messages, specifically that people who are applying strong selection, breeding rapidly and intensely for specific appearances, need to be very aware of the larger and longer-term consequences of that approach. These issues are fraught with emotion, attachment to certain ideals, and even well-established human behaviours. Many accuse anyone of providing this type of information as being anti-dog shows or anti-purebred dogs. However, in many cases those who are calling for awareness, change and addressing challenges head on are themselves passionate about these breeds and fully committed to their preservation, health and welfare. The talk goes on to an interesting and thought-provoking section on genetic diversity and I hope our working group on this topic from the 4th IDHW will find it useful. As stated in this box... we depend on breeders to 'keep their 'eye on the whole dog' ... but then it must be that - and not getting swayed into too much focus on appearance, extremes, the latest fashion. or what judges are awarding Let's keep the lines of communication open. It seems that many are taking increasingly extreme and opposing views on challenges in dog breeding and the world of pedigree dogs. Perhaps this stems from sincere and increasing concerns... whether it is veterinarians and researchers who are more worried about the health and welfare of the dogs ... or breeders and exhibitors and judges feeling that their pastimes, culture and even livelihoods are under attack. But regardless, confrontation is not likely to be best for the dogs or their humans. Thoughtful awareness of the impact of our actions; compassion more than judgement: and a willingness to listen are all good to consider. And let's keep sharing the wonderful material and resources from around the world. Original link: http://katrin-und-joachim.de/2019/07/24/actual-challenges-in-breeding-show-type-greyhounds/ "On occasion of the Finnish Greyhound Club Show, Dr Barbara Kessler was invited to talk about Greyhound health"... The Greyhound Show website: http://katrin-und-joachim.de Also see: DWN's Greyhound page
  23. 4th International Dog Health Workshop (2019) Poster ......................................................................................... Breeding for Health in the Finnish Kennel Club The in-depth document (links provided below) is from a presentation which Katariina Mäki gave in August 2014 at the World Dog Show. It is an overview of the work the Finnish Kennel Club is doing in order to promote genetic health of dogs. The presentation was open for anyone interested. You can download the document as a pdf version from our Downloads section or... download the attached document.
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