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About this blog

Deep thoughts from the CEO of IPFD

Entries in this blog

 

Why do people choose the dogs they do - and what is the impact on dog health and welfare?

Why do people choose the dogs they do and how does that influence the health and welfare of dogs? How can what we know – and don’t know – about these complexities inform our efforts to educate people and safeguard the well-being of our canine companions? A new open access article is an excellent, comprehensive review of published evidence about factors influence dog acquisition: Acquiring a Pet Dog: A Review of Factors Affecting the Decision-Making of Prospective Dog Owners B
 

Veterinary Record: "Brachycephalic tipping point: time to push the button? "

Health and welfare issues continue to be in media, with a comment  in the latest issue of The Veterinary Record entitled "Brachycephalic tipping point: time to push the button?" and a report: "It's now time to curb advertising using flat-faced dogs, say vets".  The latter has comments from industry representatives, researchers, vets and others.  Many in the UK are alarmed at the burgeoning popularity of these dogs.  As Caroline Kisko, of The Kennel Club states, for all breeds, less than a third

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Thoughts inspired by our newest partner...

We are so excited to welcome the Irish Kennel Club as our latest Partner.   Their pride in their national breeds and long history is wonderful to see. When visiting them earlier this spring, President Sean Delmar shared with me some stories about their founder. It seems that the development of the IKC to some extent mirrored the challenges that were being faced by the country as a whole. Here is an excerpt from the History section of the IKC website.   "The freedom fighters who drove the club’

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Those Fabulous Finns!

The Finnish Kennel Club continues to inspire us!   Finland is a country of about five and half million people and with the highest ratio of dogs to people.  They are fiercely proud of their historical association with dogs - and so they should be.  It is a country where a high percentage of dogs are still used for their original purpose.  The dog continues to be integrated closely with Finnish culture.     And that wonderful, deep, and long history is now celebrated online wi

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

The Brachycephalic Issue: Evidence, Emotion and Challenged Beliefs

I look forward with interest to see how the discussions and collaborations develop on this important issue.  Brachycephalic – flat-faced dogs – are a hot topic. As has been said elsewhere, there are intense emotions and strongly-held opinions on all sides.  There continue to be opposing views expressed on the internet and social media - not always in a respectful manner; some rather confrontational. In my experience, people at opposing poles (of this and other issues) often share some similarit

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Rhinos in Vietnam: Messaging that doesn't impact the target audience

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 V
 

Reaching out to the Behaviour Community

I am issuing invitations to join the community to numerous experts in the behaviour field. Hoping to get some participation before the Canine Behaviour and Genetics meeting in London 26-29 June. At least I hope to spark a little interest.   The greatest challenge is that everyone is too busy. It is easy to say that we can collaborate and share on DogWellNet.com - and I do believe there is a great potential for success and efficiency and reducing redundancy of efforts - but it has to start with

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Pets, Perception, and Personal Preference

  I recently participated in the educational and thought-provoking conference on brachycephalic breeds presented by the Swedish Kennel Club, 27 February 2016.  More on that later …   Something that arises in all discussions of problems in dogs – especially those with exaggerated physical characteristics – is the fascinating issue of personal preference and people’s attraction, devotion, and attachment to certain br

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Paris in the Spring!

I am in Paris working on arrangements for the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, hosted by the French Kennel Club (SCC).     The format will be similar to previous workshops: from Friday evening until Sunday at noon   125-150 stakeholders representing all aspects of the global dog world - including decision-influencers from major kennel clubs, cynological organizations, breeders, judges, veterinarians, researchers, welfare groups and more -  will build collabor

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

New Research: “PET OWNERSHIP SAVES $11.7 BILLION IN HEALTH CARE COSTS”

HABRI - The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative has published new research detailing the beneficial effects of pet ownership - for their owners and for the health care industry. Here is their press release: PET OWNERSHIP SAVES $11.7 BILLION IN HEALTH CARE COSTS HUMAN ANIMAL BOND RESEARCH INITIATIVE RELEASES NEW ECONOMIC STUDY   "The Human Anima

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

New Data on Registrations and Tests

We are receiving data from our Partners on registration statistics and screening tests. For example, Astrid Indrebö has provided a wonderful spreadsheet of Norwegian data (will be available soon in Downloads). Ann Milligan (IPFD staff) is busy integrating material from various sources into the breed pages. She is also working closely with Eddie Dzuik from OFA on getting more links to their statistics. Hopefully, as we follow developments it will give us more and creative ideas on how best t

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Nearly 20 Years of DNA Testing – What Can We Learn?

Ian Seath, a great friend and collaborator of IPFD has provided a clearly and thoughtfully profiled an article from our Partners at The Kennel Club in the UK in his post: NEARLY 20 YEARS OF DNA TESTING – WHAT CAN WE LEARN? Ian does a great job of summarizing and highlighting the material in this important paper and I will let you read his coverage, and, as he suggests, the original paper: "I don’t want to dwell on the detail of the research; you can read that for yourself, here

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

More on French Bulldogs: UK Breed Health and Conservation Plan

Following on from my blog on the Seminar for the FBDCA we are thrilled to find that the French Bulldog Club of England has shared their Breed Health and Conservation Plan (BHCP).  Link here;  PDF attached, below. These plans are being assembled by the health team at The Kennel Club, until recently spearheaded by Katy Evans (now the Jane H. Booker Chair in Canine Genetics at The Seeing Eye in the USA).  Similar to coverage in my talk (video link here), the focus is very broad in the BHCP and
 

Latest on brachycephalics from Sweden

IPFD has an ongoing role to report on international activities for health and welfare for dogs and to serve as an information hub. Issues with brachycephalic dogs continue to be at the forefront of health efforts by many stakeholders.  Our partners at the Swedish Kennel Club have recently posted information on two initiatives involving 'Trubbnosar' (short nosed) breeds. 1. We previously posted information on the activities of the SKK in brachycephalic health , as well as, a new, c

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

JAVMA Article on Genetic Testing Includes IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is to be commended on its attention to the complex and quickly evolving world of genetic testing and dog breeding! Their article on:  Genetic panel testing for breeds and hereditary disorders promises insights for dog owners, breeders, and veterinarians:                                   Unlocking the genetic secrets of your dog in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) AVMA's new policy encourages resea

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

International Collaboration for Dog Health - Epilepsy

The Press Office of The Royal Veterinary College has reported that: "Veterinary neurology experts collaborate for first ever global consensus on pets with epilepsy"    "Made up of 26 veterinary practitioner, neuropharmacology, neuropathology and neurology experts from around the world, the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force (IVETF) has produced seven ‘consensus statements’ that outline a number of recomme

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Interesting Animal Welfare Conference 2016

While searching out information relative to The Brachycephalic Issue I came across this conference: The First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare As they state on the conference info page: "The root cause of much animal suffering is human behaviour. However, traditional approaches to improving animal welfare have focussed on providing a service, such as accessible veterinary treatment, or campaigning for people to change their consumer habits. The understanding

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018

French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018

I was honored to address the French Bulldog Club of America at their National Specialty in Louisville, KY on October 31st, 2018. The invitation came from the Health & Genetics Committee of the French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA).  This invitation was prompted by my presentation on the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing initiative at the AKC-CHF Health Conference in St. Louis in August 2017.  Jan Grebe, Calvin Dykes and the others on the Committee stressed that  the "club is dedic

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

First entry

It seems appropriate that I should start a blog to share ideas and news from IPFD and DogWellNet. I am working these days at the Swedish KC offices, where, on any given day there are easily 40 to 60 (and I am told up to 100) dogs in attendance with their owners. Incredibly, it is rare that you hear any barking or noise - from the dogs, at least. Puppy Idon, pictured here, captured my heart instantly, last week. Her brother Grim is here today and it is interesting the personality differences, eve

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

European Parliament event:  Health Before Looks

European Parliament event: Health Before Looks

Health before looks -- Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats This message was delivered to the European Parliament at an event organized by our Collaborating Partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) together with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe(FVE). (Download PDF below.) This event was "aimed at ending the unnecessary suffering of dogs and 

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Engaging breed club members: Why is it such a challenge?

Why is it so hard to engage breeders in breed club health initiatives? In September I had the pleasure of making a presentation to the Breath Health Coordinators of The Kennel Club, in the UK:  I asked them to share with me their biggest challenge relative to their work on the health of their breeds and with breed clubs.  Many said their greatest difficulty was getting members of breed clubs to engage actively in health-related efforts, specifically in sharing accurate data on the occurren

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

DogWellNet: Next Phase June 2015

We have been working to make the site more welcoming by adding our 'Hot Topics' navigation aids to the home page. These should help orient first-time users or anyone looking to see just what might be available on DogWellNet.   We continue to encourage our Partners and Sponsors to contribute news and information to the site. As a new development, it will take time for everyone to get used to the resource, but we are confident things are heading in the right direction. They are working with each

Brenda Bonnett

Brenda Bonnett

 

Breeding: A Moral Choice?

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 me
 

Brachycephalics in Australia: Attitudes, issues and communication

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 In
  • International Dog Health Workshops

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    What our 4th IDHW participants have said...

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    ...Now, the real work begins!
     

    View 4th IDHW Theme Resources

    Post-Meeting Resources
    Plenary talks, Posters & Theme outcomes

  • Our Partners

    • The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKC) was founded in 1898, and is the largest organisation for dog owners in Norway.   Website: https://www.nkk.no/english/category1045.html Norwegian Kennel Club…
    •   Mars Veterinary is a business unit of Mars Petcare, the world’s largest pet care provider. Their mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship bet…
    • The SKK - Svenka Kennelklubben (Swedish Kennel Club, in English), is Sweden's largest organisation dedicated to dogs and dog owners. We represent the interests of our 300,000 members – first time d…
    • The OFA was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, the OFA is no longer an IPFD Partner.    Founded and originally incorporated as a private no…
    • Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal and equine insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent feat…
    • The French Kennel Club - SOCIÉTÉ CENTRALE CANINE (SCC) - was founded in 1881 as a non-profit organization by dog fanciers aiming to replenish native dog breeds and to bring in and establish foreign…
    • The Irish Kennel Club promotes the responsible ownership and breeding of dogs throughout Ireland through education, registration, training and support schemes and events.   Website: http://…
    • The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada and currently recognizes 175 breeds. As a non-profit organization, the CKC is dedicated to encouraging, guidi…
    • Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club (DKC)) is the official kennel club of The Netherlands. Founded in 1902, it currently represents around 200 breed clubs with 150,000 members.   …
    • The FCI was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, FCI is no longer an IPFD Partner.   The Fédération Cynologique Internationale is the World C…
    • Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through H…
    • The VDH - Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club in English) is the foremost organisation representing the interests of dog-owners throughout Germany – the first address to find ou…
    • Agria Djurförsäkring (Agria Animal Insurance) is one of the world's leading animal insurers specialising in small animal and equine insurance. The company dominates Scandinavian pet insurance and h…
    • Suomen Kennelliitto (Finnish Kennel Club, in English) - Established in 1889, the Finnish Kennel Club is a nationwide expert organisation on canine matters. Its aim is to promote the breeding of ped…
    • The Kennel Club is the largest organization in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.   …
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