Eldin Leighton has a PhD in animal breeding, and after a long career at The Seeing Eye, has founded the International Working Dog Registry, or IWDR. If you didn't listen to last week's episode where Eldin talked about his career before the IWDR, definitely check that out first. In this episode, he tells us all about the IWDR, how it helps gather large populations of dogs together to provide more data - and analyze that data! - to help breeders improve their breeding decisions, and whether it's useful for more than just working dogs. (Spoiler: yes it is.)
Eldin Leighton has a PhD in animal breeding and has wound up a long career managing the breeding program at The Seeing Eye, which is the largest guide dog organization in the US. In this episode, Eldin talks to us about how he got where he is now and gets super nerdy about the ins and outs of selecting breeding animals for the traits you want, from cattle to seeing eye dogs. (We love nerdy.) Eldin had so much good information that this ended up being two episodes, so stay tuned for part two next week.
The papers Eldin mentions in this episode are:
- Leighton, Eldin A., et al. "Genetic improvement of hip-extended scores in 3 breeds of guide dogs using estimated breeding values: Notable progress but more improvement is needed." PloS one 14.2 (2019): e0212544. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0212544
- Kealy, Richard D., et al. "Evaluation of the effect of limited food consumption on radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis in dogs." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 217.11 (2000): 1678-1680. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.204.1848&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Marina Phillips is the breeding director for the ADI (Assistance Dogs International) Breeding Cooperative. A breeding cooperative is a group of breeders with similar goals who exchange animals to form a larger breeding population than they could on their own. In this episode, Marina gets down and dirty with the details of how to put together and run a breeding cooperative, and wraps up with some insights on how she makes guardian homes (placing dogs in pet homes but keeping breeding rights) work for her. If you're a breeder who has ever struggled with how to keep enough potential breeding dogs in a house with limited space, this episode may be for you.
You can learn more about Marina's breeding program at http://www.eirlysgoldenretrievers.com/.
The podcast is going on a hiatus of a few weeks. I'm leaving you with this update on what's been happening with the Functional Dog Collaborative over its first months and where we're going next - guidelines of purpose, outlining our educational curriculum, T-shirts, and laying the groundwork for some big things in the future.
Kim Palermo owns BlueDog, a multicentric dog walking and training company, with her husband. There she runs manners and puppy classes for pet dog owners, and has her hands on quite a few doodles. In this episode, I talk with Kim about her changing perceptions of doodles, what she sees in doodles and doodle owners, and what she wishes first time dog owners knew before bringing their new puppy home. You can learn more about BlueDog at https://www.bluedogpetcare.com/ and you can follow Kim on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kimanddogs/.
Alicia Hobson, of Bear Lake Bearded Retrievers, is the founder of the Bearded Retriever Project. The Bearded Retriever is a breed in development, based on poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers; the dogs have a classic doodle look and F1 poodle/retriever crosses can be Bearded Retrievers. In this episode, Alicia and I talk breeder education, client education, coat genetics, and the social challenges of breeding doodles. You can learn more about Bearded Retrievers at https://beardedretrieverclubofamerica.org, and about Alicia's breeding program at https://www.bearlakebeardedretrievers.com/.
Amy Lane is the founder of the Goldendoodle Association of North America and the creator of the mini goldendoodle. GANA acts as a breed club for goldendoodle breeders, providing a registry, health testing guidance, and education. In this episode, Amy tells us all about goldendoodles, covering the genetics of shedding, what it means to call a doodle "hypoallergenic," and how GANA provides some really exceptional support to its members. You can learn more about GANA at https://www.goldendoodleassociation.com/ and about Amy at https://www.goldendoodles.net/.
Sophie Liu, DVM, is the founder of the Doberman Diversity Project. The DDP seeks to collect information in a single place about Dobermans for use to researchers who want to better understand the genetics of Doberman health issues. Sophie has some very cool specific, actionable plans for helping improve the breed's health, and in this episode, we talk about those plans, why Dobermans are great, what their health is like currently, and how hard it is to organize dog owners to get you the data you need.
Linda Seaver is the founder of Berner University, a two-day educational conference which convenes once each year at the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America National Specialty. Berner U aims to educate Berner owners and breeders about their dogs, including information from veterinarians, behaviorists, and experienced breeders, among others. Berner U couldn't happen in person this year due to the pandemic, but they are putting educational materials online. You can learn more about Berner U at http://berneru.org.
Jenna Dockweiler, DVM, DACT, is a theriogenologist working at Ethos Veterinary Health in Wheat Ridge, CO. What is a theriogenologist, you ask? In this episode, Jenna tells us what a theriogenologist does, how she became one (hint: lots and lots of school), and what theriogenologists have to offer breeders.