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Abstract

This paper reviews the history of the establishment of dog breeds, summarizes current health and resultant welfare problems and makes some positive suggestions for their resolution. Some breed standards and selection practices run counter to the welfare interests of dogs, to the extent that some breeds are characterized by traits that may be difficult to defend on welfare grounds. Meanwhile, little selection pressure seems to be exerted on some traits that would improve animal welfare and produce dogs better suited to modern society. Unfortunately, the incidence of certain inherited defects in some breeds is unacceptably high, while the number of registered animals of certain breeds within some countries is so low as to make it almost impossible for breeders to avoid mating close relatives. There are several constructive ways to overcome these challenges. Breed associations can ensure that reduction of welfare problems is one of their major aims; they can review breed standards; they can embrace modern technology for animal identification and pedigree checking; they can allow the introduction of 'new' genetic material into closed stud-books; and they can encourage collaboration with geneticists in identifying and using DNA markers for the control of inherited disorders. There should be a concerted effort to produce and evaluate as companion animals first-cross (F1) hybrids from matings between various pairs of breeds. Finally, geneticists must learn to communicate their science better and in a language that non-geneticists can understand.

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... This makes the Pug the fifth most commonly registered UK pedigree breed for 2014 after the Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel and French Bulldog [6]. However, despite their popularity, some well-documented health problems have been reported in Pugs [7], many of which paradoxically may be associated with conformational characteristics that also make the Pug fashionable as a breed such as wide, prominent eyes and short muzzles [8][9][10]. Pugs recorded the second highest count of disorders resulting directly from selection for conformational traits among the top fifty Kennel Club-registered breeds [11] and predispositions to 25 disorders have been reported in Pugs, with ocular, respiratory and dermatological problems especially highlighted [7]. ...
... Unfortunately the current study was unable to identify between Kennel Club registered and unregistered dogs but work is underway within the VetCompass Programme to enable such distinction and could contribute to greater clarity on the health comparisons between these two groups. The popularity of the Pug breed has been ascribed to anthropomorphic tendencies of owners who perceived as endearing their child-like or baby-like (paedomorphic) physical characteristics such as flat faces and large eyes [10,28] and behaviours such as tractability, attention seeking, begging for food and waiting patiently [29][30][31]. Social effects such as celebrity endorsement and product advertising that features Pugs may also strongly influence breed selection decisions by prospective puppy buyers [32][33][34][35][36]. ...
... However, increasing popularity of individual breeds is not necessarily a benign phenomenon. Extreme conformational features of the Pug such as large dark round eyes and flat faces that are appealing to humans have been associated with welfare concerns for the dogs [10,28,37]. There are also fears that increased demand for Pugs may contribute to suboptimal breeding and welfare standards as breeders and suppliers rapidly attempt to fulfil the heightened consumer demand [38]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The Pug is an ancient dog breed and was the fifth most commonly registered UK pedigree breed in 2014. However, the breed has been reported to be predisposed to several disorders including ocular, respiratory and dermatological problems. The VetCompass Programme collates de-identified clinical data from primary-care veterinary practices in the UK for epidemiological research. Using VetCompass clinical data, this study aimed to characterise the demography and common disorders of the general population of Pugs under veterinary care in England. Results: Pugs comprised 2709 (1.03 %) of 264,260 study dogs under veterinary care from September 1(st), 2009 to 30(th) April, 2015. Annual proportional birth rates showed that Pugs rose from less than 1 % of annual birth cohorts before 2008 to comprise 2.8 % of the 2013 annual birth cohort. The most common colours of Pugs were fawn (63.1 %), black (27.7 %), apricot (7.6 %) and silver (2.1 %). Of the 1009 pugs under veterinary care in the study during 2013, 688 (68.19 %) had at least one disorder recorded. The most prevalent disorders recorded overall were overweight/obesity (number of events: 133, prevalence: 13.18 %, 95 % CI: 11.12-15.43), corneal disorder (88, 8.72 %, 95 % CI: 7.05-10.63) and otitis externa (76, 7.53 %, 95 % CI: 5.98-9.34). The most prevalent disorder groups were ophthalmological (n = 164, prevalence: 16.25 %, 95 % CI: 14.03-18.68), dermatological (157, 15.60 %, 95 % CI: 13.38-17.95) and aural (152, 15.06 %, 95 % CI: 12.91-17.42). The most prevalent body locations affected were the head-and-neck (n = 439, prevalence = 43.51 %, 95 % CI: 40.42-46.63) and abdomen (195, 19.33 %, 95 % CI: 16.93-21.90). The most prevalent organ systems affected were the integument (321, 31.81 %, 95 % CI: 28.15-35.72) and digestive (257, 25.47 %, 95 % CI: 22.54-28.65). The most prevalent pathophysiologic processes recorded were inflammation (386, 38.26 %, 95 % CI: 34.39-42.27) and congenital/developmental (153, 15.16 %, 95 % CI: 12.61-18.13). Conclusions: Ownership of Pugs in England is rising steeply. Overweight/obesity, corneal disorder and otitis externa are the most common disorders in Pugs. Identification of health priorities based on VetComapss data can support evidence-based reforms to improve health and welfare within the breed.
... Although findings from referral studies may be useful for referral practitioners, these results are likely to be poorly generalisable to general primary-care caseloads and have limited applicability for quantifying disorder levels in broader dog populations [11]. It is therefore important for ophthalmologists, general clinicians and welfare scientists to access clinical research results from primarycare practice in order to offer informed advice relevant to the general primary-care CUD caseloads even if, and especially where, the standards of care differ from the norms in referral practice [12]. Welfare scientists can benefit from access to primary-care prevalence data that can assist with disorder prioritisation across all dogs and from access to breed risk factor data that can assist with focused prioritisation within individual breeds [12][13][14]. ...
... It is therefore important for ophthalmologists, general clinicians and welfare scientists to access clinical research results from primarycare practice in order to offer informed advice relevant to the general primary-care CUD caseloads even if, and especially where, the standards of care differ from the norms in referral practice [12]. Welfare scientists can benefit from access to primary-care prevalence data that can assist with disorder prioritisation across all dogs and from access to breed risk factor data that can assist with focused prioritisation within individual breeds [12][13][14]. ...
... In contrast, the present study analysed data from 104,233 dogs attending primary-care practices, among which there were 834 patients recorded with CUD. This, to the best of the authors' knowledge, makes the present study the largest of its kind, and the only one based on an exclusively primary-care practice population, and therefore offers a CUD clinical perspective that has previously not been reported [12,48]. ...
Article
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Background: Corneal ulcerative disease (CUD) has the potential to adversely affect animal welfare by interfering with vision and causing pain. The study aimed to investigate for the first time the prevalence, breed-based risk factors and clinical management of CUD in the general population of dogs under primary veterinary care in England. Results: Of 104,233 dogs attending 110 clinics participating within the VetCompass Programme from January 1st to December 31st 2013, there were 834 confirmed CUD cases (prevalence: 0.80%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75–0.86). Breeds with the highest prevalence included Pug (5.42% of the breed affected), Boxer (4.98%), Shih Tzu (3.45%), Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (2.49%) and Bulldog (2.41%). Purebred dogs had 2.23 times the odds (95% CI 1.84–2.87, P < 0.001) of CUD compared with crossbreds. Brachycephalic types had 11.18 (95% CI 8.72–14.32, P < 0.001) and spaniel types had 3.13 (95% CI 2.38–4.12, P < 0.001) times the odds for CUD compared with crossbreds. Pain was recorded in 385 (46.2%) cases and analgesia was used in 455 (54.6%) of dogs. Overall, 62 (7.4%) cases were referred for advanced management and CUD contributed to the euthanasia decision for 10 dogs. Conclusions: Breeds such as the Pug and Boxer, and conformational types such as brachycephalic and spaniels, demonstrated predisposition to CUD in the general canine population. These results suggest that breeding focus on periocular conformation in predisposed breeds should be considered in order to reduce corneal disease.
... Consequently, purebred dogs have a greater risk of suffering from genetic disorders than any other species 4 . A number of scientific publications have described the health problems of purebred dogs [5][6][7][8][9][10][11] and emphasized the need for action [9][10][11][12][13][14] ; the problem has also been highlighted recently in public media 15 . As a result, many breeders are increasingly using DNA tests to reduce the frequency of deleterious mutations in their breeding programs 4 . ...
... Consequently, purebred dogs have a greater risk of suffering from genetic disorders than any other species 4 . A number of scientific publications have described the health problems of purebred dogs [5][6][7][8][9][10][11] and emphasized the need for action [9][10][11][12][13][14] ; the problem has also been highlighted recently in public media 15 . As a result, many breeders are increasingly using DNA tests to reduce the frequency of deleterious mutations in their breeding programs 4 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is a multifactorial disease caused by interactions between genetic and environmental factors. HD, which mainly occurs in medium- to large-sized dogs, is a disease that causes severe pain and requires surgical intervention. However, the procedure is not straight-forward, and the only way to ameliorate the situation is to exclude individual dogs with HD from breeding programs. Recently, prime editing (PE), a novel genome editing tool based on the CRISPR-Cas9 system, has been developed and validated in plants and mice. In this study, we successfully corrected a mutation related to HD in Labrador retriever dogs for the first time. We collected cells from a dog diagnosed with HD, corrected the mutation using PE, and generated mutation-corrected dogs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. The results indicate that PE technology can potentially be used as a platform to correct genetic defects in dogs.
... population of dogs is critical to provide reliable disorder prevalence information on dogs [11,12]. National projects that hold anonymised veterinary clinical records from a diversity of primary-care practices have been identified as key resources for high quality health information relating to the wider population of dogs [10,11,13]. ...
... population of dogs is critical to provide reliable disorder prevalence information on dogs [11,12]. National projects that hold anonymised veterinary clinical records from a diversity of primary-care practices have been identified as key resources for high quality health information relating to the wider population of dogs [10,11,13]. Over the past decade, several epidemiological projects housing large health databases on companion animals have been established including VetCompass (VetCompass 2020) and SAVSNET (SAVSNET 2019) in the UK, PETscan in the Netherlands (PETscan 2019), BARK in the US [14] and VetCompass Australia in Australia (VetCompass 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Although dogs are a commonly owned companion animal in the UK, the species experiences many health problems that are predictable from demographic information. This study aimed to use anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass™ Programme to report the frequency of common disorders of dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK during 2016 and to explore effects associated with age, sex and neuter status. Results From an available population of 905,543 dogs under veterinary care at 886 veterinary clinics during 2016, the current study included a random sample of 22,333 (2.47 %) dogs from 784 clinics. Prevalence for each disorder was calculated at the most refined level of diagnostic certainty (precise-level precision) and after grouping to a more general level of diagnostic precision (grouped-level precision). The most prevalent precise-level precision disorders recorded were periodontal disease (prevalence 12.52 %, 95 % CI: 12.09–12.97), otitis externa (7.30 %, 95 % CI: 6.97–7.65) and obesity (7.07 %, 95 % CI: 6.74–7.42). The most prevalent grouped-level disorders were dental disorder (14.10 %, 95 % CI: 13.64–14.56), skin disorder (12.58 %, 95 % CI: 12.15–13.02) and enteropathy (10.43 %, 95 % CI: 10.04–10.84). Associations were identified for many common disorders with age, sex and neuter. Conclusions The overall findings can assist veterinarians and owners to prioritise preventive care and to understand demographic risk factors in order to facilitate earlier diagnosis of common disorders in dogs. The information on associations with age, sex and neuter status provides additional contextual background to the complexity of disorder occurrence and supports targeted health controls for demographic subsets of dogs.
... In some countries where the number of individuals of certain breeds is low, it has been diGRcult for breeders to avoid matzng close relatives and carriers of deleterious genes (McGreevy and Nicholas 1999). Behaviourally, too, there are obstacles, as selective breeding for purely aesthetic purposes has resulted in changes in morphology which can impede eSective interspeciSc and intraspeciGc communication systems, and this can be a cause of inappropriate behaviour. ...
... An inappropriately aggressive dog is a problem because of the damage that it can cause to human beings, other animals (Podberscek 1991), property and to itself. McGreevy and Nicholas (1999) theorise that selecting for the absence of speciSc behaviour disorders such as separation anxiety, one may inadvertently select fbr another behaviour disorder such as dominance a^ession because behaviour patterns are the consequence of underlying traits triggered by stimuli from their external environment. ...
Thesis
p>The behavioural patterns of a clinical population of 82 dogs diagnosed with a behaviour disorder were measured in both familiar and unfamiliar environments in order to establish a representative record of their behavioural repertoire. The observed behaviour patterns and clinical diagnoses were then compared to the dogs' thyroid status. In a separate study, the behaviour, thyroid hormones and plasma cortisol titres of 11 dogs with problematic behaviour was monitored for a six-week period during the implementation of behaviour modification programmes. Lastly, the incidence of behaviour disorders in a population of 218 dogs with different profiles of thyroid function was also examined. A relationship was found between thyroxine and the incidence of aggressive behaviour in dogs; however this relationship indicated that a low level of thyroxine was associated with low rather then high levels of aggression. Reduced levels of thyroid hormone were generally associated with reduced behavioural activity, both directly observed and as reported by owners. Reporting of separation related disorders was reduced in the antibody positive forms of hypothyroidism, probably due to a reduction in overall activity, whilst training disorders and coprophagia were associated with the sub clinical form of hypothyroidism, possibly mediated through stress hormones. Reduced thyroid function appears to be associated with inactive behaviour patterns, which is consistent with the observation that the principle symptom of hypothyroidism is lethargy. The findings of this thesis do not support proposal that lowered thyroid function is related to aggressive behaviour in the dog. The link between behaviour, thyroid hormone titre and cortisol was explored, but insufficient physiological data was available and this connection warrants further investigation. Comparisons of diagnoses by three clinicians of 15 cases from the clinical population indicated only 60% agreement, pointing to a need for a more transparent and consistent system for the classification of behavioural disorders in dogs.</p
... Many studies have shown the deleterious effects of unchecked purebred dog breeding practices [1][2][3]. Arguably, while formal dog breeding has produced an impressive diversity of breed shapes and sizes [4], it has also resulted in reduced genetic variation within breeds [5,6]. Much of current literature discusses the issues of breeding to conform to breed standards (or aesthetics) [7,8], specifically the phenotypic and genotypic consequences of selective breeding [8,9], as well as the prevalence of inherited disorders [2]. ...
... Based on the judges' assessments of the exhibits on the day of competition, the dog which best exemplifies the breed standard is awarded BOB and proceeds to compete in the show at higher levels, with dogs of other breeds which were similarly awarded. In this respect, dog show judges are essentially in a position of power to influence which dogs are highly awarded and, while they are extensively trained on the interpretation of a breed standard and impartiality, judges themselves may be influenced by a number of other factors [1,20]. These factors may include: the 'showiness' of the dog, the showmanship skills of the handler on the day and the judges' own personal preference for a particular morphotype of that breed [20]. ...
Article
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Much of the research on pedigree dog breeding has been directed towards understanding the implications of reduced genetic diversity and the prevalence of inherited disorders. An example is the potential role of the popular sire effect in perpetuating genetic defects. If male dogs are more likely than bitches to be identified as examples of members of a breed that align with breed standard, they may be selected for breeding earlier. This may contribute to the influence of individual males and contribute to popular sire effect. Conversely, if breed standards are written in a sex-neutral fashion, and if dogs are entered, exhibited, and judged in a sex-neutral fashion, then we would expect the success of female dogs in the show ring to be equal to that of their male counterparts. With a focus on toy and giant breeds, the current pilot study collated samples of dog show results to explore relationships between sex and the likelihood of success in the show ring. It focused on toy and giant breeds to explore any differences in equity, if it existed, at either end of the size and concomitant age-at-maturation spectrum. For the purpose of this study, toy breeds were those that weigh < 10 kg at maturity while giant breed dogs were those that exceed 45 kg. Within these two clusters, the least (n = 3) and most popular (n = 3) breeds were then selected to explore any potential role of sex on success in the show ring. The popularity of breeds was determined using the numbers of dogs registered with the Australian National Kennel Council. Using results from dog shows (n = 18) from 2015 to 2016, data on 1,080 dogs were obtained. Within these 12 breeds for the 18 shows, there were 137 Best of Breed (BOB) titles awarded: Pug (n = 18), Toy Poodle (n = 18), Bullmastiff (n = 14), Rottweiler (n = 17), Fox Terrier (Smooth) (n = 18), Bloodhound (n = 3), Schnauzer (miniature) (n = 15), Great Dane (n = 17), Norfolk Terrier (n = 10), Norwich Terrier (n = 5), Central Asian Shepherd Dog (n = 2). Despite the near parity of male and female dogs being exhibited, of these 137 titles, 86 (62.8%) were awarded to male dogs (at least 41 individuals) and 51 (37.2%) to female dogs (at least 32 individuals) showing that male dogs are more likely to win BOB titles (χ 2 = 9.4455, df = 1, p-value = 0.002117). Among the toy subset of breeds, this effect was higher (χ 2 = 6.798, df = 1, p-value = 0.009126) than among the giant breed subset, for whom the advantage to male dogs did not reach statistical significance versus χ 2 = 3.0967, df = 1, p-value = 0.07845). This suggests that judges find the male dogs more appealing, presumably because they are more aligned with breed standards.
... Data extracted directly from practice management systems (PMS) of veterinary general practices have potential to reveal reliable and useful perspectives of the real-world epidemiology of disease [8,28]. Primary-care clinical data benefit by including all animals and all diagnosed cases under veterinary care, while clinical records merged from hundreds of practices benefit from high statistical power and reduced selection bias [26]. ...
... cranial cruciate ligament disease [38], patellar luxation [39], appendicular osteoarthritis [40] and road traffic accidents [41] as well as the epidemiology of disease within specific breeds such as Rottweilers [42], Cavalier King Charles Spaniels [43], Border Terriers [44] and German Shepherd Dogs [45]. The use of "big data" from primary-care practice provides an opportunity to reveal a much more representative overview of breed health than alternative case series or surveys from teaching hospitals or referral populations [28]. This study aimed to broadly report on the health status of one breed using clinical data recorded on animals under primary veterinary care so that these data could be reasonably generalisable to the overall population of that breed in the UK and would be comparable to results for other VetCompass breed studies based on a similar methodology. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Individual dog breeds are often reported as predisposed to specific breed-related disorders but reliable epidemiological data on disease prevalence are sparse. The Miniature Schnauzer in the UK is a popular small breed dog that is often considered as relatively healthy and long-lived, but is this really true? This study aimed to use data from the VetCompass™ Programme at the Royal Veterinary College to characterise the demography, mortality and common disorders of the general population of Miniature Schnauzers under veterinary care in the UK. Results The study population of 455,557 dogs from 304 clinics in the VetCompass™ database under veterinary care during 2013 included 3857 Miniature Schnauzers (0.85%). For dogs with data available, 1771 (56.9%) were neutered and 1893 (49.2%) were females. Mean adult bodyweight overall was 9.9 kg (SD 2.2 kg) and median longevity was 11.6 years (IQR 9.3–13.1, range 0.5–17.0). The most prevalent fine-level precision disorders recorded were periodontal disease (n = 343, prevalence 17.4, 95% CI: 15.7–19.1), obesity/overweight (164, 8.3, 95% CI: 7.1–9.6), anal sac impaction (114, 5.8, 95% CI: 4.8–6.9), vomiting (100, 5.1, 95% CI% 4.1–6.1) and otitis externa (99, 5.0, 95% CI% 4.1–6.1). The most prevalent grouped-level precision disorders were dental (n = 378, prevalence: 19.2, 95% CI: 17.5–21.0), enteropathy (270, 13.7, 95% CI: 12.2–15.3), cutaneous (250, 12.7, 95% CI: 11.2–14.2) and aural (197, 10.0, 95% CI: 8.7–11.4). Conclusions This study provides generalisable evidence on the demography, longevity and most prevalent disorders in the Miniature Schnauzer breed in the UK. Awareness of common diseases and breed predispositions can support evidence-based policies to improve breed health, guide veterinary surgeons when producing differential diagnosis lists, and assist owners when purchasing or caring for their pets.
... It is believed that the dog's ancestor, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), coexisted with human in a mutually beneficial relationship, and that the first selection of wolves was based on the individuals non-aggression towards human (McGreevy & Nicholas, 1999). Eventually, man began to select and breed dogs possessing desirable behavioral-(hunting, guarding, retrieving) and morphological (size, scull shape, coat color and texture) characteristics, creating different types of dogs. ...
... The large number of breeds and breed variants implies breeding in genetically small populations. Also, common to many breeds is a founder event involving only a few individuals, the continuous use of popular sires and systematic inbreeding, further increasing genetic drift and loss of heterozygosity (Lindblad-Toh et al., 2005;McGreevy & Nicholas, 1999). The restrictive breeding strategies have created a reduced heterozygosity within breeds. ...
... Clinical effects from skin fold dermatitis can vary in severity from mild inflammation with malodour to deep and painful ulceration, and many affected animals are impacted for a large proportion of their lifetime [23,88]. Applying McGreevy and Nicholas' [90] considerations for welfare problems in dog breeding, given that facial skin folds run counter to the welfare interests of dogs by risking both dermatological and ophthalmological health, with seemingly no benefit beyond aesthetic appeal, it is difficult to defend the continued promotion of this conformational trait on welfare grounds [90]. Consequently, efforts to encourage selection for, and purchase of, French Bulldogs without skin folds is likely to promote improved welfare for this breed. ...
... Clinical effects from skin fold dermatitis can vary in severity from mild inflammation with malodour to deep and painful ulceration, and many affected animals are impacted for a large proportion of their lifetime [23,88]. Applying McGreevy and Nicholas' [90] considerations for welfare problems in dog breeding, given that facial skin folds run counter to the welfare interests of dogs by risking both dermatological and ophthalmological health, with seemingly no benefit beyond aesthetic appeal, it is difficult to defend the continued promotion of this conformational trait on welfare grounds [90]. Consequently, efforts to encourage selection for, and purchase of, French Bulldogs without skin folds is likely to promote improved welfare for this breed. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background The French Bulldog is a highly popular dog breed but is linked with many serious health issues. A holistic view of breed health in French Bulldogs would assist efforts to appreciate the overall health strengths and weaknesses in the French Bulldog and to take appropriate steps to mitigate these. Based on random sampling of French Bulldogs and non-French Bulldogs under primary veterinary care during 2016 within the VetCompass Programme, a cohort study design was used to estimate the one-year (2016) period prevalence of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in each group. Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression modelling methods. Results The analysis included 2,781 French Bulldogs and 21,850 non-French Bulldogs. French Bulldogs were younger (1.51 years, IQR 0.86 – 2.77 vs. 4.48 years, IQR 1.94 – 8.14) ( p < 0.001) and lighter (12.45 kg, IQR 11.00 – 14.03 versus 13.80 kg, IQR 8.10 – 25.12) ( p < 0.001) than non-French Bulldogs. Of 43 common specific-level disorders across both groups, French Bulldogs had significantly increased adjusted odds of 20/43 (46.5 %) disorders and significantly reduced adjusted odds of 11/43 (25.6 %) disorders compared to non-French Bulldogs. Highly predisposed disorders in French Bulldogs included stenotic nares (OR 42.14; 95 % CI 18.50 to 95.99; p < 0.001), Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (OR 30.89; 95 % CI 20.91 to 45.64; p < 0.001), aural discharge (OR 14.40; 95 % CI 9.08 to 22.86; p < 0.001), skin fold dermatitis (OR 11.18; 95 % CI 7.19 to 17.40; p < 0.001) and dystocia (OR 9.13; 95 % CI 5.17 to 16.13; p < 0.001). At a grouped-level of diagnostic precision, French Bulldogs had increased adjusted odds of 12/32 (37.5 %) disorders and reduced adjusted odds of 6/32 (18.8 %) disorders compared to non-French Bulldogs. Conclusions These results identified ultra-predispositions with worryingly higher odds in French Bulldogs for several disorders, suggesting that the health of French Bulldogs has diverged substantially from, and may be lower than, the health of the wider non-French Bulldog population. Many of these predispositions are closely associated with the conformational extremes that define the French Bulldog breed. Shifting the typical conformation of the French Bulldog population towards a more moderate phenotype is proposed as a logical opportunity to reduce the serious health issues endemic in the French Bulldog breed.
... Consequently, purebred dogs have a greater risk of suffering from genetic disorders than any other species 4 . A number of scienti c publications have described the health problems of purebred dogs [5][6][7][8][9][10][11] and emphasized the need for action [9][10][11][12][13][14] ; the problem has also been highlighted recently in public media 15 . As a result, many breeders are increasingly using DNA tests to reduce the frequency of deleterious mutations in their breeding programs 4 . ...
... Consequently, purebred dogs have a greater risk of suffering from genetic disorders than any other species 4 . A number of scienti c publications have described the health problems of purebred dogs [5][6][7][8][9][10][11] and emphasized the need for action [9][10][11][12][13][14] ; the problem has also been highlighted recently in public media 15 . As a result, many breeders are increasingly using DNA tests to reduce the frequency of deleterious mutations in their breeding programs 4 . ...
Preprint
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Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is a multifactorial disease caused by interactions between genetic and environmental factors. HD, which mainly occurs in medium- to large-sized dogs, is a disease that causes severe pain and requires surgical intervention. However, the procedure is not straight-forward, and the only way to ameliorate the situation is to exclude individual dogs with HD from breeding programs. Recently, prime editing (PE), a novel genome editing tool based on the CRISPR-Cas9 system, has been developed and validated in plants and mice. In this study, we successfully corrected a mutation related to HD in Labrador retriever dogs for the first time. We collected cells from a dog diagnosed with HD, corrected the mutation using PE, and generated mutation-corrected dogs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. The results indicate that PE technology can potentially be used as a platform to correct genetic defects in dogs.
... Also, breeders' interpretations of these standards play a part in how these guidelines work out in actual dogs. This has led to alterations in the appearance of many breeds over the years (McGreevy and Nicholas 1999), with the exaggeration of certain traits causing health and welfare problems to the dogs. Examples of this include an emphasis on broad chests, which cause problems with movement and with natural delivery, or problems in breathing for brachycephalic dogs, such as French Bulldogs. ...
Chapter
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Dogs have for long been humans’ best friend, but the human–dog relationship can be problematic. A mismatch between dogs and their keepers can lead to welfare problems for both; for example: breeding for a specific look can result in health and welfare problems and importing dogs from other countries can lead to zoonoses. In our view, many of these problems could be avoided if wannabe dog keepers reflected better before deciding to obtain a specific dog. Attempting to influence this decision, however, assumes that we know what the right choice is. In this chapter, we discuss three cases: pups with pedigrees, pups without pedigrees, and adult dogs from (foreign) shelters. We show that, in each case, certain moral assumptions are made whose legitimacy can be problematised. We conclude that the decision about what dog to obtain is not a straightforward one and that it is often difficult to establish what is actually the right choice. However, we also pinpoint certain improvements that can be made to the current system and make a number of suggestions that make the right choice the easier choice. As Anthropocene conditions may lead to the domestication of an increasing number of wild species in the future, this analysis may support reflection on the ethical implications of domestication.
... Ideally, these programs could even enhance the genetic diversity at the same time. In order to do so, a good knowledge of the typical disorders in a particular breed and of the frequency of the disease-causing variants is necessary (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999). Clinical (phenotypical) typing can only be used to estimate prevalences of genetic disorders, not fre-quencies of causal mutations (Flint and Woolliams, 2008 ). ...
Article
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In light of improving breeding advice, the frequency was estimated for all the disease-causing mutations that were known at the start of the study and that are potentially relevant for a group of dog breeds, which are relatively popular or in which the genetic diversity in Belgium is low to moderately low. In this study, the results for the German shepherd dog, Malinois, Lakenois, Groenendael, Tervuren, Australian shepherd and Border collie are presented. Disorders with a frequency high enough to warrant routine genotyping for breeding programs are (1) multidrug resistance 1 and hereditary cataract for the Australian shepherd, (2) degenerative myelopathy for the German shepherd dog, Malinois and Groenendael and (3) collie eye anomaly for the Border collie. In addition, the hyperuricosuria mutation described in the German shepherd dog was not found in its Belgian population, but was, to the authors’ knowledge discovered for the first time in the Malinois.
... Much is known about predictable inherited diseases of purebred companion animals and there is a long history of ethical debates about the genetic selection of some traits. McGreevy and Nicholas (8) and Rooney (9) discuss the traits that are deliberately bred into dogs to satisfy human preferences, which have negative impacts on animal health and welfare. For example, cocker spaniels that have been selected for skull shape often suffer from brain defects, the miniature poodle and greyhound that are bred for fine legs are susceptible to fractures, and brachiocephalic traits in Boston terriers and pugs lead to a variety of respiratory and skin conditions. ...
Article
This paper examines four examples of animal welfare issues, demonstrating the interactions between welfare and economic principles. Welfare issues associated with purebred companion animals are examined in terms of predicted inherited diseases, highlighting the power of supply and demand in perpetuating traits in pets that compromise their well-being. The livestock industry is presented from the point of view of pig production and the impact that a major disease (pleurisy) has on production and the animals’ welfare. The authors investigate the con icting and complementary demands of animal welfare and economic gains during the transport and slaughter of livestock and poultry. Finally, wildlife species are considered in terms of their prevalence as pests, and the different types of economic analysis that have been conducted to understand the losses caused by these organisms. Also included in this example are decisions made about cost effectiveness and opportunity costs, and regulatory and nancial barriers to the development of humane control agents. In conclusion, animal welfare is illustrated as a central factor in the bene ts that humans enjoy from the role played by animals in society. There are, however, trade- offs between optimal animal welfare and meeting the needs of modern human society.
... Much is known about predictable inherited diseases of purebred companion animals and there is a long history of ethical debates about the genetic selection of some traits. McGreevy and Nicholas (8) and Rooney (9) discuss the traits that are deliberately bred into dogs to satisfy human preferences, which have negative impacts on animal health and welfare. For example, cocker spaniels that have been selected for skull shape often suffer from brain defects, the miniature poodle and greyhound that are bred for fine legs are susceptible to fractures, and brachiocephalic traits in Boston terriers and pugs lead to a variety of respiratory and skin conditions. ...
... The boom in demand for puppies of these popular breeds may encourage acceptance of breeding pairs without sufficient regard for self-whelping attributes. Furthermore, the high commercial value of the puppies means that veterinary costs can be easily passed on to the puppy purchasers (McGreevy and Nicholas 1999) and whelping bitches may be more likely to be presented for early emergency veterinary care if problems arise during the birthing process. Conversely, awareness among breeders of this high breed-related prevalence of dystocia combined with the high monetary value of their puppies means that these predisposed brachycephalic breeds may be more likely to present to routine day-care veterinary practices for planned elective caesarean than to present as out-of-hours emergency-care dystocia cases. ...
Article
Dystocia can represent a major welfare issue for dogs of certain breeds and morphologies. First-opinion emergency-care veterinary caseloads represent a useful data resource for epidemiological research because dystocia can often result in emergency veterinary care. The study analysed a merged database of clinical records from 50 first-opinion emergency-care veterinary practices participating in the VetCompass Programme. Multivariable logistic regression modelling was used for risk factors analysis. There were 701 dystocia cases recorded among 18,758 entire female dogs, resulting in a dystocia prevalence of 3.7 per cent (95 per cent CI 3.5-4.0 per cent). Breeds with the highest odds of dystocia compared with crossbred bitches were French Bulldog (OR: 15.9, 95 per cent CI 9.3 to 27.2, P<0.001), Boston Terrier (OR: 12.9, 95 per cent CI 5.6 to 29.3, P<0.001), Chihuahua (OR: 10.4, 95 per cent CI 7.0 to 15.7, P<0.001) and Pug (OR: 11.3, 95 per cent CI 7.1 to 17.9, P<0.001). Bitches aged between 3.0 and 5.9 years had 3.1 (95 per cent CI 2.6 to 3.7, P<0.001) times the odds of dystocia compared with bitches aged under 3.0years. Certain breeds, including some brachycephalic and toy breeds, appeared at high risk of dystocia. Opportunities to improve this situation are discussed.
... A study of urban cats in France identified a similar finding, with an approximately 50% concurrence between veterinarians and owners on the number of cats having an optimal BCS, primarily due to the owners underestimation of their cat's body condition (Colliard et al., 2009). Neoteny may be a factor in this phenomenon, as we breed and are attracted to juvenile features such as big eyes, roundness and playfulness (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999). Similar to people, the lack of recognition of weight concerns in an individual pet may play a critical role in the pet obesity problem; if the typical pet owner does not see a problem, they are unlikely to seek medical help or initiate change to overcome the condition. ...
Article
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People who are overweight or have obesity are estimated to comprise 30% of the global population and up to 59% of companion dogs and cats are estimated to be above their optimal body weight. The prevalence of human and companion obesity is increasing. The direct and indirect costs of obesity and associated comorbidities are significant for human and veterinary healthcare.
... Consequently, high prevalences of genetic disorders may occur (Calboli et al., 2008; Leroy et al., 2006). In order to improve this situation, a good knowledge of the disorders in each breed is necessary as well as of the prevalence in a population (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999). A total of seventeen dog breeds were involved in the entire study. ...
Article
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A Belgian population of ten breeds with a low to moderately low genetic diversity or which are relatively popular in Belgium, i.e. Bichon frise, Bloodhound, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Irish setter, Papillon, Rottweiler, Golden retriever and Labrador retriever, was genotyped for all potentially relevant disease-causing variants known at the start of the study. In this way, the frequency was estimated for 26 variants in order to improve breeding advice. Disorders with a frequency high enough to recommend routine genotyping in breeding programs are (1) degenerative myelopathy for the Bloodhound, (2) arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and degenerative myelopathy for Boxers, (3) episodic falling syndrome and macrothrombocytopenia for the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, (4) progressive retinal atrophy rod cone dysplasia 4 for the Irish setter (5) Golden retriever progressive retinal atrophy 1 for the Golden retriever and (6) exercise induced collapse and progressive rod-cone degeneration for the Labrador retriever. To the authors’ knowledge, in this study, the presence of a causal mutation for a short tail in the Bouvier des Flandres is described for the first time.
... The Australian cattle dog is one of the twenty most popular dog breeds owned in Australia (18), developed as a breed by stockmen who required herding dogs to drive cattle in the harsh environment of the Australian outback (19). This would mean that a more in-depth epidemiological study of the Australian cattle dog would be beneficial, considering that the concept of nation-wide disease-surveillance of companion animals was first introduced when there was a perceived rise in inherited disorders amongst the population (20,21). The 10 most reported diseases of the Australian cattle dog by Dorn (22) include musculoskeletal system pathologies, ophthalmic and dental disease, and parasitic infestation ( Table 1). ...
Thesis
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VetCompass Australia is a veterinary medical records-based program that is used to enhance research on diseases and therapeutics. Using this database, commonly prescribed pharmaceutical agents in companion animal practice can be evaluated. To investigate the frequency of off-label usage and common drugs prescribed for overrepresented diseases, the aim of the study was to utilise the VetCompass Australia database to determine: i) the frequency of use of off-label pharmaceuticals; and ii) the common types of drugs prescribed for frequent disease presentations in the Australian cattle dog across primary care veterinary practices in Australia. This study includes the Australian cattle dog population under primary veterinary care clinics participating in the VetCompass Australia program from 1st January 2017 to 31st December 2017. A 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was used for categorical data, such as sex and neuter status, and medians and interquartile ranges (IQR) for continuous variables, such as age at consultation. Repeat prescriptions for the same dog were considered as separate events in the consultation-level analysis. Among the 2,816 dogs analysed, 5% of the total visit events (9,360) were off-label prescriptions; antibiotics and pharmaceutical agents targeting the neurological system were prescribed at the highest frequency. Out of a total of 12,577 prescribed drugs per 10,000 consults, approximately 94% of 1,949 musculoskeletal drugs per 10, 000 consults were from the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and disease modifying osteoarthritic agents, 3,252 per 10,000 consults were parasiticides, 1,454 per 10,000 consults were neurological. These data are consistent with historical evidence of the predisposition of Australian cattle dogs to diseases such as orthopaedic complications, flea infestations, and behavioural issues.
... The data used in the current study were collected from 304 primary-care veterinary clinics participating in the VetCompass Programme in the UK and aimed consequently to provide a representative view of the national UK health of the breed [28]. The application of veterinary clinical data for canine research has been proposed for many years as a unique opportunity for representative and generalisable health information relating to the wider dog population but technological issues have delayed the implementation of such research [15,35]. In more recent times, the usefulness of veterinary EPR data for clinical research that can contribute to understanding of demography and clinical health in dogs has been The P-value reflects comparison between the prevalence in females and males demonstrated in several studies [7,25,26,36]. ...
Article
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Background Rottweilers are reportedly predisposed to many disorders but accurate prevalence information relating to the general population are lacking. This study aimed to describe demography, mortality and commonly recorded diseases in Rottweilers under UK veterinary care. Clinical health records within the VetCompass Programme were explored for disorders recorded during 2013. Results Rottweilers comprised 5321 (1.17%) of 455,557 dogs attending 304 clinics. Annual proportional birth rates dropped from 1.75% in 2006 to 1.07% in 2013. Median adult bodyweight overall was 44.9 kg (IQR 39.55–51.00, range 20.00–88.80). Median male adult bodyweight (48.5 kg, interquartile range [IQR] 43.0–54.0, range 20.0–88.8) was heavier than female (41.5 kg, IQR 37.0–46.4, range 21.1–73.5) (P < 0.001). Median longevity overall was 9.0 years (IQR 7.2–10.5, range 0.0–17.0). Median female longevity (9.5 years, IQR 7.8–11.0) was greater than male (8.7 years, IQR 6.8–10.1) (P = 0.002). The most common causes of death were neoplasia (33.0%), inability to stand (16.0%) and mass-associated disorder (7.1%). At least one disorder was recorded for 60.31% of Rottweilers. The most prevalent specific disorders recorded were aggression (7.46%, 95% CI 6.40–8.64), overweight/obesity (7.06%, 95% CI: 6.02–8.21), otitis externa (6.14%, 95% CI: 5.18–7.23) and degenerative joint disease (4.69%, 95% CI: 3.84–5.66). Male Rottweilers had higher prevalence than females for aggression (9.36% versus 5.47%, P = 0.001) and pyotraumatic dermatitis (4.05% versus 1.76%, P = 0.001). Aggression was more prevalent in neutered than entire females (7.5% versus 3.1%, P = 0.003) but did not differ between neutered and entire males (9.6% versus 9.0%, P = 0.773). The most frequent disorder groups were musculoskeletal (12.01%, 95% CI: 10.69–13.45), dermatological (10.96%, 95% CI: 9.69–12.35), gastro-intestinal (195, 8.87%, 95% CI: 7.72–10.14), undesirable behaviour (7.96%, 95% CI: 6.87–9.18) and neoplasia (7.96%, 95% CI: 6.87–9.18). Conclusions The current study assists prioritisation of health issues within Rottweilers. Rottweilers are relatively short-lived and neoplasia is a common cause of death. The most common disorders were aggression, overweight/obesity, otitis externa and degenerative joint disease. Males were significantly heavier, shorter-lived and predisposed to aggression than females. These results can alert prospective owners to potential health issues and optimise sex selection decision-making.
... Despite repeated calls for testing of hybrids (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999;McGreevy, 2007), little progress has been made in this domain. Contrary to popular belief, F1 hybrids between pairs of breeds are in many cases quite predictable in terms of morphology and behaviour. ...
Article
Evidence from other species justifies the hypotheses that useful hybrid vigour occurs in dogs and that it can be exploited for improved health, welfare and fitness for purpose. Unfortunately, most of the relevant published canine studies do not provide estimates of actual hybrid vigour because of inadequate specification of the parentage of mixed-bred dogs. To our knowledge, only three published studies have shed any light on actual hybrid vigour in dogs. There are two reports of actual hybrid vigour between Labrador and Golden retrievers, the first ranging from +2.5% to −6.0% for components of a standardised applied-stimulus behavioural test, and the second being at least +12.4% for chance of graduating as a guide dog. The third study provides a minimum estimate of negative actual hybrid vigour: crossbreds between Labrador retrievers and poodles had a higher prevalence of multifocal retinal dysplasia than the average prevalence in their purebred parent breeds. The lack of estimates of actual hybrid vigour can be overcome by including the exact nature of the cross (e.g. F1, F2 or backcross) and their purebred parental breeds in the specification of mixed-bred dogs. Even if only F1 crossbreds can be categorised, this change would enable researchers to conduct substantial investigations to determine whether hybrid vigour has any utility for dog breeding.
... Amongst the factors that can result in poor welfare in companion animals are: breeding procedures, especially for pedigree animals (Bedford 1999, McGreevy andNicholas 1999), housing conditions that do not take full account of the animals' needs (Hubrecht 1993, 1995, Rochlitz 1999, 2005a,b, Wells 2004, social deprivation, failure to recognize the causes of behaviour problems (van der Borg et al 1991, Broom and Kennedy 1993), deliberate or accidental ill-treatment (Munro and Thrusfield 2001a,b), mutilations such as tail docking (Darke et al 1985), harsh training methods, failure to treat disease, failure to use anaesthetics and analgesics during veterinary treatment, methods of killing without prevention of poor welfare. ...
Conference Paper
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The concepts of welfare, need, stress, health, etc. are defined and the relationships amongst these are discussed. Welfare is a broad term, of which health and feelings are important parts. As a consequence of public demand for information and actions about welfare, there has been rapid development in recent years in the scientific assessment of animal welfare. Some of this work has been done in animal shelters or with working and other companion animals. Measures include abnormal behaviour, physiology, immune system function and injury level. Where welfare is poor, the best overall assessment of welfare is a function of the severity of effect on the individual and the duration of that effect. Efforts should be made to evaluate how good welfare is as well as the extent of any poor welfare. This is facilitated by evaluating what is important to animals and modern microeconomic theory can help in doing this. There is a need for effective monitoring policies when companion animals are used in order that codes of practice and laws can be formulated.
... Breed predispositions to disease are well recognized [3]. Regardless of breed, the morphologies of dogs often imply an individual's predisposition to some disorders [4]. ...
Article
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Background: The morphology of dogs can provide information about their predisposition to some disorders. For example, larger breeds are predisposed to hip dysplasia and many neoplastic diseases. Therefore, longitudinal trends in popularity of dog morphology can reveal potential disease pervasiveness in the future. There have been reports on the popularity of particular breeds and behavioural traits but trends in the morphological traits of preferred breeds have not been studied. Methods: This study investigated trends in the height, dog size and head shape (cephalic index) of Australian purebred dogs. One hundred eighty-one breeds derived from Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) registration statistics from 1986 to 2013 were analysed. Weighted regression analyses were conducted to examine trends in the traits by using them as outcome variables, with year as the explanatory variable and numbers of registered dogs as weights. Linear regression investigated dog height and cephalic index (skull width/skull length), and multinomial logistic regression studied dog size. Results: The total number of ANKC registration had decreased gradually from 95,792 in 1986 to 66,902 in 2013. Both weighted minimal height (p = 0.014) and weighted maximal height (p < 0.001) decreased significantly over time, and the weighted cephalic index increased significantly (p < 0.001). The odds of registration of medium and small breeds increased by 5.3 % and 4.2 %, respectively, relative to large breeds (p < 0.001) and by 12.1 % and 11.0 %, respectively, relative to giant breeds (p < 0.001) for each 5-year block of time. Conclusions: Compared to taller and larger breeds, shorter and smaller breeds have become relatively popular over time. Mean cephalic index has increased, which indicates that Australians have gradually favoured breeds with shorter and wider heads (brachycephalic). These significant trends indicate that the dog morphological traits reported here may potentially influence how people select companion dogs in Australia and provide valuable predictive information on the pervasiveness of diseases in dogs.
... Crossbreeding, was defined by McGreevy and Nicholas [33] as a mating of individuals of different breeds that can result in 'hybrid vigour' or heterosis in the offspring and thereby alleviate inherited defects or inbreeding depression. They postulated that backcrossing the offspring of the cross with healthy individuals of the original breed can be a way of improving the health of the breed while preserving breed characteristics with less extreme phenotypes. ...
Article
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Canine Chiari-like malformation (CM) is a complex abnormality of the skull and craniocervical junction associated with miniaturization and brachycephaly which can result in the spinal cord disease syringomyelia (SM). This study investigated the inheritance of CM in a Griffon Bruxellois (GB) family and feasibility of crossbreeding a brachycephalic CM affected GB with a mesaticephalic normal Australian terrier and then backcrossing to produce individuals free of the malformation and regain GB breed characteristics. The study family cohort (n = 27) included five founder dogs from a previous baseline study of 155 GB which defined CM as a global malformation of the cranium and craniocervical junction with a shortened skull base and increased proximity of the cervical vertebrae to the skull. T1-weighted sagittal DICOM images of the brain and craniocervical junction were analysed for five significant traits (two angles, three lines) identified from the previous study and subsequent Qualitative Trait Loci analysis. Mean measurements for mixed breed, pure-breed and baseline study groups were compared. Results indicated that mixed breed traits posed less risk for CM and SM and were useful to distinguish the phenotype. Moreover on the MR images, the filial relationships displayed by the traits exhibited segregation and those presenting the greatest risk for CM appeared additive towards the severity of the condition. The external phenotypes revealed that by outcrossing breed types and with careful selection of appropriate conformation characteristics in the first generation, it is possible to regain the GB breed standard and reduce the degree of CM. The four GB affected with SM in the study all exhibited reduced caudal skull development compared to their relatives. The craniocervical traits may be useful for quantifying CM and assessing the possibility of SM thus assisting breeders with mate selection. However, such a system requires validation to ensure appropriateness for all breeds at risk.
... Forthcoming investigations might also benefit from visiting private breeders to examine slow loris breeding records and sale information. With such high prices and demand in Japan, legitimate breeders, much like livestock and domestic animal breeders (McGreevy & Nicholas, 1999;Derry, 2006), would have records of the birth of slow loris offspring, parental lineage, longevity and health, as well as financial accounts regarding sales to pet shops and consumers. These details would help confirm any discrepancies between those claimed to have derived from private breeders by pet shop owners and the actual rate of slow loris reproduction through private breeding. ...
... Noteworthy is the French Bulldog breed. It is one of the brachycephalic breeds, in which there are problems with natural birth (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999;Wydooghe et al., 2013). In the present study, the litters of this breed were quite numerous (average 4.17), although the number was highly differed between mothers with a minimum of 1 puppy in the litter to a maximum of 10 puppies. ...
Article
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In breeders’ general opinion small breed females produce less numerous litters. The aim of the study was to analyse the litter size and the frequency of the gender ratio in selected small dog breeds in view of their popularity in Poland. The data set comprised information on 639 litters (in total 2578 puppies) of eight breeds, which were born between January 2003 and end December 2014. The results were statistically analysed using statistical program SPSS 20.0. Medium-size litters were observed in the analysed small dog breeds (4.034±0.1). Comparison of the selected breeds of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Groups showed that the mean litter size in Group IX was higher (4.36±0.08) than that in Group III (3.87±0.14) and the differences were statistically significant. The study has confirmed the hypothesis that larger females produce more numerous litters, but there are large intra-individual variations in the number of pups born in individual breeds. Additionally, the gender ratio in the puppies born in the analysed breeds was equal, despite the fluctuations in the individual breeds.
... Some members of the veterinary community have stated their objection to the conformational features written into breed standards which potentially jeopardise the health of the eye [12]. Stades et al. (2007) stated that the short muzzle, nasal fold, profuse hair and large, protruding eyes of the Pekingese were likely to cause problems including: nasal fold trichiasis (rubbing of the nasal fold against the surface of the eye); medial entropion (in-rolling of the inner corner of the eyelid, rubbing against the surface of the eye); macropalpebral fissures (over-large eyelid openings); and lagophthalamos (inability to blink fully). ...
Article
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Concern has arisen in recent years that selection for extreme facial morphology in the domestic dog may be leading to an increased frequency of eye disorders. Corneal ulcers are a common and painful eye problem in domestic dogs that can lead to scarring and/or perforation of the cornea, potentially causing blindness. Exaggerated juvenile-like craniofacial conformations and wide eyes have been suspected as risk factors for corneal ulceration. This study aimed to quantify the relationship between corneal ulceration risk and conformational factors including relative eyelid aperture width, brachycephalic (short-muzzled) skull shape, the presence of a nasal fold (wrinkle), and exposed eye-white. A 14 month cross-sectional study of dogs entering a large UK based small animal referral hospital for both corneal ulcers and unrelated disorders was carried out. Dogs were classed as affected if they were diagnosed with a corneal ulcer using fluorescein dye while at the hospital (whether referred for this disorder or not), or if a previous diagnosis of corneal ulcer(s) was documented in the dogs' histories. Of 700 dogs recruited, measured and clinically examined, 31 were affected by corneal ulcers. Most cases were male (71%), small breed dogs (mean± SE weight: 11.4±1.1 kg), with the most commonly diagnosed breed being the Pug. Dogs with nasal folds were nearly five times more likely to be affected by corneal ulcers than those without, and brachycephalic dogs (craniofacial ratio <0.5) were twenty times more likely to be affected than non-brachycephalic dogs. A 10% increase in relative eyelid aperture width more than tripled the ulcer risk. Exposed eye-white was associated with a nearly three times increased risk. The results demonstrate that artificially selecting for these facial characteristics greatly heightens the risk of corneal ulcers, and such selection should thus be discouraged to improve canine welfare.
... The need for a nation-wide companion-animal disease-surveillance system to inform rational approaches to companion animal disease control was first triggered by a perceived rise in inherited disorders among companion animals [7][8][9]. Some of these are related to breed standards [10], while others are not [11]. ...
Article
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VetCompass Australia is veterinary medical records-based research coordinated with the global VetCompass endeavor to maximize its quality and effectiveness for Australian companion animals (cats, dogs, and horses). Bringing together all seven Australian veterinary schools, it is the first nationwide surveillance system collating clinical records on companion-animal diseases and treatments. VetCompass data service collects and aggregates real-time, clinical records for researchers to interrogate, delivering sustainable and cost-effective access to data from hundreds of veterinary practitioners nationwide. Analysis of these clinical records will reveal geographical and temporal trends in the prevalence of inherited and acquired diseases, identify frequently prescribed treatments, revolutionize clinical auditing, help the veterinary profession to rank research priorities, and assure evidence-based companion-animal curricula in veterinary schools. VetCompass Australia will progress in three phases: (1) roll-out of the VetCompass platform to harvest Australian veterinary clinical record data; (2) development and enrichment of the coding (data-presentation) platform; and (3) creation of a world-first, real-time surveillance interface with natural language processing (NLP) technology. The first of these three phases is described in the current article. Advances in the collection and sharing of records from numerous practices will enable veterinary professionals to deliver a vastly improved level of care for companion animals that will improve their quality of life.
... This finding suggests that hybrid vigour substantially affects longevity in dogs. One possible explanation is that hybrid dogs are less likely to be homozygous for deleterious genes [8]. Only molecular genetic analysis of genes associated with longevity can explain this feature. ...
Article
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Body mass is a very significant factor for influencing longevity. Generally, large animal species tend to live longer than small species. In domestic dogs, the relationship between body size and lifespan shows opposite trend and increasing bodyweight is negatively correlated with longevity. Crossbred dogs have increased longevity, compared with purebreds. In the Cane Corso Italiano breed, a relationship between longevity and hair colour was found for the first time in mammals. Understanding longevity and aging across species and individuals is critical for reaching higher ages at death in animals, as well as in humans. By understanding genetics, the age limits of animals and humans can be significantly prolonged. Detection and analysis of genes associated with longevity present a very promising method for prolonging life.
... A genetic disorder that is carefully considered in treating a purebred dog might not be expected in a mixed-breed dog of unknown origins. McGreevy and Nicholas [9] pointed out that an F1 dog (first generation offspring from two different purebred parents) has a far lower chance of exhibiting the genetic disorders common to the parental breeds, and this can be extrapolated to dogs that are even more "mixed" than 50/50. However, a genetic disease could still have been introduced in early generations of a mixed-breed dog and should not automatically be dismissed from a diagnostic rule-out list. ...
Article
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Background A large and growing number of inherited genetic disease mutations are now known in the dog. Frequencies of these mutations are typically examined within the breed of discovery, possibly in related breeds, but nearly always in purebred dogs. No report to date has examined the frequencies of specific genetic disease mutations in a large population of mixed-breed dogs. Further, veterinarians and dog owners typically dismiss inherited/genetic diseases as possibilities for health problems in mixed-breed dogs, assuming hybrid vigor will guarantee that single-gene disease mutations are not a cause for concern. Therefore, the objective of this study was to screen a large mixed-breed canine population for the presence of mutant alleles associated with five autosomal recessive disorders: hyperuricosuria and hyperuricemia (HUU), cystinuria (CYST), factor VII deficiency (FVIID), myotonia congenita (MYC) and phosphofructokinase deficiency (PKFD). Genetic testing was performed in conjunction with breed determination via the commercially-available Wisdom PanelTM test. Results From a population of nearly 35,000 dogs, homozygous mutant dogs were identified for HUU (n = 57) and FVIID (n = 65). Homozygotes for HUU and FVIID were identified even among dogs with highly mixed breed ancestry. Carriers were identified for all disorders except MYC. HUU and FVIID were of high enough frequency to merit consideration in any mixed-breed dog, while CYST, MYC, and PKFD are vanishingly rare. Conclusions The assumption that mixed-breed dogs do not suffer from single-gene genetic disorders is shown here to be false. Within the diseases examined, HUU and FVIID should remain on any practitioner’s rule-out list, when clinically appropriate, for all mixed-breed dogs, and judicious genetic testing should be performed for diagnosis or screening. Future testing of large mixed-breed dog populations that include additional known canine genetic mutations will refine our knowledge of which genetic diseases can strike mixed-breed dogs.
... Ideal study populations for epidemiological studies that aim to report on disease risk should be large and representative enough to comfortably allow for detection of adequate cases, show variation in the putative risk associated factors and span a short and defined time frame (e.g. 1 year) (Dohoo et al. 2009). In addition, there is a growing call for studies that include only primary care cases to avoid a referral bias and to promote generalisability to the wider dog population (Bateson 2010, McGreevy & Nicholas 1999, O'Neill et al. 2014a. Unfortunately, until recently, lack of availability of access to clinical data on large enough populations of primary care caseloads has prevented estimation of prevalence and incidence risk for many important disorders such KCS, and consequently many breed-related associations remained unreported. ...
Article
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Objectives To estimate the frequency and breed-related risk factors for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) in dogs under UK primary veterinary care. Methods Analysis of cohort electronic patient record data through the VetCompass Programme. Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression. Results There were 1456 KCS cases overall from 363,898 dogs [prevalence 0.40%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38–0.42] and 430 incident cases during 2013 (1-year incidence risk 0.12%, 95% CI 0.11–0.13). Compared with crossbreds, breeds with the highest odds ratio (aOR) for KCS included American cocker spaniel (aOR 52.33: 95% CI 30.65–89.37), English bulldog (aOR 37.95: 95% CI 26.54–54.28), pug (aOR 22.09: 95% CI 15.15–32.2) and Lhasa apso (aOR 21.58: 95% CI 16.29–28.57). Conversely, Labrador retrievers (aOR 0.23: 95% CI 0.1–0.52) and border collie (aOR 0.30: 95% CI 0.11–0.82) had reduced odds. Brachycephalic dogs had 3.63 (95% CI 3.24–4.07) times odds compared to mesocephalics. Spaniels had 3.03 (95% CI 2.69–3.40) times odds compared to non-spaniels. Dogs weighing at or above the mean bodyweight for breed/sex had 1.25 (95% CI 1.12–1.39) times odds compared to body weights below. Advancing age was strongly associated with increased odds. Clinical significance Quantitative tear tests are recommended within yearly health examinations for breeds with evidence of predisposition to KCS and might also be considered in the future within eye testing for breeding in predisposed breeds. Breed predisposition to KCS suggests that breeding strategies could aim to reduce extremes of facial conformation.
... A ello hay que añadir que estos animales pueden sufrir si se crían con el único objetivo de conservar las características meramente físicas de una determinada raza, debido a que los estándares requeridos pueden llevar a conservar también enfermedades o problemas congénitos (McGreevy y Nicholas, 1999;Rooney y Sargan, 2010). De hecho, está comprobado que los perros criollos presentan menos costos médicos que los perros con pedigrí (Rooney y Sargan, 2010). ...
Article
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This paper examines a series of variables that influence the preference of purebred dogs in Colombia, and the role of social stratification regarding this matter. A quantitative methodology was elaborated using a structured questionnaire as data recollection tool. The sample was made up of dog owners in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, where the fieldwork was conducted. Through the SEM methodology, invariance test and a multiple-group analysis, the results show that materialism influences the social perception about purebred dogs; the dogs of more materialistic owners show greater behavioral problems, which influences owners’ intention to abandon them. In most of the cases, these behaviors are less intense in citizens of middle or high strata than in those living in lower strata.
... Primary-care veterinary clinical data are now recognised as a valuable research resource that benefit from contemporaneous recording of medical records at the time of the clinical event, and from the recording of cohort data over time and at a veterinary level of clinical precision [27,28]. Such data have been validated for research purposes by several previous reports on diverse conditions in dogs including road traffic accidents [29], appendicular osteoarthritis [30], dystocia [31], urinary incontinence [32], and corneal ulcerative disease [33]. ...
Article
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Background: Conditions affecting the elbow joint are a common cause of lameness in dogs. Primary-care veterinary clinical data are now recognised as a valuable research resource. Using data from the VetCompass Programme, this study aimed to report the frequency and risk factors for elbow joint disease in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK and describe clinical management. Results: From 455,069 dogs under veterinary care, the one-year period prevalence for elbow joint disease diagnosis was 0.56% (95% CI: 0.53-0.60). Of 616 incident cases, the most common specific variants of elbow joint disease were osteoarthritis (n = 468, 75.97%), elbow dysplasia (190, 30.84%) and traumatic (41, 6.66%). The most common signs described by the owners were lameness (n = 466, 75.65%), difficulty exercising (123, 19.97%) and pain (86, 13.96%). The most common findings recorded on veterinary examination were pain (n = 283, 45.94%), lameness (278, 45.13%) and reduced range of movement (243, 39.45%). Common medications used included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n = 544, 88.31%), tramadol (121, 19.64%) and disease modifying agents (118, 19.16%). Of 109 deaths involving euthanasia with information available from the 616 incident cases, elbow joint disease contributed to the decision to euthanase in 45 (41.28%) dogs.Five breeds showed increased odds of elbow joint disease compared with crossbred dogs: Rottweiler (OR: 6.16, 95% CI 3.89-9.75), Labrador Retriever (OR: 5.94, 95% CI 4.65-7.60), German Shepherd Dog (OR: 4.13, 95% CI 2.88-5.93), Golden Retriever (OR: 3.11, 95% CI 1.93-5.00) and English Springer Spaniel (OR: 2.00, 95% CI 1.26-3.18). Additional risk factors included having an adult bodyweight that was equal or higher than their breed/sex mean, advancing age, being male, being neutered, being insured and larger bodyweight. Conclusions: Elbow joint disease is a relatively common diagnosis in dogs and has a high welfare impact as evidenced by the high proportion of cases recorded with pain, lameness and analgesic therapy. There are strong breed predispositions, in particular for large breed dogs. These findings present a clear case for improved breeding programmes to reduce the burden of elbow joint disease.
... Although differences in the reproductive biology of dogs (e.g., switching from being monestrous to a mainly diestrous cycle), when compared to their closest wild relative, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), are also apparent among the crucial changes, and have also been modeled by the well-known silver fox project conducted in Novosibirsk, Russia [13], the reproductive behavior of companion (or "family") dogs is rarely discussed in scientific literature, apart from various issues covered by veterinary science (e.g., [14,15]). As the reproduction of companion (and working) dogs is mainly planned, supervised, and restricted by human caretakers [16,17], this segment of dog behavior remains almost untouched by ethologists. Furthermore, alloparental behavior and paternal caretaking of the young, two factors which are considered uniquely typical for a wide selection of canid species [18], are literally unknown among companion dogs, and have only recently been discovered in the free-ranging dog populations [19,20]. ...
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Socialization with humans is known to be a pivotal factor in the development of appropriate adult dog behavior, but the role and extent of dog–dog interactions in the first two months of life is rarely studied. Although various forms of alloparental behaviors are described in the case of wild-living canids, the social network of companion dogs around home-raised puppies is almost unknown. An international online survey of companion dog breeders was conducted, asking about the interactions of other dogs in the household with the puppies and the pups’ mother. Based on the observations of these breeders, our study showed an intricate network of interactions among adult dogs and puppies below the age of weaning. Alloparental behaviors (including suckling and feeding by regurgitation) were reportedly common. Independent of their sex, other household dogs mostly behaved in an amicable way with the puppies, and in the case of unseparated housing, the puppies reacted with lower fear to the barks of the others. Parousness, sexual status, and age of the adult dogs had an association with how interested the dogs were in interacting with the puppies, and also with how the mother reacted to the other dogs. Our study highlights the possible importance of dog–dog interactions during the early life of puppies in forming stable and low-stress interactions with other dogs later in life.
... The documented breed predisposition and impact of this kind of allergic skin disease is reflected in the focus on skin disease by the KC as a priority for the WHWT, although much of the current evidence has been derived from referral veterinary care and owner survey data sources [9]. Clinical data derived from primary veterinary care databases has been suggested to offer an additional perspective that combines the strengths of veterinary-quality diagnoses with study populations that are representative of the wider population [17,18]. ...
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Background: The West Highland White Terrier (WHWT) is a relatively common breed in the UK, although Kennel Club registrations have declined in recent years. The VetCompass™ Programme collates de-identified clinical data from primary-care veterinary practices in the UK for epidemiological research. Using VetCompass clinical data, this study aimed to characterise the demography, longevity and common disorders of WHWTs under primary veterinary care in the UK. Results: WHWTs comprised 6605/905,544 (0.7%) dogs under veterinary care during 2016 from 886 clinics. Mean adult bodyweight was 9.6 kg (standard deviation [SD] 1.8 kg). Males (10.1 kg, SD 1.8 kg) were heavier than females (9.0 kg, SD 1.6 kg) (P < 0.001). Median age was 7.8 years (interquartile range [IQR] 4.3-11.1). Median longevity was 13.4 years (IQR 11.0-15.0). Males (13.8 years) outlived females (12.9 years) (P = 0.045). The most common grouped causes of death were lower respiratory tract (10.2, 95% CI: 5.5-16.7), neoplastic (10.2, 95% CI: 5.5-16.7) and spinal cord disorder (7.8, 95% CI: 3.8-13.9). Overall, 71.5% WHWTs had > 1 disorder recorded during 2016. The most prevalent specific disorders were periodontal disease (15.7, 95% CI: 14.1-17.3), otitis externa (10.6, 95% CI: 9.3-12.0), overgrown nails (7.2, 95% CI: 6.2-8.4), allergic skin disorder (6.5, 95% CI: 5.5-7.7) and obesity (6.1, 95% CI: 5.1-7.2). The most prevalent grouped disorders were cutaneous (22.7, 95% CI: 20.9-24.6), dental (17.8, 95% CI: 16.2-19.6) and aural (12.3, 95% CI: 11.0-13.8). The median age of dogs affected with the 27 most common disorders varied from 6.7 (pododermatitis) to 13.9 years for cataracts. Conclusions: These findings highlight that, despite a recent decline in popularity, WHWTs are still relatively common in the UK. Dental disease, ear disease, overgrown nails, allergic skin disorder and obesity were identified as common health issues within the breed. Cutaneous disorders were the most common disorder group in the breed but showed a lower prevalence than might be expected. These results can be used by breeders, veterinary practitioners and owners as an evidence base to predict, prevent and manage key health and welfare issues for WHWTs.
... Another reason for the popularity of brachycephalic breeds might be the perspective that clinical signs are accepted as "normal" in brachycephalic dogs and that some disorders might relate to breed standards and others do not (Packer et al., 2012). The statement "normal for the breed" reflects the acceptance of certain disorders by breeders, by owners, and by veterinarians, which influence the treatment of brachycephalic dogs (McGreevy and Nicholas, 1999;Packer et al., 2012). Owners of brachycephalic breeds report about frequent and severe symptoms of their dogs, but they do not perceive it as a problem for the dog. ...
Article
Understanding people's perception and attitude toward brachycephalic breeds is crucial for implementation of strategies to improve breed-related welfare problems. A survey was used to gather information of people with and without dog ownership experiences on their awareness of brachycephalic breeds and breed-related animal welfare problems. The survey was posted on different social media and collected data from 662 respondents, of which 538 questionnaires could be analyzed. Dog ownership, participants' age, and their gender best predicted the knowledge on breed-related welfare problems. A total of 15.43% of the participants currently own or previously owned a dog of a brachycephalic breed (e.g., pug, boxer, French, and English bulldog). Females and elderly people were the primary current owners of a brachycephalic dog. Many participants believed that the current breeding standards do not promote dogs' vitality or reduce overextreme conformations. Dog owners indicated brachycephaly and dwarfism (e.g., Chihuahua, dachshund) as an overextreme conformation. Despite peoples' knowledge on breed-related animal welfare problems of brachycephalic breeds or dwarfism in breeds, they acquire a dog of such a breed. To improve animal welfare in dog breeding, it is useful to consider pet owners reasons for acquiring a dog and factors affecting peoples' perception of dog breeds.
... Much of the previous evidence on health issues in Bulldogs was derived from referral, insurance and especially owner questionnaire data sources [49]. In contrast, the current study relies on de-identified clinical data recorded by primary-care veterinary teams and therefore offers a new perspective on the health issues that can supplement these other sources to build a more complete picture of breed health [50]. Research using veterinary clinical records that are recorded contemporaneously at the time of the clinical event and with no prior awareness of the subsequent specific research topics reduces recall and selection biases [49]. ...
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The Bulldog is a popular companion breed in the UK despite widely reported disease predispositions. This study aimed to characterise the demography, mortality and common disorders of Bulldogs under veterinary care in the UK during 2013. VetCompass collates anonymised clinical data from UK primary-care veterinary practices for epidemiological research. The clinical records of all Bulldogs available in the VetCompass study dataset were reviewed manually in detail to extract the most definitive diagnoses recorded for all disorders that existed during 2013 and for all deaths. Bulldogs comprised 1621 (0.36%) of 445,557 study dogs. Bulldogs increased from 0.35% of the 2009 birth cohort to 0.60% in 2013. Median longevity was 7.2 years, which was lower in males (6.7 years) than females (7.9 years) (P = 0.021). The most prevalent fine-level precision disorders recorded were otitis externa (n = 206, prevalence 12.7%, 95% CI: 11.1–14.4), pyoderma (142, 8.8%, 95% CI: 7.4–10.2) and overweight/obesity (141, 8.7%, 95% CI: 7.4–10.2). The most prevalent disorder groups were cutaneous (n = 463, prevalence: 28.6%, 95% CI: 26.4–30.8), ophthalmological (292, 18.0%, 95% CI: 16.2–20.0), aural (211, 13.0%, 95% CI: 11.4–14.8), enteropathy (188, 11.6%, 95% CI: 10.1–13.3) and upper respiratory tract (171, 10.5%, 95% CI: 9.1–12.1). Provision of an evidence base on the most common disorders and causes of mortality within breeds can support owners, breeders and the veterinary profession to improve health and welfare within these breed.
... Primary-care veterinary clinical data are now recognised as a valuable research resource that benefit from contemporaneous recording of medical records at the time of the clinical event, and from the recording of cohort data over time and at a veterinary level of precision [16,17]. Such data have been validated for research purposes by several previous reports on diverse conditions in dogs including road traffic accidents [18], appendicular osteoarthritis [19], dystocia [20], urinary incontinence [21] and corneal ulcerative disease [22]. ...
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Background Lipomas are masses of mesenchymal origin, comprising of adipocytes, and are often clinically unremarkable but can be alarming to owners. Although lipomas are reportedly common in dogs, no studies have specifically investigated risk factors associated with their occurrence. This study was a large-scale retrospective analysis of electronic patient records of dogs attending practices participating in VetCompass™. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods were used to evaluate associations between risk factors and primary-care veterinary diagnosis of lipoma. Results From 384,284 dogs under veterinary care during 2013 at 215 primary practice clinics in the UK, there were 2765 lipoma cases identified giving a one-year prevalence of 1.94% (95% CI: 1.87–2.01). Breeds with the highest lipoma prevalence included Weimaraner (7.84%, 95% CI 6.46–9.40), Dobermann Pinscher (6.96%, 95% CI 5.67–8.44), German Pointer (5.23%, 95% CI 3.93–6.80), Springer Spaniel (5.19%, 95% CI 4.76–5.66), and Labrador Retriever (5.15%, 95% CI 4.90–5.41). Dogs with an adult bodyweight equal or higher than their breed/sex mean had 1.96 (95% CI 1.81–2.14, P < 0.001) times the odds of lipoma compared with dogs that weighed below their breed/sex mean. The odds of lipoma increased as adult bodyweight increased. Increased age was strongly associated with increasing odds of lipoma. Compared with dogs aged 3.0 to < 6.0 years, dogs aged 9.0 - < 12.0 years had 17.52 times the odds (95% CI 14.71–20.85, P < 0.001) of lipoma. Neutered males (OR: 1.99, 95% CI 1.69–2.36, P < 0.001) and neutered females (OR: 1.62, 95% CI 1.37–1.91, P < 0.001) had higher odds than entire females. Insured dogs had 1.78 (95% CI 1.53–2.07, P < 0.001) times the odds of lipoma compared with uninsured dogs. Conclusions Lipomas appear to be a relatively common diagnosis in primary-care practice. Certain breeds were identified with remarkably high lipoma prevalence, highlighting the risk that owners should be prepared for. Lipoma predisposition of larger bodyweight individuals within breed/sex suggests that being overweight or obese may be a predisposing factor but would need further work to confirm.
... The greatest progress has been seen in countries or breeds with open access to breed records and mandated selection policies. Genetic progress related to CHD is reduced when breeders apply less priority to selection for better hip conformation relative to other characteristics (McGreevy and Nicholas 1999;Mäki et al. 2005). ...
Article
AIM: To obtain provisional estimates of the heritability (h²) of passive laxity of the coxofemoral joints of a breeding colony of German Shepherd dogs, measured using the PennHIP distraction index (DI). METHODS: Records were obtained of the PennHIP DI of right and left hips of 195 German Shepherd dogs (377 DI records) from the dog breeding colony of the New Zealand Police Dog Breeding Centre between 2003 and 2016, as well as pedigree records of 884 animals over four generations. Estimates of h² and variance components for the log transformed DI data were obtained using restricted maximum likelihood procedures with a single trait sire model. Four DI traits for each dog were analysed: left hip, right hip, mean and worse-hip DI. The model included the fixed effects of sex and year of birth, with the age at scoring as a covariable, the random sire effect and residual error for each observation. RESULTS: The h² of the DI of the left hip (0.81, SE 0.40) was higher than the h² of the DI of the right hip (0.35, SE 0.36). The h² for the worse-hip DI (0.15, SE 0.28) in each dog was lower than the h² of the individual hip DI, or the h² for the mean of the two hips (0.53, SE 0.36) in each dog. The low number of generations prevented a meaningful analysis of the genetic trend. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The h² estimates for the left, right and mean DI traits were moderate to high, whereas the h² estimates for the worse-hip DI (as used by the PennHIP program for ranking of dogs) was low, but all estimates had large SE due to the small sample size. This provisional estimate of the h² of four distraction index traits suggests that the mean DI could be useful as a selection tool against canine hip dysplasia in German Shepherd dogs, whereas the worse hip DI may be less effective. Heritability estimates from a population with a greater number of DI measures is needed to validate this finding given the large SE in our study.
... This is probably associated with the streamlined and compact body structure of Yorkshire terriers with a rather small neither round nor flat skull and not too long muzzle (fci.be), which makes delivery easier than in other small breeds. As reported by McGreevy and Nicholas (1999), the ability to service birth without assistance should be one https://doi.org/10.17221/71/2016-VETMED of the selection criteria considered by breeders. The incidence of caesarean sections was 5.36% in Drever dogs (Bobic Gavrilovic 2008) and 2.68% in Dogo Argentino females (Caffaratti et al. 2013). ...
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The aim of this study was to determine the basic reproductive parameters, i.e., litter size, gestation length, neonatal mortality rate and the type of delivery in Yorkshire terrier dogs, one of the most popular breeds in Poland. We have verified a hypothesis put forward by breeders that larger females have fewer whelping difficulties and produce larger litters and that pregnancies of females having one or two pups last longer. The focus of investigation was reproductive data from 66 Yorkshire terrier females registered in the Lublin Branch of the Polish Kennel Club, an FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) member, which whelped 124 litters comprising in total 508 pups from 37 fathers. The data were collected between August 2009 and December 2014. The significance of differences was verified using Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis H-tests. The relationships between the recorded dogs’ reproduction traits were estimated by calculation of Spearman’s correlation coefficients with the use of the statistical programmes Statistica and SPSS 20. The investigations have confirmed the hypothesis concerning the larger litter size produced by larger females and the lower incidence of postpartum dystocia; however, the hypothesis of the impact of body weight on the length of pregnancy was rejected. The differences between the body weights of stud females and males reached 125%. The Yorkshire terrier appears to be a good reproductive breed with normal reproductive functions and good reproductive parameters.
... Cobb et al. (2015) states that approximately one out of every two dogs trained for detection work fail; this is a considerable "waste" from the industry that so far has no formal guidelines for re-homing measures. Considering the enormous cultural value placed on dogs, these detection programs face significant risk of public outrage with regards to dog welfare, potentially similar to the greyhound and breeding industries [5,140,235]. ...
Article
Detection dogs serve a plethora of roles within modern society, and are relied upon to identify threats such as explosives and narcotics. Despite their importance, research and training regarding detection dogs has involved ambiguity. This is partially due to the fact that the assessment of effectiveness regarding detection dogs continues to be entrenched within a traditional, non-scientific understanding. Furthermore, the capabilities of detection dogs are also based on their olfactory physiology and training methodologies, both of which are hampered by knowledge gaps. Additionally, the future of detection dogs is strongly influenced by welfare and social implications. Most importantly however, is the emergence of progressively inexpensive and efficacious analytical methodologies including gas chromatography related techniques, “e-noses” and capillary electrophoresis. These analytical methodologies provide both an alternative and assistor for the detection dog industry, however the interrelationship between these two detection paradigms requires clarification. These factors, when considering their relative contributions, illustrate a need to address research gaps, formalise the detection dog industry and research process, as well as take into consideration analytical methodologies and their influence on the future status of detection dogs. This review offers an integrated assessment of the factors involved in order to determine the current and future status of detection dogs.
... Complex conditions, such as those associated with brachycephaly and other extreme conformations, negatively impact not only the health but also the welfare of individual dogs [11,12]. The intricacies facing stewards of well-being in dogs including kennel clubs, breeders, veterinarians, scientists and regulators are such that collaborative, international and multi-stakeholder efforts on education and communication are needed across many topics including in relation to antimicrobial resistance [4,13]. In order to breed healthier dogs, many other aspects of canine health need to be considered, as not all challenges are traceable solely to genetic influences; for example, disease, behavior, and welfare also interact to influence dog health [9]. ...
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Background Breed-related health problems in dogs have received increased focus over the last decade. Responsibility for causing and/or solving these problems has been variously directed towards dog breeders and kennel clubs, the veterinary profession, welfare scientists, owners, regulators, insurance companies and the media. In reality, all these stakeholders are likely to share some responsibility and optimal progress on resolving these challenges requires all key stakeholders to work together. The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD), together with an alternating host organization, holds biennial meetings called the International Dog Health Workshops (IDHW). The Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club) hosted the 3rd IDHW, in Paris, in April, 2017. These meetings bring together a wide range of stakeholders in dog health, science and welfare to improve international sharing of information and resources, to provide a forum for ongoing collaboration, and to identify specific needs and actions to improve health, well-being and welfare in dogs. Results The workshop included 140 participants from 23 countries and was structured around six important issues facing those who work to improve dog health. These included individualized breed-specific strategies for health and breeding, extreme conformations, education and communication in relation to antimicrobial resistance, behavior and welfare, genetic testing and population-based evidence. A number of exciting actions were agreed during the meeting. These included setting up working groups to create tools to help breed clubs accelerate the implementation of breed-health strategies, review aspects of extreme conformation and share useful information on behavior. The meeting also heralded the development of an online resource of relevant information describing quality measures for DNA testing. A demand for more and better data and evidence was a recurring message stressed across all themes. Conclusions The meeting confirmed the benefits from inclusion of a diverse range of stakeholders who all play relevant and collaborative parts to improve future canine health. Firm actions were set for progress towards improving breed-related welfare. The next international workshop will be in the UK in 2019 and will be organized by the UK Kennel Club.
... Common issues in certain breeds include inclination towards hip problems, blindness, ear infections, and even cancer. It has been shown that mutts, or cross-breeds, have less inclination to share these issues with their purebred counterparts, and are much more likely to live healthier lives [16]. What the genetic algorithm designer should take away from this is that creating a setup that is extremely biased towards only the fittest members in the population has the potential to have a particular string or set of schema overpower a population. ...
Chapter
Sterile feline lower urinary tract disease is the number one hereditary feline predisposition, followed by diabetes and lymphocytic or plasmacytic inflammatory disease, which most frequently manifest as either gingivostomatitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Some hereditary oral conditions are not located exclusively in the mouth, but they all affect oral health and functionality. This chapter provides no specific clinical descriptions of the disease entities, only images showing the most important symptoms. Veterinarians and pet owners are often misled by the impression that purchasing a pedigree dog provides a warranty that the animal is free from defects and serious diseases. Photographic documentation is performed to record symptoms considered pathognomic or typical for a particular disease. Documentation of such is the protocol of oral examination and photographs. Photographs are taken of specific features of a problem, with the correct position, quality, and magnification.
Chapter
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is highly heterogeneous at many levels, for example with regards to the setting itself, recipients of the intervention, species involved as therapy animals and their therapeutic potential. Dogs are the most commonly involved species in this work, and there may be good reasons for this beyond their availability. Some specific characteristics such as their cognitive and emotional capacities and biases, their evolutionary connection with humans, as well as a natural attraction and emotional connection between both species make dogs particularly suitable for AAT and many other forms of AAI. In this chapter, we elaborate on the significance of these characteristics and discuss the attributes required of an ideal dog working in this sort of context. Furthermore, we provide suggestions for strategies and approaches to optimally prepare, help, and support therapy dogs for and during their work in order to minimise risks, maximise therapeutic potential, and secure the well-being of all involved parties.
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Background and objectives: Inbreeding is the increase in homozygosity of offspring resulted from mating between related animals or animals that have common ancestors. The main effect of inbreeding is decline in performance of inbred animals known as inbreeding depression. The magnitude of inbreeding depression is not the same across the various traits and population. Recent studies revealed that inbreeding depression also shows variation among founders within a population. Variability of inbreeding depression arises when distribution of deleterious recessive alleles among founders are not equal. Furthermore, the detrimental effects of inbreeding can be reduced if deleterious recessive alleles were removed (purged) by selection against homozygotes in earlier generations. Estimating the partial and ancestral inbreeding coefficients makes it possible to assess the balance of distribution of recessive alleles among founders and incidence of purging of deleterious alleles in population. The objective of this study was to estimate wright inbreeding, partial inbreeding, Ballou ancestral inbreeding and Kalinowski ancestral inbreeding coefficients in the breeding flock of Karakul sheep. Materials and methods: In this study the pedigree file of the breeding flock of Karakul sheep containing 7477 pedigree records collected during 1989-2014 was used to estimate wright inbreeding, partial inbreeding and ancestral inbreeding coefficients of animals. Pedigree completeness index was calculated to evaluate the quality of pedigree. Animals that born in the last 4 years of the pedigree with pedigree completeness index of greater than 0.6 was considered as a reference population to decomposition of the inbreeding to partial inbreeding arises from founders. Ballou ancestral inbreeding of all animals was estimated. Also, inbreeding coefficients of animals were decomposed to the New and Kalinowski ancestral inbreeding. Results: The mean of wright inbreeding coefficients of animals in all population and reference population were 0.85 and 1.36, respectively. A total of 108 of 280 founder animals (38%) have a positive contribution to the inbreeding of the reference population. Mean and standard deviation of the partial inbreeding coefficients of these 108 animals were 5.19 and 7.37%, respectively. The 10 and 25 founders contributing the most to inbreeding explained a large part of the inbreeding of the reference population (i.e., 42 and 66%, respectively). Mean Ballou ancestral inbreeding of the whole and reference population were 1.17 and 2.12, respectively. Most of the animals in the population have positive Ballou ancestral inbreeding. Kalinowski ancestral inbreeding of animals was low and its mean was 0.07% in the population. Ancestral inbreeding in this population was in accordance with Ballou definition of ancestral inbreeding. Correlation of wright inbreeding coefficient with Ballou ancestral inbreeding, Kalinowski ancestral inbreeding and New inbreeding coefficients was 0.1, 0.37 and 0.99, respectively. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, Ballou ancestral inbreeding coefficients of animals in this flock has increasing trend which can lead to purging of deleterious alleles in this population. Therefore, for assessing the incidence of purging of deleterious alleles in this population, estimating of the effects of ancestral inbreeding on reproductive and production traits are suggested. Also, the estimated partial inbreeding coefficients of animals can be used to determine the contribution of each founder to observed inbreeding depression. On the other hand, estimated partial inbreeding coefficients can help to detect founders that carry the deleterious alleles. Then, these information could be used in mating programs so that new born lambs have a less partial inbreeding arises from carrier animals or those animals which have greater contribution to inbreeding depression.
Chapter
Dogs have an ever-increasing presence in our lives from being a child’s best friend to detecting roadside bombs to guiding people with visual impairments. Examining the personalities of these animals can help us to better understand them. This chapter reviews many topics related to dog personality, beginning by examining the structure of dog personality. Studies have found that dog personality consists of two to more than five dimensions with little consensus as to the optimal number of dimensions needed to best describe dog personality. This chapter then examines the reliability and validity of dog personality assessments. Finally, this chapter reviews the evidence for various genetic, biological, and environmental factors related to dog personality and concludes that what we currently know is largely mixed. Future studies on dog personality should further examine several personality dimensions and factors likely associated with dog personality.
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Population bottlenecks, inbreeding, and artificial selection can all, in principle, influence levels of deleterious genetic variation. However, the relative importance of each of these effects on genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation remains controversial. Domestic and wild canids offer a powerful system to address the role of these factors in influencing deleterious variation because their history is dominated by known bottlenecks and intense artificial selection. Here, we assess genome-wide patterns of deleterious variation in 90 whole-genome sequences from breed dogs, village dogs, and gray wolves. We find that the ratio of amino acid changing heterozygosity to silent heterozygosity is higher in dogs than in wolves and, on average, dogs have 2-3% higher genetic load than gray wolves. Multiple lines of evidence indicate this pattern is driven by less efficient natural selection due to bottlenecks associated with domestication and breed formation, rather than recent inbreeding. Further, we find regions of the genome implicated in selective sweeps are enriched for amino acid changing variants and Mendelian disease genes. To our knowledge, these results provide the first quantitative estimates of the increased burden of deleterious variants directly associated with domestication and have important implications for selective breeding programs and the conservation of rare and endangered species. Specifically, they highlight the costs associated with selective breeding and question the practice favoring the breeding of individuals that best fit breed standards. Our results also suggest that maintaining a large population size, rather than just avoiding inbreeding, is a critical factor for preventing the accumulation of deleterious variants.
Article
A two-year-old, female English bulldog was referred for breeding by artificial insemination with frozen semen of male English bulldog, a litter of female bulldog's grandfather. Intrauterine artificial insemination was done two days after the ovulation day. Sperm was evaluated after thawing by computer assisted sperm analyzer, and its motility was 89.8% with normal shape. Pregnancy bearing eight fetuses was diagnosed by ultrasonography and radiography. Cesarean section was performed sixty days after the artificial insemination. Eight pups were delivered with safe, but the entire pup had abnormalities including severe bow-legged malformations, cleft lip, cleft palate, and enlarged cranial part.
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A look into the unique needs of puppies rescued from mills, particularly pugs.
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Two thousand questionnaires were distributed randomly via the Kennel Club (UK) to owners of purebred English Cocker Spaniels (ECSs). Owners were asked to give details about the ECSs they owned: age, sex, neuter status, coat colour. They were also asked to indicate whether their dog showed aggression (on a 1–5 scale; 1, never or almost never; 5, always or almost always) in any of 13 situations. These were: aggression towards strange dogs (A1), towards strangers approaching the dog (A2), towards persons approaching/visiting the home (A3), towards persons approaching the owner away from home (A4), towards children in the household (A5), towards other dogs in the household (A6), when the owner gives attention to other person or animal (A7), toward owner or member of owner's family (A8), when disciplined (A9), when reached for or handled (A10), when in restricted spaces (A11), at meal times/ defending food (A12) and, suddenly and without apparent reason (A13).
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Heritabilities of traits related to game-bird hunting, measured in the natural ability test of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), were calculated using midparent offspring regressions for five breeds of continental hunting dogs. Heritabilities of use of nose, search, and waterwork were moderate (0.25-0.39). Heritability of pointing was high (> 0.40) in one breed but only moderate in the combined dataset. Desire, cooperation, and tracking were not significantly correlated between midparent average and offspring. One of the breeds, large munsterlander, was analyzed for improvement over the past 15 years. The NAVHDA testing system is used to select breeding stock in the large munsterlander and improvement in scores was significant.
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Issues of breed defects such as morphology, physiology or behaviour in pure-breed dogs, are briefly discussed. Suggestions for various kinds of improvements are made, particularly concerning legislation, analysis of pedigree to avoid undesirable breed characteristics and what breeding clubs, individual breeders, judges, future dog owners and veterinarians could and should do about these problems; these are followed by summary conclusions.
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Many dogs are found to be unsuitable for training as guide dogs for the blind. Consequently the Royal Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Australia has embarked on a breeding program to produce a strain of labrador dogs which is suitable for guide dog training. The most common reasons for rejecting dogs are fearfulness, dog distraction, excitability, health and physical reasons and hip dysplasia. The selection program seems to have been successful in improving the success rate mainly by lowering fearfulness, but there has not been a continuing improvement. This is probably due to continual introduction of dogs from other populations into the breeding program. Males suffer from a higher rejection rate due to dog distraction and a lower rejection rate due to fearfulness and excitability than females, so that there is little sex difference in overall success rate. The heritability of success (0.44) is high enough to predict further progress from selection, again mainly against fearfulness. Variation in environment prior to 6 weeks of age, in age when dogs were placed into a private home and in age when males were castrated, had little effect on the success rate.
Article
Many of the structural modifications of modern breeds of domestic dog,Canis familiariscan be explained by changes in the rate of development, during domestication from the wolf,C.lupusThese changes have been dominated by paedomorphosis, or underdevelopment, so that the adult passes through fewer growth stages and resembles a juvenile stage of its ancestor. In this paper the effects of these processes on the signalling ability of 10 breeds selected for their degree of physical dissimilarity to the wolf are examined. The number of ancestral dominant and submissive behaviour patterns used during signalling within single-breed groups ranged from two (Cavalier King Charles spaniel) to 15 (Siberian husky), and this correlated positively with the degree to which the breed physically resembles the wolf, as assessed by a panel of 14 dog behaviour counsellors. When the signals displayed by each breed were grouped according to the stage of wolf development in which they first appear, those breeds with the smallest repertoires were found to draw most of their signals from those appearing before 20 days of age in the wolf, suggesting that physical paedomorphism has been accompanied by behavioural paedomorphism.
Article
The most important traits causing dogs to be rejected as unsuitable for training as guide-dogs were found to be fearfulness, being too easily distracted, especially by other dogs, and aggressiveness. The guide-dog trainers evaluate these traits and several others using a series of 17 scores. The between-trainer repeatability of these scores varied from 0 to 0.7. Factor analysis of these 17 scores yielded 5 factors, which can be labelled distraction, general performance, sensitivity, fearfulness and fearfulness accompanied by high activity. There were no negative correlations between desirable traits, so it should be possible to obtain an overall improvement in the performance of the dogs. Comparison of dogs from the breeding programme of the Royal Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Australia with dogs donated to the Association as puppies showed that the breeding programme had improved the dogs in the 3 important traits. Also, dogs reared under the supervision of the Association were superior to dogs donated as adults in these 3 traits. Females were more fearful and distracted by scents but less aggressive and distracted by dogs than males. There was significant genetic variation for fearfulness and possibly for dog distraction, suggesting that future selection on these criteria will further improve the standard of the dogs. These 17 scores, which are given early in a dog's training, have little ability to predict the dog's final performance on specific tasks but they do correlate with the overall reliability of fully trained dogs.
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A genetic linkage map of the canine genome has been developed by typing 150 microsatellite markers using 17 three-generation pedigrees, composed of 163 F2individuals. One hundred and thirty-nine markers were linked to at least one other marker with a lod score ≥ 3.0, identifying 30 linkage groups. The largest chromosome had 9 markers spanning 106.1 cM. The average distance between markers was 14.03 cM, and the map covers an estimated 2073 cM. Eleven markers were informative on the mapping panel, but were unlinked to any other marker. These likely represent single markers located on small, distinct canine chromosomes. This map will be the initial resource for mapping canine traits of interest and serve as a foundation for development of a comprehensive canine genetic map.
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The eyes of 18 adult Dachshunds of both sexes were examined histologically. Nine dogs were homozygous for the Merle Factor (MM), five were heterozygotes (Mm) and four were normal (mm). The width of the ganglion cell layers as well as of the inner and outer nuclear layers was measured. There were statistically significant differences between the three groups of dogs. Half of the number of eyes from MM dogs showed severe pathological changes. The nuclear and ganglion cell layers were badly differentiated and retinal folds and rosettes were found. None of the homozygotes had a Tapetum lucidum (T. l.) and only two of the heterozygotes had a T. l. and this has in only one eye in each case. Retinal pigmentation was scanty in homozygotes as well as in heterozygotes. The remarkable resemblance of the Klein-Waardenburg syndrome of man and the Merle Factor of the dog is pointed out and the importance of the Merle Factor as an animal model is emphasized. For reasons of animal welfare it is necessary to restrict breeding with the Merle Factor to scientific purposes.
Article
Fearfulness is the most common reason causing dogs to be unsuitable for training as guide dogs. We have carried out a diallel cross using four breeds of dog—Labrador, German shepherd, boxer, and kelpie—and recorded 38 measures of fearfulness. The variation between litters was described by three discriminant functions. One function, which measured general fearfulness, showed significant genetic variation but no nongenetic between-litter variation. The other two functions showed a mixture of genetic and environmental variation. Of the three functions, only general fearfulness affected a dog's suitability as a guide dog. Labradors were the least fearful and German shepherd dogs the most fearful of the four breeds. There was no heterosis for general fearfulness, but there was significant within-breed genetic variation, implying that fearfulness could best be reduced by a selection program among Labradors. Optimum methods of selecting against general fearfulness are discussed.
Article
Data from field trials of Finnish Hounds between 1988 and 1992 in Finland were used to estimate genetic parameters and environmental effects for measures of hunting performance using REML procedures and an animal model. The original data set included 28,791 field trial records from 5,666 dogs. Males and females had equal hunting performance, whereas experience acquired by age improved trial results compared with results for young dogs (P < .001). Results were mostly better on snow than on bare ground (P < .001), and testing areas, years, months, and their interactions affected results (P < .001). Estimates of heritabilities and repeatabilities were low for most of the 28 measures, mainly due to large residual variances. The highest heritabilities were for frequency of tonguing (h2 = .15), pursuit score (h2 = .13), tongue score (h2 = .13), ghost trailing score (h2 = .12), and merit and final score (both h2 = .11). Estimates of phenotypic and genetic correlations were positive and moderate or high for search scores, pursuit scores, and final scores but lower for other studied measures. The results suggest that, due to low heritabilities, evaluation of breeding values for Finnish Hounds with respect to their hunting ability should be based on animal model BLUP methods instead of mere performance testing. The evaluation system of field trials should also be revised for more reliability.