Born to Guide Project
We have launched the Born to Guide project to help us better understand our dogs’ genes, to benefit dog breeding programmes and overall dog welfare.
The project involves gathering genome data from thousands of our dogs. The data will be used to create a large database, which will be examined alongside extensive information we have on our dogs’ health and behaviour using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and machine learning.
The project will enable us to understand more about dog genetics, health and behaviour.
What are the benefits of Born to Guide?
Not only will Born to Guide help us breed happy, healthy dogs, the AI created for the project could be used to analyse other data, including human genetic information.
Researchers would be able to identify complex relationships between genes, health and behaviour, not only in dog populations but potentially within society as a whole.
The database we create will benefit our breeding programme today and improve the health of generations of guide dogs to come. It could help us understand new and unanticipated diseases or behavioural patterns, too.
By sharing our results with researchers worldwide, we can support the health and welfare of dogs everywhere.
Help us improve the lives of guide dogs and those who need them
This project can bring significant and wide-ranging longer-term benefits, but the research is complex, and we need your support to help make these benefits a reality. For Guide Dogs, these benefits will be reflected in the wellbeing of our dogs and increased success rates for our dogs completing their training. This research will also help support dog welfare more widely and we will share the results of our research to do so.
We’re already collecting health and behaviour information on our dogs, but we’re limited in what we can do with that data – we know some conditions and behaviours have a genetic link, but we don’t yet know what those links are. An extensive genomics database would allow us to make better breeding decisions that lead to happy, healthy dogs who can better support the people who rely on them.
Interested in supporting this project?
Meet the Born to Guide team
This is a large collaborative project. You can find out more about some of the project team here: