Canine science ongoing projects

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Behaviour monitoring tool

A project is being undertaken to develop a new dog behaviour monitoring tool. This tool will measure behaviour throughout the lifetime of the dog. This will support the work of Guide Dogs by capturing data that informs decision making on breeding, health and behavioural management.

Treating our dogs as our partners is fundamental to Guide Dogs and accurately measuring our dogs’ behaviour will improve our understanding of our dogs and enable us to ensure we meet their needs throughout their life.

Born to Guide

Guide Dogs has embarked on an ambitious project to create a database of the full genome sequence of 3,000 of our dogs. The outputs from this study will benefit general dog breeding, working dog breeding programmes and improve overall dog wellbeing. The technology developed could be applied to other dog data as well as human genomics data to help researchers understand patterns in other populations.

For Guide Dogs, this project will enable us to breed dogs that are better suited for the guiding role, with a lower incidence of disease and continue to support our dogs’ wellbeing.

Further information about our Born to Guide project

Neutering of female dogs

Decision-making regarding the most appropriate time to neuter a bitch relative to the stage of reproductive development is made difficult due to a lack of published information and debate in the veterinary field. Additionally, studies have commonly classified bitches based on their age rather than their stage of reproductive development, and usually involve analysis of retrospective data.

Guide Dogs is undertaking a prospective cohort study to determine the optimum stage of reproductive development at which to neuter female dogs. The study will examine the impacts of neutering before and after puberty on growth, behavioural development, health and progression through the training program.

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