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The Canine Diversity Project


The Canine Diversity Project is an attempt to acquaint breeders of domesticated Canidae (dogs) with the dangers of inbreeding and the overuse of popular sires. Both lead to the indiscriminate loss of genetic diversity and increase the frequency of genetic problems in the population. These abuses have not been restricted to dogs, but have also occurred in horses, cattle and many other domestic animals, largely as a consequence of outdated beliefs dating back to the early days of genetics. Even their wild cousins have been the unfortunate victims of genetic malpractice by zoos. Fortunately, zoo biologists have recognized the dangers to these and many other species, and species servival plans have been developed for many.

Though, as a species, Canis familiaris is not endangered, a number of breeds are in as much danger of extinction as some of their  wild cousins. If different varieties of wolves are worthy of preservation, are not the different breeds of domestic dogs equally worthy?

Starting with wolves, and perhaps other related canids, man shaped the dog to his own ends. For several thousand years they have been our companions, helpers and guardians. A dog, treated with a little kindness, will be your friend for life. How do we reward them? By condemning many to a life of pain or an early death due to various inherited diseases Do we not owe them more than this? ***

How You Can Help

Become informed
bulleton basic genetic principles and good breeding practice
bulleton the major genetic diseases in your breed
bulleton the attitude of your Breed Club or Association
Support genetic research
Spread the word about this site
Ask the Question - Do you need a "Breed Survival Plan"?

If you would like more information, contact:

Dr. John B. Armstrong
The Canine Diversity Project
Department of Biology
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada

  e-mail: jbarm@uottawa.ca or kaitlin@magma.ca


Canine Genetics Discussion Group (CANGEN-L)

If you are interested in participating in on-going discussion of canine genetics (C. familiaris or other) and breeding (as related to genetic health) send a message to jbarm@uottawa.ca requesting further information or to be added to the group. Please include a brief statement of your interest in canine genetics (e.g. breeder of Alabama Waterdogs). You do not have to be a professional geneticist or breeder to join, having a love of dogs and a concern for their future is sufficient.

Note: This list is hosted by the University of Ottawa. However, opinions expressed on the list are those of the poster and should not be construed to reflect University policy, nor do they necessarily reflect the opinions of the Listowner. The Listowner reserves the right to cancel the membership of anyone who does not adhere to the generally accepted rules of good conduct on the Internet ("netiquette") See Guidelines for Members of the PSG for more detailed guidelines.










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