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to dogs, but have also occurred in horses, cattle and many other domestic animals, largely as a consequence of outdated beliefs dating bach to the early days of genetics.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 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

  • on basic genetic principles and good breeding practice
  • on the major genetic diseases in your breed
  • on 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

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 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 futere 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 polivy, not do they 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 for more detailed guidelines.

Sylvia van Tatenhove van Roosenbroek knowledge of the Lhasa Apso and dog breeding her experience. the Topquality EL Minja’s Lhasa Apsos exported all over the World.