RALEIGH, N.C. (May 9, 2018) The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is pleased to announce that the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) has launched Phase 1 of the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) Initiative, a free online resource designed to support owners, breeders, veterinarians, and dog health and welfare professionals in the appropriate selection and use of DNA testing for canine health. The HGTD interface is hosted at DogWellNet.com.

Increasing numbers of new DNA tests and testing laboratories have made choosing good quality DNA tests and providers challenging for many owners, breeders, and veterinary professionals. In addition, accessing detailed, breed-specific information on genetic traits, including original research and mutation information, is time-consuming and difficult.

“With no existing national or international guidelines for accreditation or standardization, there’s been a growing need for a reliable, neutral, third party organization that can provide guidance on test information and laboratory quality and procedures. In addition, evidence-based genetic advice to support consumer confidence in canine DNA testing is needed,” says IPFD CEO, Dr. Brenda Bonnett. “IPFD engaged a team of Leadership Sponsors to help develop the HGTD Quality Database. These collaborators include IPFD Partners, e.g., major national kennel clubs, Agria Pet Insurance-SKK Research Fund, and Wisdom Health, as well as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, and many international genetic test providers (GTPs) and academic institutions. Expert collaborators include OMIA (University of Sydney), the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, and other important dog health organizations.” See a complete list of HGTD sponsors.

“We are excited to see Phase I of the HGTD initiative come online, and CHF is pleased to support IPFD’s efforts toward this much-needed resource for the health of all dogs,” says Dr. Diane Brown, CEO of CHF.

The HGTD Database is an open access resource that:

  • Catalogues available genetic tests for hundreds of dog breeds and varieties
  • Helps consumers make informed choices when buying DNA tests by describing expertise, quality assurance activities, and resources of genetic test providers
  • Describes clinical and genetic information on individual genetic tests, and their use
  • Provides information on the original science and research behind genetic tests
  • Includes basic guides for consumers on different types of tests, and testing information to aid veterinary professionals in advising clients

For Phase I, the database includes an initial group of 18 GTPs and more than 300 unique genetic tests, from parentage and panel tests to diseases and diagnostics – catalogued by breed and type. Per Dr. Bonnett, the IPFD is “now working to expand our roster of GTPs, while also continuing development of HGTD Genetic Counselling resources.”

For more information on the HGTD initiative, including opportunities for GTPs, labs, sponsors, and other collaborators, please contact Project Director, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, at aimee.llewellyn-zaidi@ipfdogs.com or Dr. Brenda Bonnett at brenda.bonnett@ipfdogs.com.