What We Do

Better Bred came about after a years-long search for reliable ways to preserve genetic diversity in one breed. We were convinced that cooperation between breeders was the key, since breeders control the fate of breeds, and genetic health in a population requires many lines and reliable interbreeding. If breeders can’t work together, they can’t effectively keep breeds genetically healthy. After ten years of running private email lists and studying health concerns, genetics and pedigrees, and making an active search for remnants of unusual lines around the world, we needed a better way of knowing if we were making any progress.

It was this cooperation that helped make a reality of the Genetic Diversity Test created by Dr Niels C. Pedersen and his staff at UC Davis Veterinary School, now available for select breeds from their Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Over 700 samples from Standard Poodles were collected for the study, and tested with generous funding from the Poodle Club of America Foundation, along with help from other clubs such as the Poodle Club of Canada and individual owners.

This cooperation between breeders themselves, and between breeders and researchers, became a model for further studies. We soon began to help other breeds in varying capacities to develop their breed-specific genetic diversity tests through UC Davis, and due to overwhelming demand now do so for a fee. We’ve helped 4 breeds to date.

The process to develop a test includes securing funding, developing informational materials, fielding breeder questions, creating a website when necessary, developing a breed specific strategy to collect as broad a sample of genetic diversity as possible, writing a breed history, assessing breed-specific health issues, assembling swab kits and and submission materials. When results come in, we help explain what they mean and what they mean for your breed.

In addition to assisting with the development of a breed analysis, we offer this website with its online method to assess individual dogs as they compare to other dogs and to their breeds. Having the genetic diversity data is only half the battle – what to do with it and how best to proceed while balancing diversity and breeders’ goals is the next crucial step to preserving our breeds for the future.

If you are interested in our services for your breed, whether assisting from soup to nuts with a genetic diversity test, or simply some consultancy, please inquire at admin@caninediversity.com.