About Us

Our mission is to provide tools, educational materials, and training opportunities that promote the production and rearing of healthy, behaviorally appropriate dogs ideally suited for performing their work. We achieve this with the support of our members, who consist of professional working dog organizations, breeders, academics, veterinarians, breed and sporting clubs and working collaboratives.

We offer resources that expand upon various aspects of the working dog industry, including breeding, health and genetics, environmental and technological advances, working dog behaviors, puppy socialization and breeding program and organizational management. Our members also enjoy complimentary digital access to 3 academic journals – find out more here.

IWDA is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors – find out more about our board of directors here.

Keep reading to learn more about how we support working dog organizations and breeders.

Current and Upcoming events

The 2023 IWDA International Working Dog Conference (October 16-18 2023, Fort Collins, Colorado) is not to be missed! Tickets are now available – click here.

Join us to explore recent scientific advances in the production of high quality working dogs:

  • Working dog training
  • Health and management
  • Assessing performance and temperament
  • Breeding

We are accepting abstract submissions: Click here for more information.

Immediately following the IWDC on October 19th and 20th is our next Breeder’s Workshop, showcasing tools and resources to implement evidence based methods when improving the whole dog. Tickets are now available – click here!

  • Breeding, whelping and neonatal care
  • Early socialization 
  • Acclimating dogs for grooming, handling, and future careers 
  • Gaiting live workshop for health and conformation with guest speaker, award-winning Old English Sheepdog breeder Colton Johnson
  • Advanced genetic selection tools for health and temperament (EBVs)

Latest News from the IWDA

Problem solving puppy raising

If your organization relies on volunteer puppy raisers, you are probably aware of how challenging it can be to attract and retain suitable volunteers. Volunteer puppy raisers are a crucial

Read More »

IWDA Board of Directors

IWDA is governed by a Board of Directors that has varied in size over the years. We are proud to have a Board who is dedicated to our mission and contributes to the development of further working dog science and best practice. Our Board represents different countries around the globe, and different specialisations within the working dog industry, which gives the IWDA a well-rounded perspective.

International Working Dog Conferences

Since 1999, the International Working Dog Conference gives working dog professionals and our members the chance to explore and present the latest industry related advancements.

Initially held in San Antonio, Texas, the IWDC is now an international event – we have met in Australia, Belgium, South Africa, France, Canada and Sweden. The challenges of 2021 did not stop us and resulted in a successful virtual conference. Past conferences are now shared through presentations, lectures and resources which are made available to our members in our IWDC Conference Archives.

The International Working Dog Registry

The IWDR is an online database in which users can store and maintain working dog records (including pedigrees, health and working behavior records, production outcomes, work placement details, and more).

The database includes a variety of helpful tools, such as test matings, data collaboration, and estimated breeding value (EBV) calculations for specific health and behavior traits.  These tools help you decide exactly which dogs are genetically most likely to produce puppies that will meet your breeding program objectives.

The IWDR is proudly owned by the IWDBA, however, registration is separate. Find out more about the IWDR here.

The Early Socialization Project

The Early Socialization Project delivers an extensive socialization guideline for working dog puppies from birth to 12 weeks. This is a user friendly educational resource for working dog breeding programs and organisations aiming for confidence, handler focus, & stable psychological and physiological development in their puppies. Our goal is to provide a step-by-step guide to consistent and reliable results, and therefore give our working dog puppies the best chance of success in their future role.

The Early Socialization Project is a collaboration between the IWDR, Southeastern Guide Dogs, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and Guide Dogs Queensland.

Click here to view the project and find out more.

With thanks to our Corporate Sponsors:

Problem solving puppy raising

If your organization relies on volunteer puppy raisers, you are probably aware of how challenging it can be to attract and retain suitable volunteers. Volunteer puppy raisers are a crucial …

Incorporating Youth in Guide Dog Programs

Does your organization offer a youth program? Youth programs are an excellent way to establish relationships and integrate families into your programs and organization. The positive effects of guide dogs …

IWDA’s Farr Assesses Working Dog Fitness

Is your working dog performing at its optimum ability? IWDA member and United States Army Major Brian Farr, DVM, as part of his engagement with the Penn Vet Working Dog …