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Inbreeding in Working Dog Colonies with Dr Eldin Leighton

Effective breeding strategies for working dog breeding programs involve maintaining sufficient genetic diversity and minimizing the risk of inbreeding depression.

Come listen to Dr. Eldin Leighton as he answers the questions: How are pedigree COIs calculated? How to keep track of a colony’s inbreeding depression using IWDR? What are genetic COIs, are they currently useful in making breeding decisions? How important is it to keep an effective population size? and more!

About the Speaker

The International Working Dog Association has been an important focus of Dr. Leighton’s professional life, since he attended the 2001 Conference in San Antonio, Texas. In 2005, Dr. Leighton was appointed to the IWDBA Board of Directors, then was subsequently elected as the Board’s first President. Dr. Leighton’s experience in the dog breeding world was acquired first as the Research Geneticist working with the U.S. Army Bio-Sensor Research Division from 1973-1976, then as a consultant for The Seeing Eye from 1977 through 1994. After “retiring” in 2015, Dr. Leighton started a private company, Canine Genetic Services, LLC (CGS), and through this company, he and others now provide maintenance and development support of the International Working Dog Registry, and they provide breeding program management services under long-term contracts with organizations that breed and train working dogs. CGS is a fully-licensed enterprise willing to conduct business world-wide.

The International Working Dog Registry (IWDR) provides a world-class record-keeping service for all organizations worldwide that breed working dogs in large numbers. Dr. Leighton, along with a small, but very dedicated team of developers began IWDR construction as a part-time project in 2012. Full-time development continued in 2015 when Dr. Leighton officially retired as Breeding Program Manager for The Seeing Eye. During the last 10 years with The Seeing Eye, he held the Jane H. Booker Chair in Canine Genetics, where he was responsible for producing about 500 to 600 puppies each year.

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