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Strategies for genetic diversity – presentation by Jackie Clark and Dr Bart Broeckx

How do we maintain genetic diversity in smaller breeding colonies? A discussion of the strategies you can use for your colony to maintain diversity, such as: utilizing Mate Finder in  IWDR; freeze the male then train him; building collaborations; general guidelines for increasing likelihood of conception; and considerations in shipping dogs.

Jackie Clark is the Breeding and Puppy Program Manager for Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), located in Vancouver, Canada. Over 20+ years at PADS, she has focused on building a breeding program from the ground up, and is passionate about helping other assistance dog schools get their own purpose-bred colony off the ground. She is currently serving her third term on the Steering Committee of the Assistance Dogs International – North America Breeding Cooperative (ABC). Her joint interests are breeding and behaviour, and she enjoys using behaviour science to build on the genetic potential of assistance dog prospects.

Prof. Dr. Bart Broeckx, Msc Vet Med, Msc Stat Data Analysis, PhD is a Professor at the Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University with research focused on the identification of (epi)genetic causes for various diseases, healthy breeding of cats and dogs in general and assistance dogs more specifically and the development of new sequencing and bio-informatics approaches to work on these topics.

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