A short list of frequently asked questions about IWDR

IWDR was created to provide working dog organizations of any size an affordable full-featured record keeping system that also provides genetic selection tools and estimated breeding values on important health and behavior traits. IWDR is owned by the International Working Dog Breeding Association (IWDBA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Texas, U.S.A. IWDBA’s overall focus is on providing education programs that improve the quality of working dogs.

Consistent genetic improvement for health, behavior and other traits will only occur if young replacement breeders are genetically superior to the parents they replace. Estimated breeding values (EBVs) identify the group of young dogs from which replacement breeders should be chosen.  EBVs have been widely used by the livestock industry and by plant breeders since the 1960’s. In 2007, EBV calculation techniques applied in dairy cattle began incorporating information derived from each animal’s DNA to further improve the accuracy of predicting each animal’s relative genetic worth as a replacement breeder. In collaboration with the Working Dog Project at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, IWDR is in the early stage of incorporating DNA-based information into the EBV calculation process.

Current IWDR functionality includes breeding, whelping, veterinary, behavior, relationships of dogs placed with people, attachments (PDFs, photos, etc), powerful searches, reports and exports.  The full client services module will be online soon, then puppy raising and training will be developed. Users can customize the service/program types, equipment lists and other aspects of IWDR to lists that are specific to each organization. Codes for medical and behavior conditions, however, are standardized and cannot be locally modified, thus ensuring a uniformly coded dataset ready for genetic analysis.

Currently 110 organizations in 28 countries have IWDR accounts. Most are guide and service dog organizations including three breeding cooperatives. There are also a few scent detection and military breeding programs either already subscribed or actively considering its use.

Working dog organizaitons can see basic data such as dog names, status, birth and death dates, color, breed, owner, sex, microchip, registrations, etc on all dogs in IWDR.  Links also provide lists with simiar data on siblings and progeny, health clearances and overall score codes for hip, elbow, skin but not details on the diagnoses.  Private data are only visible to authorized users for your organization.

  • The annual subscription fee for an organization is based on the number of puppies born alive during the 12 months prior to your billing anniversary date. The current annual fee for small guide or service dog organizations with 1-25 puppies born alive is $375.  Larger guide or service dog organizations with 451-500 puppies born alive pay $7,500/year. A free 2-month trial period is applied to all new subscribers, which when expired establishes your billing start date. Fees have not yet been set for other organization types, so if your organization is something other than a guide or service dog organization, please submit a price inquiry using our Contact Form on the home page.

IWDR is accessible from any place on earth with a reasonable connection to the internet, either through a wired or WiFi connection in a typical workplace or by using a smartphone or tablet with a browser connection through a cellphone service provider.

Yes, IWDR is collaborating with the Working Dog Project at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to obtain whole-genome sequence data for each dog using a technique known as low-pass followed by imputation. From the DNA sequence data, a set of informative genomic markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), will be identified for each phenotypic trait of interest, like measures of hip or elbow quality or measures of aspects of canine behavior. The informative SNPs will be incorporated into the EBV calculation process as soon as they become available.