Eldin Leighton, PhD




1973 - 1976

United States Army

In 1973, Leighton’s education was interrupted while he completed a 3-year tour of duty in the US Army, assigned as Research Geneticist to the Division of Bio-Sensor Research, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.This project, popularly known as the US Army Superdog project, was begun in 1968 to genetically improve the military working dog. For 3 years, Leighton worked to make sense of the data accumulated on hip quality on several thousand German Shepherd puppies being born at the rate of about 400 per year.
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1979 - 1989

Professor of Academia

After completing graduate school, Dr. Leighton worked for 10 years in academia, first at New Mexico State, then at University of Maryland where he was research leader for the Wye Angus herd of beef cattle owned by the University.

The Seeing Eye

In 1977, Dr. Leighton began consulting for The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey, providing them with advice and direction on overall management of their canine breeding colony, which then was producing about 250 puppies per year.

In 1980, The Seeing Eye asked Dr. Leighton to write a new breeding plan for them with the stated goals of reducing or eliminating hip dysplasia as a cause for release while also selecting for sound overall health and an improved ability to be trained for working as guide dogs for blind people.

In 1994, Dr. Leighton was asked to assume complete control and management over The Seeing Eye’s breeding program and in 1995, he was hired as a full-time employee. After 20 years of managing the selection of young dogs to be kept for breeding and defining the protocols for determining how mating decisions were to be made, Dr. Leighton retired from The Seeing Eye at the end of 2015.

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2015 - Current

Canine Genetic Services

Dr. Leighton started Canine Genetic Services (CGS), a privately-owned consulting and data analysis company.

CGS now provides advice and direction to working dog organizations who wish to use modern animal breeding principles to genetically improve the puppies born into their breeding colonies. He is also one of 3 developers creating the International Working Dog Registry (IWDR).

At present, CGS is the company providing the owners of IWDR with computer maintenance and support services, along with supplying IWDR users with data importation and data clean-up services, as various working dog organizations begin moving their data into IWDR.

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BS, 1971

New Mexico State University

Eldin A. Leighton was educated in the Land Grant university system studying Animal Science, first as an undergraduate at New Mexico State University.
(MS, 1973, phd, 1979)

Iowa State University

In graduate school, his major was in Animal Breeding, with a minor in Statistics.