Many of your questions about what we are doing and the dogs we are looking for may be answered here: Study Design
|Why are pedigree papers needed?
Pedigree papers help us to identify the breed
correctly. We carry out analyses that take breed
into account, or make comparisons across breeds.
Thus having this information facilitates these
Also, having the actual pedigree information
helps us to construct large pedigrees for some
breeds, which are useful in genetic studies,
even if the DNA of the parents is not available.
||I do not have the pedigree papers but my vet/breeder
has them. Can you ask them to send a copy to
It would be most helpful to have a copy of the
pedigree but it is by law and ethically incorrect,
we cannot directly ask your vet/breeder for them.
But since you are the owner of the dog, you may
ask your veterinarian or breeder for a copy to be sent to us
by fax or mail.
Canine Behavioral Genetics
401 Parnassus Avenue
Box 0984-NGL, Rm. LP70
San Francisco CA 94143-0984
||Do you support
breed ban laws?
Not only do
WE NOT support breed bans, but Dr. Overall
has argued regularly against them in court and
has published extensively on why they are foolish. Our
primary intent is to understand truly problematic
and abnormal behaviors in dogs that run in family
lines. If we can understand
the genetics and offer genetic counseling,
then we can screen dogs early and prevent the
most devastating of the behavioral effects by
treating early. We can - we hope - contribute
to the creation of better and more specific treatments. Not
only do we oppose breed bans, we look forward
to the day when all dogs are wanted dogs and
humanely treated, and no dog is euthanized
or abandoned for any behavioral concern.
||Do you accept
dogs that are not AKC registered, or that deviate from AKC standards?
Yes. We accept all dogs, including unregistered dogs, mixed breed dogs, and dogs registered with responsible, reputable registries other than AKC. These may include foreign kennel clubs such as the Kennel Club UK (KC) or the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), as well as breed-specific registries such as the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA), the American Border Collie Association (ABCA), or the
Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV). We accept
dogs even if they do not qualify for AKC accepted
markings, colors, and/or physical traits required
for their breed category.
||Are you interested
in just one of my dogs or all of my dogs? One
of them is very aggressive to other dogs. But
I have this dog’s
other littermates and they do not show any
aggression and are as sweet as can be.
We are interested in ALL dogs. If you have multiple dogs, they can all contribute to our study, whether they are affected by behavioral problems or not. The general rule is when in doubt, send the sample. You cannot do us any harm by sending us more data!
In addition, we
will benefit from family groups, especially
if one of the dogs exhibits aggression or anxiety-related
behavior, compared to the rest of its littermates.
For more explanation, click
||Is it possible to tell
if there is a relationship between coat color
Theoretically, yes. Given information about relationships between dogs (i.e., pedigrees) it is possible to look for associations between coat color (or any other phenotypic marker) and behavior.
Let's say in
a litter of six, three dogs have the behavioral
trait we are studying. Let's also say that those
same three share coat color, while the other
three littermates, who do not have the behavior,
have a different coat color. This is not definitive,
but it suggests that the behavior "segregates" with
the coat color trait, at least in this example.
If you were able to collect a number of pedigrees
with this same pattern, this becomes more persuasive
from a genetic standpoint. The most definitive
proof would be to establish that the gene contributing
to the behavior is in close proximity to the
gene contributing to coat color.
concerned about the information I am giving
you. Do you plan to sell my information to
All information and data is STRICTLY
CONFIDENTIAL and only for usage in this research project. Your information WILL
NOT BE SOLD.
||Will the kits
cost me anything?
The kits are
free. The only cost is the stamps used for
mailing the samples back to us.
||My dog is
not a purebred; may I still request a kit?
Non-purebred dogs are welcomed to participate
in the study.
||Will the results
reveal if my dog has aggression or anxiety
This kit is for participation
in a research study only - it is not a test to
verify if your dog does or does not have a disorder.
||Will you inform us of the results of your research?
Research is very long and lengthy process. We hope to have some results ready for publishing in the next year or so. For our participants, they will receive an advance discussion of the findings before they are made public. But the findings will not disclose the individual results of any participating dogs.
||I received the kits a very long time ago, but have not had time to complete and return them. Is it too late?
No, it is never too late to return kits. Data collection for projects of this kind is ongoing, so even if it has been weeks or months since you received the kit, please do return it. We are happy to include your dog(s) in the study. If you have lost parts of the kit and need replacements (extra swabs, etc.) please contact us and we will send out whatever you need as soon as we can.
||It has been a very long time since I requested kits and I have not received them. Does this mean my dog is not eligible for the study?
No, it does not. If you have not heard from us in a reasonable amount of time (within a few weeks), please feel free to contact us. It is possible that your request was lost in the system, or that we have been particularly busy and overlooked your kit request.