Sunday, April 28, 2019

Service dogs vs cows: guess which one has the most genetic research behind it?

One gives us milk and one saves our lives.  Guess which one has the most research behind it?

It is amazing to think that far more has been done in the realm of cows than dogs when it comes to genetic research.  Turns out, according to this article, for purposes of milk production, cow DNA was studied in more than 300,000 cows, going back to the 1940s.  This research was largely done in the 1990s.  In the meantime, half of all service dogs fail-out before graduation, and this occurs after a year or more of training has been already spent.  The fall-out is that only 5% of the current need is being met.  It is staggering to think that 95% of all places (and people!) requiring a service dog are not getting one.

The Workign Dog Project hopes to change all this.

"The Working Dog Project is a collaboration of The Theriogenology Foundation (which represents veterinarians who specialize in reproductive health), The Broad Institute (associated with MIT), the American Kennel Club, numerous dog breed organizations, and universities such as Auburn and Cornell....  The Working Dog Project [is showing] that not every dog was cut out to be a sled dog, pilot dog, security dog, bomb-sniffing dog or recovery dog. And that DNA analysis can assist in separating super-achieving canines from those that are more at home sleeping on the couch."

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