Both Driving with Dogs puppies have taken part in the Dogs Trust Survey from their first week at home with us and it has been a fascinating journey with two quite different little characters. As well as helping science, the survey is also a process that helps focus human minds on their pup's development and training with the aim of helping the dog become a well-rounded and happy pooch. Whether you're an experienced dog parent or just starting out with your first puppy, this is a very easy way to check your pup is progressing well.
The Dogs Trust are aiming to recruit 10,000 puppies aged under 16 weeks old, any breed or crossbreed, from anywhere in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and are very proud to have recently recruited the 8000th puppy. Puppy owner participation is crucial for the success of the study and the help of veterinary professionals. Further details about the study are available at Generation Pup.
The easiest way to learn more about the Generation Pup study is to watch this video: Click here In the video, project lead, Dr Rachel Casey explains how information collected from dog owners, throughout their dogs' lives, which will enable researchers to provide new strategies to help prevent and treat multiple health and behaviour problems that impact on the welfare of our dogs.
Generation Pup is a 'birth cohort study', like the well-known 'Children of the 90's' study, which has had a massive impact on knowledge about child development, health and disease, and informed many aspects of public health policy. Generation Pup aims to do the same for all breeds and crossbreeds of dogs and has the potential to be the largest study of our canine companions of this generation. Many common, canine health problems have a direct impact on welfare. For example: cruciate ligament disease, GI disease, endocrine disease and behavioural issues. We know that these are all influenced by multiple factors. Data about the dogs within the study will be gathered using owner-completed questionnaires, access to veterinary records, biological samples, and health cards completed by veterinary professionals.
Generation Pup has the great advantage of collecting information about dogs over their whole lifespan, from 'puppyhood', through to old age. From the information gathered, we can extract specific factors, such as age, to see how they have a contributing influence towards disease development. Knowledge of important risk factors can be used to develop strategies to reduce the likelihood of associated diseases and behavioural problems affecting dogs in the future.