The Kennel Club will be contacting over 8,000 owners of German
Shepherd Dogs, registered with the Kennel Club between 2004-2014,
to invite them to participate in a new study investigating the
health and lifestyle of the breed, undertaken by Dr Pam Wiener and
her team at The Roslin Institute and Scotland's Rural
The Roslin Institute (part of the Royal (Dick) School of
Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh) and Scotland's Rural
College (SRUC) are beginning a study, funded by Dogs Trust, on
German Shepherd Dog (GSD) temperament, lifestyle and health and are
requesting the help of GSD owners, through email invitations being
sent from 2nd November 2015 onwards.
This project has the support of the German Shepherd Dog League,
and the German Shepherd Dog Breed Council has been consulted
accordingly. The study aims to determine whether certain
factors in a dog's lifestyle or in their genetics are related to
the temperament and health of individual GSDs. This builds on a
similar study in Labrador Retrievers in which it was shown that
lifestyle and genetic factors were related to behaviour, and
researchers now want to extend this research to other breeds. They
believe the results of this study will prove useful in further
improving the health of the GSD breed.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "This is a fantastic
opportunity for owners of German Shepherd Dogs to help out with a
study that could have a very positive impact on the breed.
"These kind of research projects, carried out by respected
experts, can result in extremely reliable, good quality findings
which can help improve the breed and give guidance to breeders,
vets, dog trainers, and anyone else who deals with various aspects
of dog health and behaviour.
"We would recommend as many invited owners of GSDs to take part in
this study as possible, with the knowledge that they are doing
something positive for the breed they love."
For owners who choose to participate in the study, following
initial contact by the Kennel Club, all subsequent contact will be
with Dr Pam Weiner's team, and all the project data will be
maintained at The Roslin Institute. All data gathered will be
used solely by those staff within the University of Edinburgh and
SRUC who require access to the data and only for the purposes of
this study. Personal data will be kept strictly confidential and
will not be passed onto any third party without the express written
consent of participants.
It is anticipated that the results of the study will be published
and any published data will be completely anonymous. Relevant
findings from the study will be reported back to