The Functional Breeding Podcast

The Functional Breeding podcast was started in 2020 as a way to amplify the voices of breeders, scientists, behavior consultants, dog trainers, and others who are either directly involved in dog breeding or have insights into the consequences of different breeding practices. Episodes are interview-based, with occasional updates on the status of the Functional Dog Collaborative (FDC).

The Functional Breeding podcast serves as an essential part of the FDC’s educational offerings and we hope it’s enjoyable as well!

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episode TRANSCRIPTs

We are transcribing all episodes in an effort to be accessible and inclusive in our communications.  This is an ongoing project, so please check back if the episode you are looking for is not yet available below. 

 

Podcast Hiatus

Podcast Hiatus

I didn’t intend to have another hiatus so soon. But in late January, I slipped on ice and hit my head. I have been recovering slowly but surely. Slooowwwwllly. I have some episodes planned that I’m really excited about, but I’m still on quite limited screen time, and audio is still very, very hard for me to listen to. So, I apologize to have to put the podcast into hiatus, but it’s going to have to wait for my head to recover. It will recover! But I am not sure quite when.

Thank you so much to all of you listeners for your support – it means a lot to me when I get feedback about how much you enjoy the podcast. It makes me feel sad to not be producing new episodes and I can’t wait to get back to it.

Joyce Briggs: What the State of Shelter Adoptions Today Means for Breeders

Joyce Briggs: What the State of Shelter Adoptions Today Means for Breeders

Joyce Briggs is the President of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs (ACC&D). She’s dedicated her career to working in the world of animal sheltering, and has fascinating insights about how that world has changed over the past decades – backed up by some hard numbers. In this episode, we talk about the changing face of the animal shelter world in the United States, and speculate about what this could mean for people looking to get their next dog – and for dog breeders.

Jane Lindquist: Puppy Culture

Jane Lindquist: Puppy Culture

Jane Lindquist is the founder and owner of Puppy Culture, a widely used educational resource for raising and socializing puppies. She herself breeds and competes with bull terriers. As it turns out, she is very thoughtful when it comes to how to apply science to the raising of puppies. We had a wide ranging conversation, at times nerdy, at times philosophical.

Sarah Stremming: Border Collies in Agility – We’re all Weird Here

Sarah Stremming: Border Collies in Agility – We’re all Weird Here

Sarah Stremming is an internationally known dog behavior consultant with a special niche working with sports dogs. She consults at The Cognitive Canine, teaches online courses on dog behavior, and hosts the Cog Dog Radio Podcast. I sat down with Sarah to talk about agility dogs, particularly the ubiquitous border collie, and what is going on with them in terms of health and behavioral issues. Looking for your next agility prospect? This interview is a must listen.

Elinor Karlsson, PhD: Genetic Testing from a Scientist’s Perspective

Elinor Karlsson, PhD: Genetic Testing from a Scientist’s Perspective

Elinor Karlsson, Ph.D., is the director of the Vetebrate Genomics Group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and (incidentally) my boss. She has a deep knowledge about both population genetics and what we call “complex trait genomics,” or the genetics of hard to pin down things like risk of developing cancer or a behavior problem. Elinor talked with me about a recent paper that looked for genetic variants associated with diseases in a large number of dogs from many breeds and mixes. She discusses what this paper found and some ways to interpret those findings.

Oluademi James-Daniel: Overcoming Systemic Racism in the Dog World

Oluademi James-Daniel: Overcoming Systemic Racism in the Dog World

Oluademi James-Daniel is a force for change in the dog world. Her Facebook group, Inclusivity in Dog Training, has become a major player in the conversation about whether the dog world is inclusive (spoiler: there’s lots to work on) and what we can all do to make things better for minorities. In this episode, Oluademi talks about bias in the dog world generally and especially in breeding and in how breeders pick their puppy owners.

Eldin Leighton, PhD (pt. 2): The International Working Dog Registry

Eldin Leighton, PhD (pt. 2): The International Working Dog Registry

Eldin Leighton has a PhD in animal breeding, and after a long career at The Seeing Eye, has founded the International Working Dog Registry, or IWDR. If you didn’t listen to last week’s episode where Eldin talked about his career before the IWDR, definitely check that out first. In this episode, he tells us all about the IWDR, how it helps gather large populations of dogs together to provide more data – and analyze that data! – to help breeders improve their breeding decisions, and whether it’s useful for more than just working dogs. (Spoiler: yes it is.)

Eldin Leighton, PhD (pt 1): The Science of Animal Breeding

Eldin Leighton, PhD (pt 1): The Science of Animal Breeding

Eldin Leighton has a PhD in animal breeding and has wound up a long career managing the breeding program at The Seeing Eye, which is the largest guide dog organization in the US. In this episode, Eldin talks to us about how he got where he is now and gets super nerdy about the ins and outs of selecting breeding animals for the traits you want, from cattle to seeing eye dogs. (We love nerdy.) Eldin had so much good information that this ended up being two episodes, so stay tuned for part two next week.

Marina Phillips: Breeding Cooperatives

Marina Phillips: Breeding Cooperatives

Marina Phillips is the breeding director for the ADI (Assistance Dogs International) Breeding Cooperative. A breeding cooperative is a group of breeders with similar goals who exchange animals to form a larger breeding population than they could on their own. In this episode, Marina gets down and dirty with the details of how to put together and run a breeding cooperative, and wraps up with some insights on how she makes guardian homes (placing dogs in pet homes but keeping breeding rights) work for her. If you’re a breeder who has ever struggled with how to keep enough potential breeding dogs in a house with limited space, this episode may be for you.

Doodles Part 3 – Kim Palermo: Boots on the Ground with Doodles

Doodles Part 3 – Kim Palermo: Boots on the Ground with Doodles

Alicia Hobson, of Bear Lake Bearded Retrievers, is the founder of the Bearded Retriever Project. The Bearded Retriever is a breed in development, based on poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers; the dogs have a classic doodle look and F1 poodle/retriever crosses can be Bearded Retrievers. In this episode, Alicia and I talk breeder education, client education, coat genetics, and the social challenges of breeding doodles.

Doodles Part 2 – Alicia Hobson: The Bearded Retriever Project

Doodles Part 2 – Alicia Hobson: The Bearded Retriever Project

Alicia Hobson, of Bear Lake Bearded Retrievers, is the founder of the Bearded Retriever Project. The Bearded Retriever is a breed in development, based on poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers; the dogs have a classic doodle look and F1 poodle/retriever crosses can be Bearded Retrievers. In this episode, Alicia and I talk breeder education, client education, coat genetics, and the social challenges of breeding doodles.

Doodles Part 1 – Amy Lane: The Goldendoodle Association of America

Doodles Part 1 – Amy Lane: The Goldendoodle Association of America

Amy Lane is the founder of the Goldendoodle Association of North America and the creator of the mini goldendoodle. GANA acts as a breed club for goldendoodle breeders, providing a registry, health testing guidance, and education. In this episode, Amy tells us all about goldendoodles, covering the genetics of shedding, what it means to call a doodle “hypoallergenic,” and how GANA provides some really exceptional support to its members.

Sophie Liu, DVM: The Doberman Diversity Project

Sophie Liu, DVM: The Doberman Diversity Project

Sophie Liu, DVM, is the founder of the Doberman Diversity Project. The DDP seeks to collect information in a single place about Dobermans for use to researchers who want to better understand the genetics of Doberman health issues. Sophie has some very cool specific, actionable plans for helping improve the breed’s health, and in this episode, we talk about those plans, why Dobermans are great, what their health is like currently, and how hard it is to organize dog owners to get you the data you need.

Linda Seaver: Berner University

Linda Seaver: Berner University

Linda Seaver is the founder of Berner University, a two-day educational conference which convenes once each year at the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America National Specialty. Berner U aims to educate Berner owners and breeders about their dogs, including information from veterinarians, behaviorists, and experienced breeders, among others.

Sara Reusche: Breeding Mixy-Mix Sports Dogs for the First Time

Sara Reusche, CPDT-KA, CVT, ANWI owns Paws Abilities Dog Training, LLC in Rochester, Minnesota. Sara writes, teaches – and is the happy owner of two intentionally-bred sport mixy-mix dogs, one of whom she bred herself. In this episode, Sara talks about getting a dog who was bred to be a fabulous pet first, a sport dog second, and her experiences with her first breeding.

Jane Russenberger: Managing a Population of Guide Dogs

Jane Russenberger: Managing a Population of Guide Dogs

Jane Russenberger is the Senior Director of Genetics and Breeding at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of the largest guide dog schools in the United States. Over her decades working at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Jane has shepherded a population of hundreds of guide dogs (mainly Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds) in the direction of increasingly solid genetic foundations for doing their jobs. In this episode, Jane talks about her job and management strategies for selective breeding.

Trish McMillan, CPDT, CDBC, ACCBC: Where Do Good Dogs Come From?

Trish McMillan, CPDT, CDBC, ACCBC: Where Do Good Dogs Come From?

Trish McMillan is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, and an Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. She is also an internationally known speaker and behavior consultant who has been involved with animal sheltering for more than twenty years. Trish is one of the founding board members of the Functional Dog Collaborative.

Deb Jones, PhD: Good Traits for a Sports Dog (and Pet)

Deb Jones, PhD: Good Traits for a Sports Dog (and Pet)

This week we talk with Deb Jones, Ph.D., about the behavioral traits that make a good sports dog, particularly a sports dog who you can live with. Deb has a Ph.D. in social & behavioral psychology, and worked as a professor for more than 20 years at Kent State University. She has been in dog sports for more than 25 years, competing in obedience, rally, and agility. Deb is the author of 12 books about dog training, and currently teaches both online and in person.