Commencing implementation of a genetic eval. system for livestock working dogs

The University of Sydney

  • Project code: PRJ-010413

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, May 30, 2016

  • Project completion date: Friday, May 15, 2020

  • National Priority: NAP-Enhance industry success through targeted industry-specific RD&E


This aim of this project is to carry forward and extend the findings of RIRDC project “Valuable behavioural phenotypes in Australian farm dogs” through a comprehensive development program that will continue to collect data to improve the accuracy of preliminary genetic and genomic estimates described in the previous Working Dog Project (WDP). The new project will evaluate the outcomes of the WDP with the objective of confirming and embedding best practice for ongoing collection of on-farm statistics of working dog ownership and management, owner assessment of phenotypic traits and collection and processing of biological samples for genotyping of working dogs. It will complement the extension program currently proposed by MINTRAC and feature the doglogbook app, farm dog database and website developed by RIRDC during the WDP.
The results of the previous project and post-project evaluation will then be communicated to stakeholders through mechanisms over and above those publications that have already appeared in academic journals. This will include articles in mainstream media as well as workshopping with a small group of stakeholders to clarify and define the continuing needs of producers. This group will also help to develop the strategy and methodology for the most effective expansion of the campaign for prospective participants. The outcomes of the research, evaluations and workshops will be communicated through the ongoing development of the database and website already established in the previous working dog project.


New and Emerging Animal Industries

Research Organisation

The University of Sydney

Objective Summary

The major aim of this and the previous project is to work towards the development of a system and set of tools and resources for the genetic evaluation of valuable phenotypic traits of working dogs. To do this, we need to effectively engage working dog owners to participate in an ongoing, long-term, national breeding program for the conservation and improvement of working dog breeds in the Australian livestock industries.