PROJECT DEVELOPMENT TO DATE In early 1999, Judy sent a copy of Dr. Padgett’s book, The Control of Canine Genetic Disease, to Joanne Chanyi. Joanne has been breeding White Shepherds longer than anyone else Judy knew, and Judy knew she needed someone with Joanne’s expertise and experience to respond favorably to Dr. Padgett’s methods. Joanne embraced the project whole-heartedly and has not looked back. In September 1999, Maurice Seeger, American White Shepherd Association (AWSA) President, agreed that the health of our dogs is extremely important and found room in an already full Midland, Michigan AWSA National Specialty show schedule to include a seminar by Dr. Padgett. Only a small number of participants could attend due to their involvement with and the timing of the show. Attendees of the first seminar were Joanne Chanyi, Debbie Martin, Marion Lopizzo, Margaret Stafford, Pam Hovind, Susan Ewart, Henk Van Der Graaf, Diana Updike, Carol Martin, Judge Sundae (Friday conformation judge), and Judy Huston. The AWSA membership voted to helpfund the survey by donating the money needed for postage to mail the survey. By September of 2000, the results were in on 1,000 dogs and Judy Huston prepared the report. Dr. Padgett presented the results in a videotaped seminar in Howell, Mi. In attendance at this seminar were Joanne Chanyi, Tim Johnson DVM  (Joanne's veterinarian), Lynda Proulx, Debbie Martin, Gloria Erskine, Pam Koons, Michelle Koons, Diana Updike, Becky Joyce, Doug Wynn, Stefanie Wynn, Jacki Wheeler, Mark Echterling, Maurice Seeger, Dick Huston, and Judy Huston. In November of 2000, the "White Shepherd Genetics" Internet discussion group was created on Yahoo with the help of then co-moderator, Christina Tanner. As of this writing over 150 people have taken part in the group. Currently, Ruut Tilstra of the Netherlands is co-moderator and has been invaluable in posting charts and articles to the shared files. The list is open to new members and can be accessed at the following URL: Debbie Martin, member of both AWSA and the White Shepherd Club of Canada (WSCC), and Joanne Chanyi, owner of Hoofprint Farms and breeder for over 30 years, were the first to begin discussing the genetic diseases in their bloodlines openly on the White Shepherd Genetics discussion list. Thus began the arduous task of analyzing the data in the survey, learning about the large number of genetic diseases which can affect our dogs, and learning to apply the data to charts which simplify the task of calculating the probability that any given match of sire and dam will pass the genes for each specific genetic disease to their puppies. Then armed with a map of genetic obstacles never before available, breeders began using Dr. Padgett’s methods to select a match in order to reduce the risk of breeding affected puppies. Other breeders, such as Jacki Wheeler of WillowWood Kennel, soon followed Joanne and Debbie’s lead and began discussing the pedigrees and genetic traits carried in their kennels. Though open discussion is not required to participate in the project, the open discussion process has been very helpful in demonstrating to people exactly what breeders are doing to try to improve the overall health of the breed and to help in understanding the process. A club-independent, worldwide Internet database project is currently in the development stages with the hopes of simplifying both the data submission and analysis processes. Bert Tangelder, MCSE and owner of Witte Herder Kennel in the Netherlands, is the workhorse of the project. Dale Malony is relatively new to the White Shepherd world and contributes his fresh perspective and technical experience to the project. Together they are supporting Debbie Martin, Joanne Chanyi, and motivated by the ever-graceful Judy Huston. It is hoped that this medium can reach individual owners of White Shepherds and gather data on a much grander scale than previously possible. It is especially hoped that this project will attract participants from all White Shepherd/White German Shepherd breed clubs worldwide in a united effort to permanently improve the health of our breed. JUDY ON DALE Over the past few months, I’ve discovered some of the obvious talents of Dale Malony. He is articulate, uses analogy beautifully, delves into any subject that interests him, and now lucky for us, he is interested in breeding White Shepherds. In my view, he also has a much better ability than I do to summarize and present this information in a readable and interesting format. I asked him if he would be willing to co-author this article, and to my delight he agreed.
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