HarmonyHouse Newfoundlands - Newfoundland Dog Breeder
Also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health data base jointly sponsored by the
AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
To provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in breeding healthy dogs.
To work with parent clubs in the identification of health issues for which a central information system should be established.
To establish and maintain a central health information system in a manner that will support research into canine disease and provide health information to owners and breeders.
To establish scientifically valid diagnostic criteria for the acceptance of information into the database.
To base the availability of information on individually identified dogs at the consent of the owner.
Once in place and accepted within the dog breeding community, the CHIC program offers benefits to breeders, buyers, parent clubs, and researchers.
For breeders, CHIC
provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in
their breeding programs. In the future, breeders can begin to analyze the
pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well
the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths
For buyers, the CHIC program
provides accurate information about the results of a breeder's health
testing. For diseases that are limited to phenotypic evaluations, there
are no guarantees. However, the probability that an animal will develop an
inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal.
Further, as more DNA tests become available and the results are entered
into CHIC, the CHIC database will be able to establish whether progeny
will be clear, carriers, or affected.
For parent clubs
considering establishment of health databases on their own, CHIC provides
the answer with no upfront investment required by the club. The CHIC
infrastructure is supplied and maintained by the OFA. The data is
maintained in a secure environment by trained staff. The services are not
subject to the time, technology, and resource constraints that parent
clubs might face on their own. This frees parent clubs to focus on their
core strengths of identifying health concerns, educating their membership,
and encouraging participation in the CHIC program.
For researchers, CHIC
provides confidential and accurate aggregate information on multiple
generations of dogs. CHIC information will also be useful for
epidemiological studies enhancing our knowledge of health issues affecting
all breeds of dogs.
interested in canine health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease
prevalence and measure progress.
The CHIC database is a tool that collects health information on
individual animals from multiple sources. This centralized pool of data is
maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for
scientists in conducting research. In order for data to be included in CHIC,
test results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria.
Core to the CHIC philosophy is the realization that each breed has
different health concerns. Not all diseases have known modes of inheritance,
nor do all diseases have screening tests. Some screening tests are based on
phenotypic evaluation, others on genetic testing. With all these variables, a
key element of CHIC is to customize or tailor the CHIC requirements to the
needs of each breed. These unique requirements are established through input
from the parent club prior to the breed's entry into the CHIC program. Breed
specific requirements typically consist of the inherited diseases that are of
the greatest concern and for which some screening test is available. Each
parent club also drives specific screening protocols. As an example, one parent
club may allow cardiac exams to be performed by a general practitioner. Another
parent club may require the exam to be performed by a board certified
cardiologist. A club may also use the CHIC program to maintain information on
other health issues for anecdotal purposes. Later, as screening tests become
available, the disease may be added to the breed specific requirements.
Regardless of breed, each dog must be permanently identified in
order to have test results included in CHIC. Permanent identification may be in
the form of microchip or tattoo.
CHIC operates an informed consent database. All information
regarding test results remains confidential unless the owner specifically
authorizes release of the information into the public domain. Owners are
encouraged to release all test results realizing it is in the ultimate health
interests of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and
breadth of any resulting pedigree analysis. For those not quite ready to accept
open sharing of information, there is still value in submitting their results.
All test information entered into the database is available in aggregate for
research and statistical reporting purposes, but does not disclose
identification of individual dogs. This results in improved information on the
prevalence of the disease, as well as information regarding progress in
reducing the incidence of the disease.
A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the
database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the
dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number
itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed
specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.
A CHIC report is issued at the same time as the CHIC number. The
CHIC report is a consolidated listing of the tests performed, the age of the
dog when the tests were performed, and the corresponding test results. As new
results are recorded, updated CHIC reports reflecting the additional
information will be generated. For example, if a breed requires annual CERF
examinations, an updated CHIC report will be generated every time updated CERF
results are entered. Another potential example is as new DNA tests are
developed and added to the breed specific requirements, updated CHIC reports
will be generated as the test results are entered.
Once included in the CHIC program, the breed specific requirements
are dynamic. As health priorities within a breed change, or as new screening
tests become available, the breed specific requirements can be modified to
reflect the current environment. If the breed specific requirements are
modified, existing CHIC numbers are not revoked. Again, the CHIC number is
issued to a dog that completed all required tests at a given point in time.
CHIC will provide the parent club quarterly reports consisting of
both aggregate numbers and specific dogs who have been issued CHIC numbers.
HarmonyHouse Newfoundlands © 2013
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