​Pedigree and Registry Tracking Program

​DNA Based Registry
The NGHWDF will maintain a centralized, DNA based breed registry for HWDs, NGSDs and an admixture population.

A registry is a database or other means of recording the lineages and pedigrees for animals.   Other registries include the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Associated Rare Breed Club (ARBA).  Currently, there is no formal registry program for NGSDs, HWDs, or Dingoes.

Until recently, registries were constructed based on owner reporting, making the database only as accurate as the information provided.  With DNA testing becoming both more available and affordable, as well as being the most reliable, indisputable reporting method, we have chosen to extrapolate our DNA registry results from the comprehensive DNA testing being performed at Cornell, UC Davis, and Texas A&M Universities.
The NGHWDF has selected ZooEasy as our registry platform.  ZooEasy is a pedigree database software application that allows for unlimited tracking of lineages, health records, physical statistics, and other data for individuals as well as lines.  The program can be used to determine genetic relationship between breeding pairs or to make breeding pair recommendations.  However, the program still relies on user input.  The NGHWDF is in the process of researching and potentially developing a DNA driven database that can accomplish all these tasks and more.  Regardless, we will still require DNA submission for all dogs to be entered into the Active Registry. 
​Active vs Legacy Registry
The NGHWDF will maintain two registries for captive NGSD populations:  Active and Legacy.  The Active Registry will include all dogs living or deceased that have DNA samples on file with the foundation registry program beginning in 2017.  The Legacy Registry will include all dogs living or deceased for which we have record or knowledge of, but no DNA sample.  Only those dogs with DNA samples on file will be allowed to participate in sanctioned breeding activities, to include being considered as candidates for admixture breeding with HWDs.  Because all HWDs will be DNA tested, their registry will of course be active and only those facilities willing to participate in DNA collection and submission will be considered as valid recipients for HWDs (among other requirements).  The same will be true for the HWD/NGSD admixture population.

All Active Registry DNA samples collected will be made available to the scientific community for testing and research purposes.  A coding system is in place to protect owner and animal identity and privacy.
Note that the NGHWDF proposes two separate registries (active and legacy) for three populations of dogs (HWD, NGSD and admixture group).  This is by thoughtful design.  While many believe that HWDs and NGSDs are the same thing, the same species, that has not yet  been proven through genetic analysis.  The taxonomy and phylogeny are still indeterminate.  Even if we were to determine the HWD and NGSD to be genetically identical, we'll continue to delineate between the three separate populations - that we know of for now - genetic testing could reveal additional subspecies variants and will very likely include the Australian Dingo as a sister species.  While more research is forthcoming, we suspect there will be enough genomic variation between HWDs and NGSDs to maintain some sort of delineation.
The New Guinea Singing Dog, also known as NGSD, singer or singing dog, has only been bred in captivity since the 1950s and originate from less than 10 founder animals.  (Please see our History page for more information.)  To date, no one knows exactly how many NGSDs exist worldwide, but estimates range from 200-300.  Some are in zoos, others are held in private facilities or by private owners.  Given this limited genetic pool and the fact that captive breeding has been largely unregulated, we cannot be sure what effect captive breeding has had on the NGSD.  Until the 2016 discovery of HWDs, we had no comparison.  Compounding the issue, the NGSD has suffered two major inbreeding (compression) events caused by two separate hoarding situations.  (Though those dogs are typically not bred.)  Despite the limited gene pool, the majority of breeders are experienced and responsible, striving for as much genetic diversity as can be achieved.

While this may sound tragic for the breed, there's  a silver lining:  The captive NGSD population represents a domestication experiment on par with the Balyeav Russian Fox experiment (60 years in the making, selecting for friendliness to humans). 
​​​New  Guinea Singing Dog
​The HWD
The New Guinea Highland Wild Dog hasn't been ​confirmed ​in the wild in over 50 years.  In 2016, our Founder, Mac McIntyre, was able to participate in the documentation of these dogs in the Puncak Jaya region of Papua Province.   To read about the discovery and expedition, as well as view photos of the dogs, please visit our  HWDs page. 

While DNA testing is well underway and early results are in, we do not yet have enough information to determine taxonomy or phylogeny.  Interestingly, early observations and photos of the small population located seem to indicate that some observable morphological differences do exist between HWDs and NGSDs, though nothing definite can be stated. 

A second expedition to collect samples, attach satellite collars and conduct a live capture specimen campaign is scheduled for 2017.   The first specimens and thier future offspring will go to AZA accredited facilities (zoos).  Provision will also be made to breed some HWDs with carefully selected captive NGSDs, creating a third subset of animals to be tracked and studied. 
​​​New  Guinea HIghland Wild Dog
Hopefully you can now appreciate the need to maintain a separation between HWDs, NGSDs and the admixture population that will result from breeding wild-caught HWDs and their future offspring with existing captive NGSDs.  We must preserve all three unique genetic pools in the interest of science and conservation.

The NGHWDF is in the process of developing breeding guidelines, breeder ethics and compliance policies, and other requirements for the Active and Legacy Registries.  If you would like to assist in this effort, please visit our Engage page or contact us at registry@nghwdf.org.

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