Lonely hounds seek love online

A fun front page story for a festive Sunday Times. Brilliant new Kennel Club initiative aims to combat inbreeding with a ‘matchmaking’ site, which selects the healthiest pairings.

This has become necessary because some breeds have reached critical levels of inbreeding.

If you’re interested in finding out more, ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’ is a scary and important BBC investigation into some of the poor practices among pedigree breeders.

Article is here on the Sunday Times website, or full text is below.

Hounds of love get some help on lonely heart hunt

Finding a mate can be rough when you are a dog, so the Kennel Club is setting up an internet dating service to help pedigree pooches find a partner

Jonathan Leake and Cal Flyn
The Sunday Times, 26 December 2010

Wanted: attractive, fun-loving male to share long walks in the country, cosy evenings by the fireside and an interest in cats. Long, floppy ears preferred. No fleas.

The Kennel Club is taking a lead from the singles scene and launching an internet dating service for dogs. But unlike computer matchmaking for people, the unromantically named Mate Select will seek to pair up couples who are the least similar.

Pure-bred dogs are prone to inherited diseases, so the club wants to maintain pedigrees while ensuring that pairs are not too closely related.

The service will be launched next month on the club’s website, allowing owners to pick the most eligible canine bachelor from a shortlist of suitable sires.

Harvey Locke, president of the British Veterinary Association, said: “Having this information easily accessible is a great help in allowing breeders to choose a suitable mate and will hopefully lead to healthier dogs and more robust bloodlines.”

Bloodline data for pedigree dogs, already held by the club, will be used to compare potential mates for genetic diversity, the rule of thumb being that more diverse parents are likely to produce a hardier litter.

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