Summaries of Research projects

On this page:


Give a Dog a Genome

February 2016 ongoing

The following is reproduced from the website of the Animal Health Trust:

"Welcome to Give a Dog a Genome a new initiative launched by the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the AHT to create the UK’s largest canine genome bank to help generations of dogs.


This genome bank will improve dog health by radically increasing our understanding of the canine genome. We aim to sequence the entire genomes (all 2.4 billion letters of DNA) of 50 different dog breeds by the end of 2016, but we need your help to do so.

Unfortunately the Animal Health Trust closed on 21st July 2020. Further information on this link: Click here to read the latest news updates.


WHI announced: Having made a donation of £500 to the SCWT Club of GB to be matched with the Club's similar contribution towards genetic sequencing of one SCWT, we intend to use the remainder of the fund, which stands at £2,000 to enable another Wheaten to be sequenced.

The Certificate and Rosette are awarded to participants by the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the AHT.

WHI would like to thank all supporters who have made this incredible donation possible.


Genetic status of purebred dogs in UK

21 September 2015 ongoing

Published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, is a study of the population statistics and genetic diversity of all 215 breeds registered by the Kennel Club, using data from the pedigree database from 1980-2014. The paper is a welcome addition to the literature, updating and eclipsing the earlier (and epic at the time) study by Calboli (et al) in 2008.

Go to web page page of Institute of Canine Biology for initial information.

Go to the Kennel Club web page for introduction to Breed Population Analysis.

Go direct to Wheaten data (pdf) on the Kennel Club web page.


Genetic Testing for PLN-Associated Variant Genes

2013 ongoing

Genetic Testing for PLN-Associated Variant Genes originated in America and sponsored by the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America.

"After years of research supported by hundreds of Wheatens and their owners and breeders, Dr. Meryl Littman and Dr. Paula Henthorn at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine identified mutations associated with PLN in two genes. A simple cheek swab test to determine an individual dog’s DNA status was introduced to Wheaten owners in May 2012.

Free cheek swabs for this test are available (at present in North America only) via the SCWTCA Endowment Inc web page

Go to Research Project page ...


The Wheaten Genome and Lifetime Study

2011 ongoing

The Wheaten Genome and Lifetime Study headed by Dr. Heidi Parker of the National Institues of Health, USA states:

“Our aim is to use a combination of blood samples, physical measurements and health information to examine a variety of health issues important to the breed.”This information will be used “to find genes important in disease susceptibility and progress, as well as to understand the genetic basis of canine body shape and size."

Go to Research Project page...


The pANCA Research Project

2007 to 2013

The pANCA Research Project, headed by Dr (now Professor) Karin Allenspach of the Royal Veterinary College, was the first major project in the UK to undertake genetic studies of protein losing diseases in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers.

Go to first page of Research Project...


Breed-historic Relationships

2007 - Cluster analysis of breed-historic relationships between "closely related breed pairs"

Go to Research Project page...