From the EFG Health Coordinator


As you may be aware, the AHT will soon be starting its search for the Glen of Imaal Terrier who is going to be whole genome sequenced.  NB. This Glen will be one that was bred and currently lives in the UK.

One of the sources for possible candidate Glens will be our DNA Archive … and we would like to encourage as many owners as possible to submit buccal (cheek) swabs from their Glens.

We are especially looking for older Glens that are healthy i.e. no known medical conditions … an up-to-date eye certificate would be an added bonus!  

However, ALL contributions to the DNA Archive, whatever the age, and from Glens that have health conditions as well as those that are fit and healthy are welcomed!

The EFG Health website has information about the DNA Archive and a video demonstrating how to take cheek swabs:

If you and your Glen would like to contribute to this invaluable resource, please contact Alison Seall, EFG Health Coordinator at to request a swab kit:

Thank you very much for your support.

Alison Seall, EFG Health Coordinator

Please read if a Glen of Imaal owner

Below is an email from the Animal Health Trust (Give A Dog a Genome). Glen of Imaal Terriers have supported the project and are now being asked for their input. It is of interest to Glen owners worldwide, but the dog chosen WILL be UK resident, this though does not stop anybody putting forward their thoughts.

The two Health Co-ordinators are Don Harley ( and Alison Seall ( and these are the two people that replies should be sent to so please copy both in. They have to return the form to the AHT by May 31st so please make sure any thoughts are with them by May 25th at the latest. Feel free to cross post this to anywhere that Glen owners may read it.

I would like to thank you and your breed community for participating in Give a Dog a Genome (GDG).

We are now ready to start the next stage of the project, which is to select the dog whose genome we will sequence. 

The overall objective of GDG is to build a bank of genomes that will help us distinguish between DNA variants (mutations) that are neutral/benign and those that cause inherited disorders, in all breeds of dog.  To this end, we have two options;

  1. we could sequence the genome of a dog that is affected with an inherited disorder that is known to be a concern in your breed, in the hope that we can make some progress understanding the genetic factors that might underlie the disorder?, or
  2. we can sequence the genome of an apparently healthy, older dog

The amount of progress we can reasonably expect to make from a single genome depends on the complexity of the disease, the mode of inheritance of the disorder and the nature of the underlying genetic risk factors. 

For autosomal, recessive disorders that are likely to be caused by a single mutation it is possible that we could identify the causal mutation by sequencing the genome of a single dog, in the same way we used whole genome sequencing to identify the mutation responsible for a rare form of cerebellar ataxia in the Hungarian Vizsla:

For more complex disorders, such as idiopathic epilepsy, we are less likely to identify genetic risk factors associated with the disease from a single genome, but the genome will provide data onto which future studies can build.

To enable us to make informed and appropriate choices for each breed we would like to know more about the health disorders that are currently of concern among your breed community and any evidence that may support this.

By gathering this information we will be able to make a decision on a breed by breed basis on whether it will be more valuable to sequence an older, healthy dog or a dog with a health condition you’ve highlighted to us. 

We would be grateful if you can please provide some basic information about the health conditions on the attached form and any evidence that indicates that these are significant health concerns for your breed (if any is available). Please also let us know if you are aware of any other research currently being done into the health condition(s) at any other institutions as our findings might be able to benefit these studies. 

Please complete the consultation with your respective Health Committees or equivalent, and anyone else whose input would be useful, and return it to us by 31st May 2016

If you require a longer time period, this is not a problem, but please let us know. 

We will collate all the information we receive and contact you again from July to discuss our suggestions for the dog we should sequence.  Prior to sequencing, for the majority of breeds, DNA from multiple dogs will be subjected to our standard quality control checks to make sure the sample is high enough quality to be sequenced and we will keep the identity of the dog whose genome we ultimately submit  for sequencing confidential.


Let’s applaud ourselves!!!!!!!!!

As it’s Crufts week the media will be on the look out for pedigree dog stories; wonder if they will pick up on the dog genome project? We announced that we were looking at it and sending a representative to the Seminar to ask questions. They went, they reported and we are so pleased and proud to report that Glen of Imaal Terriers are now number 12 on the list of breeds definitely participating. The seminar was on the Friday, the reports received over the weekend and by Tuesday two cheques had been received at the Animal Health Trust, one from each breed club. TOGETHER WE CAN!!! The full story can be read and hopefully any questions answered but the one thing that keeps coming up is “who will it be then?” We don’t know and we won’t know. It’ll be anonymous.

Alison Seall (EFG Health Representative) send the following:-Now that the Glen of Imaal Terrier breed clubs have agreed to back the “Give a Dog a Genome” (GDG) project at the Kennel Club’s Genetic Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), the search for a suitable “candidate” Glen will soon begin

One possible source is our DNA Archive at the AHT and so we would like to encourage Glen owners to submit cheek swabs from their Glens, for the archive … and maybe your Glen will be the one chosen to have his/her whole genome sequenced.  NB. The AHT will not reveal the identity of the Glen whose genome is sequenced.

If you wish to make a contribution to our DNA Archive, please contact me to request a swab kit: 

Alison Seall, EFG Health Coordinator : Email: : Tel: 01403 269038

(The AHT request a small, voluntary donation of £5.00 to cover the cost of the swab kit, administration costs and long-term storage).

For more information and a video demonstrating how to take the swabs, please visit the EFGHealth website:

You can find information about: How to request a swab kit — Contents of the DNA swab kit — Documentation requested by the Animal Health Trust



Give A Dog A Genome

The launch of The Kennel Club/Animal Health Trust Give A Dog a Genome project is an exciting time for all pedigree dog breeds. The chance to be included in the initial 50, and so get £1,000 donated towards costs by the KC Charitable Trust, is a wonderful opportunity. Glen of Imaal Terriers have registered interest to be included and will have a representative at the AHT Seminar on Friday 26th to present questions that have been forwarded. It is intended that those answers will be with the Breed Clubs over the weekend for discussion by the Committees before an absolute final decision is made.