Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content



Who may use IDASH?

Anyone who sets up a login can access IDASH content.

What does it cost?

Open Health Database                   Free

Pedigree Analysis Service             $20 per pedigree

Pedigree Service subscription     $20 per year

Pedigree Datasets                            TBD each

Where does your data come from?

A variety of sources, including kennel clubs, health registries, and individual submissions.

Part of IDASH’s full name is “International” but most of it is in English. Why don’t you offer it in multiple languages?

We are a small organization and lack the resources for a multi-language platform.  We will, where and when possible, offer material intended to assist those not proficient in English in utilizing IDASH services.

Open Health Database

How do you know the health data you are listing here is legit?

All data in the open health database comes from other public-access canine health registries like those operated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and various European kennel clubs or is submitted by dog owners with supporting documentation.

What kind of documentation do you require from people who submit data?

They must prove they are the owner of the dog and submit documents specific to the data being provided.  For DNA tests copies f the test report forms are required, for diseases and defects a certification form signed by a veterinarian or – for things readily identified by owners like bad bites or disqualifying colors – a signed owner certification.  Depending on the specific disease or defect copies of diagnostic reports may be required

I want to submit DNA tests, an eye exam, and hip and elbow reports on my dog.  Do I have to do them one at a time?

No.  On the screen where you select the health categories you want to submit you may click one or more items.  You could even click all of them, though we certainly hope your dog is much healthier than that!  In this case you would want to check DNA Test Results, Eye Diseases/Defects, and Orthopedic Issues.

What if I want to submit data but I don’t want it public?

You may opt for confidential submission.  Confidential data is used for research and pedigree analysis but will not appear in the open database.

Will you give me some of your data so I can put it in my pedigree program?

While we do sometimes share data with researchers, subject to a data-sharing contract, we do not provide health data dumps to individuals.  However, you are free to enter things you see in the Open Health Database into your pedigree or kennel software if you wish.

Pedigree Analysis Service

What will the pedigree analysis tell me?

You will receive a report that gives trait scores for 26 inherited traits, including diseases, dental faults and disqualifying colors.  The report also gives the dog’s 10-generatio coefficient of inbreeding (COI).

How long does it take to get a report?

Length of time can vary depending on the number of requests made at any given time, but once we have all your documentation it generally gets done within a couple of weeks.

Can I get a report on any dog I want?

No.  Reports will only be issued to the owner of the dog or breeder of a litter.

How do you know that the person actually owns the dog or litter?

We require them to provide documentation that proves ownership.

Will you do planned litters?  If not, why not?

No, we only do litters that are already born.  For that the breeder must provide documentation from the studbook registry that proves they are the owner.  This may be a litter registration form or a registration certificate or pedigree that names them as breeder.  We do not do planned litters because the results can be very revealing about the back ground of the parents (if you don’t own either) or the one that you do not own if you already have the report on your own dog.

Will pedigree analysis tell me if my dog is going to get a disease?

No.  The analysis will indicate whether a dog may carry genes for something and therefore might have puppies that have it, depending on what comes from the other parent.  Dogs are far more likely to be carrying genes than have any given disease and IDASH Pedigree Analysis results should not be used to predict future health of any dog.

If my dog gets a high score for something will you tell me where it came from?  At least which side of the pedigree?

No to both.  Much of our data is confidential.  For that which is not you can search the IDASH Open Health Database.

How do I know the scores are accurate?

Calculation is done with a computer algorithm so the math will be consistent.  We are dependent on voluntary submissions of data and what can be gleaned from open source health registries.  We cannot know the full health history of every one of the tens of thousands of Aussies who have ever lived.

How far back in the pedigree do you look?

Our analysis is both deep and broad.  We go back five generations – anything that has not come down within that many generations probably did not descend along that line.  We also consider whether a dog had a trait, produced it in an offpring, or had offspring that produced it. This allows us to pull in breadth if pedigree which is especially important when considering traits that have complex inheritance, like hip dysplasia or epilepsy.

Is the score a probability prediction or percentage?

No. The math involved is based on a percentage of ancestry calculation.  The portion of the score generated by any individual dog in a pedigree will be weighted by how close it is to the dog being analyzed as well as how closely related it is to a dog with the trait (self, parent, or grandparent).  The cumulative scores generated by the 65 dogs in the pedigree.  Dogs with  higher scores are more likely to produce something than those with lower scores but, lacking a DNA test or information on the dog’s own status, we cannot know for sure whether or not a dog actually carries genes for a trait.

What do you do with DNA test results?  Do you list them on the report?

If people have provided test results AND told us they would like them in the Open Health Database, you can find them there.  Due to space limitations on the report form and technical issues, as well as owner permissions, we cannot list specific results on the form.  Please contact the dog’s owner for this information.

So what do you do with DNA test results?

The data is entered and becomes part of the caluiclation.  The scoring depends on whether the tested dog has one, two or no copies of the mutation that causes the trait tested, as well as the mode of inheritance for that trait.  A dog with two normal copies of a gene is designated “clear” and generates  no score, nor do we look any farther behind that dog because we know exactly what gene forms were present at that point.  For recessive traits, a dog with two copies is classified as affected and a dog with one is a carrier and equivalent in score to the parent of a dog that had the trait.  If the mutation is dominant, as with the MDR1 and HSF4 cataract mutations, any dog with the mutation – one or two copies – is classified as affected for the purposes of pedigree analysis.

What traits that have DNA tests do you include in the pedigree analysis?

At this point HSF4 cataract, Collie Eye Anomaly, Hereditary Cobalamin Malabsorbtion, MDR1, and the progressive rod-cone degeneration form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy as well as yellow and dilute coat colors have DNA tests.    These traits are indicated with an asterix (*) and if the score is 2.50 or higher and the dog is not tested we recommend that the owner do so to determine its genetic status.

Pedigree Service

How do I access the pedigree database?

Anyone may have access by paying the annual subscription fee.

Do you limit how much I can use it? 

Subscribers may do 50 searches per day.  The great majority of people never hit this limit.  If you do the system will put up and “exceeded limit” message.  Wait a day or two and you’ll be able to get in again.

But I didn’t exceed do 50 pedigrees yet and I still got the message!

If you were making multiple searches in a very short time period you may have triggered security measures intended to prevent hackers from downloading the database.  Wait a few hours and try again.

If you block cookies, that may also be the problem.  Set your security software to accept cookies from

Why do you have limits?

This database has more than 1000 users.  Limits are meant to prevent the system from bogging down or crashing.

This looks a lot like Patrick MacRoberts’ database.  Did you steal it from him?

Nope, he gave it to us.  When we first established IDASH he gave us a data dump to underlie the Open Health Database.  He later reached a point that he no longer had the time or desire to keep maintaining his database and turned it over to ASHGI so it could be updated and maintained on a regular basis.  We and everyone in the Australian Shepherd breed owes Patrick a huge debt of gratitude for the countless hours and years of effort he put into this project.

What kind of stuff do you have in the database?

In addition to pedigrees we include titles, gender, coat color and registration numbers to the extent that these are available and within the constraints of space in the pedigree forms.  We also calculate a Coefficirent of Inbreeding (COI) for each dog.

 What kinds of pedigree forms do you offer?

Generational reports are set at a default of four generations but some may be user-altered to show more or fewer.  Specific reports include

– Standard pedigree

– Reverse pedigree

– Vertical pedigree

– Trial pedigree

–  Sibling report (lists all full and half siblings in the database)

– Breeding report (lists all offspring in the database and with whom they were produced)

– Health pedigree (4-generation pedigree that offers links to the Open Health Database page for each dog in the pedigree.

Can I add dogs or pedigrees to the database?   

Yes, you can do so via the “Submit Pedigree Data” option in the IDASH landing page left-side menu.

What if I don’t want my dog/dogs or dogs that I bred in the database?

Pedigrees are a public resource for every breed and should not be someone’s personal secret.  We will not remove a pedigree simply because you don’t want it there.

Why are there “minis” in the database?

Because for a long time these dogs were registered as Australian Shepherds and backcrosses of Minis to Aussies were a common practice for a number of years.  We are not accepting new individual submissions of dogs registered as Minis (nor do we accept “toys”) but purging those already in the database would be extremely labor intensive so they will be staying there.  There is also the possibility that some may still come in via “data dumps” from other registries if the dogs were registered there as Aussies.  Ignore them, we promise they don’t bite and won’t follow you home.

Why is my dog’s pedigree incomplete?

Because we don’t have that information.  Please use our pedigree submission process to fill in the blanks for us!

My dog is listed as his own parent, the other parent is named “Also Known As,”  and the registration number is  “# AKA.”   What’s going o  here?

In the early history of Registered Aussies, every time a dog changed hands it changed names–only the registration numbers remained the same.  Nowadays, dogs may have multiple names if they are registered in multiple registries (i.e. MASCA/NSDR or ASCA/AKC).  We include AKAs because having them is important for anyone doing serious pedigree research.  It’s also important that you don’t mess up your own pedigree records thinking the AKA is a different dog.  We designate one name as “primary” for the dog, usually either because it was already primary in our source data or it was the first version of the name that came into our database.  The other names become aliases (AKA’s) and are marked as such.  In some cases, if the alternate versions of the name are so similar that it is highly unlikely anyone will confuse them we use whichever name landed in the database first but all registration numbers that we have received for that dog will be listed.

Do you favor particular registries?  I noticed that certain registration numbers are usually the primary one. Numbers which indicate what litter a dog was from help facilitate pedigree research, therefore if we have numbers from registries that happen to have that sort of numbering system (there are several) we will list them first.  Additional numbers will be in the secondary field.  However, the software looks at both fields when you enter something in the registration number search box.  Otherwise we tend to favor ASCA as home of the original Aussie-only studbook.  Lacking an ASCA registration the first one will probably be the first one that came into the database.

I found a dog that has a registration number of “UR”.  What is this?

It means unregistered.  Early In the breed’s history some dogs were never registered.  Before 1957 there was no place they could be registered.

Can I submit new titles my dog has earned?

Yes.  Any subscriber may submit title information on their dogs.  People who do not own the dog may not do so.

So how do you keep people from “improving” their dogs titles by just telling you the dog earned something it didn’t?

We aren’t the title police.  However, if someone provides us with verifiable evidence that someone has falsified data of any kind the data will be corrected and the culprit’s subscription will be revoked.

Are there other ways a subscription can get revoked?

Yes.  Any deliberate submission of false or fraudulent data, attempts to get around use limits, and attempts to hack our system.  We will also deny a  request for subscription to non-subscribers who do any of the above.

If I see something wrong in the database how do I let you know?

Via our error-reporting form.  Find the link in the left side menu on the IDASH landing page.

What is that percentage that is in each dog’s information?

A coefficient of inbreeding (COI).  It calculates how inbred a dog is by determining how likely it is that a dog might have two identical copies of a gene inherited from the same source on both sides of the pedigree.  The more ancestors appear on both sides, the higher the number will be.  We calculate this over 10 generations?

Why 10?

Because this gives the most accurate picture.  The COI climbs with each generation you go back but eventually they start to plateau (only tiny increases) so further generations don’t make a significant change.  10 generations gets there for most breeds, including Aussies.  Since Aussies have a comparatively short breed history (first registration in 1957 and many pedigrees end more recently than that) 10 generations also contains most – and sometimes all – of the pedigree available.

How high is too high for COIs?

6.25% is the equivalent of having first-cousins for parents.

12.5% is the equivalent of having parents that are half-siblings.

25% is the equivalent of having full siblings for parents.

Ideally you would like to see them below 10% but average for many breeds is in the mid-teens.  The higher the number grows the higher the chance of doubling-up on unwanted genes.  COIs in the 20s are undesirable, the 30s are bad and the 40s and over are awful.

How come some dogs have zero COI?

There are several possible reasons:

  1. It was entered since the last time we calculated COIs.  This must be done on other software and requires downloading then uploading the entire database so we only do it periodically.
  2. We don’t know the parents. If you do, please let us know!
  3. There are one or more “breaks” in the pedigree where data is missing. Point it out to us and we’ll look into it.
  4. There is no known shared relationship between the sire’s side and the dam’s side. This almost always applies to early dogs not current ones.

Why do you leave apostrophes in some names?  They’re a nuisance!

As much as possible we try to have the name as it appears in the studbook registry, including all punctuation marks used in English.  If our version of the name does not conform to the official version it means that data downloads from placaes like OFA can’t simply be inserted into the databse because the names don’t match up.  This leads to hours and hours of data-conforming which we like to avoid.  Other language punctuation is omitted because our software doesn’t know how to deal with it and we aren’t big enough or rich enough to buy software that does.

What software do you use for the database?

We use Breedmate’s PedX software.