"For the health of our companion animals"
November 22, 2014
GDC has dissolved its status as a non-profit organization.
IIf you need information on dogs in the GDC data base, call George Packard at 603-456-2286.
We will maintain this website as a record of GDC activities.
What is GDC?
Open registries and resources to help
breeders and researchers fight genetic disease
GDC was created more than a decade ago to help breeders of purebred dogs reduce the prevalence of genetic disease. At that time, the founders of GDC felt that providing the first national open registry service would be the single most effective step towards giving breeders the tools they needed. The GDC registries eventually covered more than 20 diseases.
The GDC data base is now merged with OFA and information on GDC dogs is available on the OFA website.
On July 1 2002, GDC closed all of its registries.
GDC will continue to provide information and resources to help breeders use shared health information to make good breeding decisions. We will also work with breed clubs on a limited basis to provide open registries in areas that are not currently available through OFA. Article on the GDC/OFA merge
BARBARA GRAFTON PACKARD: 1921-2012
Founding Member of GDC
During a trip to Europe in the early 1960s Barbara met a Swiss family who bred Bernese Mountain dogs, an encounter that changed the focus of the rest of her life. She fell in love with the breed, and in 1965 brought one of the first Berners to the U.S. The breed exploded in popularity, and Barbara soon found herself advising people in California and then around the country on issues of breeding and behavior.
In the mid-1980s Barbara and Martin brought the rigors of science to help solve the problem of genetic disease in dogs, first by creating a genetic disease registry for the Bernese Mountain Dog, and then forming the Institute for Genetic Disease Control (GDC) with a group of veterinarians, researchers and breeders. GDC became the only international canine disease registry in the world with a policy of open disclosure of diagnoses.
As busy as she was with the work of GDC and her animal behavior consulting work, Barbara never lost her close connection to animals and the natural world. Well into her late 80s she continued to manage and improve the landscaping at her home in Los Altos Hills, taking in rescue dogs, and giving support in many ways to individual dog owners and to many organizations.
A DVD tribute to Barbara's many years of service to the canine world and to Bernese Mountain Dogs in particular is available. Call George Packard (603) 456-2286.
Dr. George Padgett
Dogs and the people who breed them lost George Padgett, DVM, one of their best friends and champions, shortly before Christmas, 2004. George was a professor emeritus at Michigan State Univerisity and a tireless advocate for breeders and breed clubs in the struggle to control genetic disease. He was one of the people whose energy and ideas helped establish GDC in the late 1980s, and for nearly two decades he has counseled breeders and breed clubs on genetic disease issues. His ideas have permanently changed the way many people think, and what's more, talk, about genetic disease in dogs.
He was generous, funny, smart, down-to-earth, sympathetic and uncompromising in his ethics and ideals. His phone was always within arm's reach while he worked, usually late at night, and he extended an open invitation to any breeder with a question to call and talk.
His book, "Control of Canine Genetic Diseases," (Howell Book House) is still the best single source of information available. The final paragraph of his introduction to the book captures the essence of his thinking:
"If we want to make any impact in controlling genetic disease in dogs, we must agree that an ethical approach is based on fairness, openness, and honesty. While traditions are important to us and should remain important, they should be changed if they conflict with the exercise of our ethics as dog breeders."
He was a dear friend to many people, a staunch supporter of anybody who cared to try to make a difference, and a fierce critic of those he felt were standing in the way.
As a breeder wrote recently on the GDC HealthCom list,
"Dr. Padgett's words of encouragement nearly 6 years ago sustained my efforts - in the end our breed will benefit."
GDC is a non-profit corporation devoted to improving the health of companion animals. Your gifts are most welcome.
Tel. (603) 456-2350 FAX (603) 456-2286