Greeting ISAA Members, Breeders, and Friends
As many of you may, or may not, be aware the ISAA has initiated a project that will join our dogs with the Canine
Health Foundation’s CHIC system.
What is CHIC?
The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database jointly
sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). It
is an online repository for breed specific health data that is available for anyone to review.
CHIC’s Mission Statement
To provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in breeding healthy
The CHIC program offers benefits to breeders, buyers, parent clubs, and researchers.
• For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in their breeding
programs. In the future, breeders can begin to analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths
and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and
• For buyers, the CHIC program provides accurate information about the results of a breeder's health testing.
For diseases that are limited to phenotypic evaluations, there are no guarantees. However, the probability that an
animal will develop an inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal. Further, as more
DNA tests become available and the results are entered into CHIC, the CHIC database will be able to establish
whether progeny will be clear, carriers, or affected.
• For our parent club, the ISAA, while establishing our new health database on our own, CHIC provides the
answer with no upfront investment required by the club. The CHIC infrastructure is supplied and maintained by the
OFA. The data is maintained in a secure environment by trained staff. The services are not subject to the time,
technology, and resource constraints that parent clubs might face on their own. This frees parent clubs to focus
on their core strengths of identifying health concerns, educating their membership, and encouraging participation
in the CHIC program.
• For researchers, CHIC provides confidential and accurate aggregate information on multiple generations of
dogs. CHIC information will also be useful for epidemiological studies enhancing our knowledge of health issues
affecting all breeds of dogs.
• For members interested in canine health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease prevalence and measure
progress. Our breed is a very healthy breed. Our goal is to keep it that way.
Your ISAA Board of Directors (BOD) has investigated the available options, and contacted the CHIC counsel,
requesting that the Icelandic Sheepdog be included in the data base. We were added to that data base a few
short days ago. We are very excited to share this new program with you and hope you will participate.
Your ISAA BOD wants health information to be accessible to everyone. Furthermore, we want that information to
be housed in centralized locations. Currently, information for some health tests is online but not easy to find or
navigate to. Once breeders add information specific to their dogs, that information will all be in one place. Most of
the data present on the current OFA and CERF sites will be directly transferred to the CHIC site. A few tests, like
PennHIP, that do not have an electronics transfer option, will require manual entry of the information and there will
be a one time fee ($25), per dog, for this service.
Calling Breeders, Members & Friends!
There is one important task that can be completed by any person who owns an ISD that can help the breed in the
future with research. This is the submission of a blood sample for future DNA research specifically related to our
breed. Blood is the gold standard for genetic material; the yield of DNA is sufficient for all research methods,
including technologies on the horizon. Moreover, the stability and purity of the DNA is of the highest caliber, which
offers many benefits. This is not to be confused with AKC DNA collection which is used for different reasons.
The CHIC DNA Repository collects and stores canine DNA samples along with corresponding genealogic and
phenotypic information to facilitate future research and testing aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited
disease our dogs.
1. Facilitate more rapid research progress by expediting the sample collection process and allow researchers
to begin testing immediately if we encounter a new inherited disease;
2. Provide researches with optimized family groups needed for research;
3. Allow breeders to take advantage of future DNA based disease tests as they come available;
4. Foster a team environment between breeders, owners and the research community improving the
likelihood of genetic discovery.
I want to participate. What do I need to do?
You can request the “Application for DNA Repository” form from CHIC. The link is listed below. Have a 10cc
sample drawn by your vet and shipped to the processing center. There is a short survey to fill out and sent in as
part of the process. They also require a 3 generation pedigree which the BRCC will provide firstname.lastname@example.org,
if you do not already have one. The cost of the blood sample processing is $20.00. Anyone who has recorded
OFA and CERF results will receive a CHIC number upon submission of the blood sample.
Approved ISAA Breeders who participate in the CHIC program will get a “CHIC” label on the breeder page,
attached to their breeder information on the ISAA website, letting people know that they are committed to the
health of our breed. See example below.
Who do I go to if I have a question?
Breeding Review & Compliance Committee
Where do I go to see to order a DNA Kit for my dog(s)?
How will my information be presented on the CHIC site when I register my dog(s)?
Thank you for your commitment to our wonderful dogs and a big thank you to Knox for all his hard work on this
Your ISAA BOD.
Subject: Keeping our healthy breed healthy - Introducing the CHIC Program