The study will monitor the development and well-being of up to 10,000 dogs throughout their lifetimes. All breeds of puppy are eligible, wherever they live in the UK, and the only condition is for puppies to be registered before they reach 16 weeks of age.
Professor Séverine Tasker, chief medical officer for Linnaeus, is leading the group’s involvement in the study and is also involved in her role as honorary professor at Bristol Veterinary School.
Tasker said: “Generation Pup is a wide-ranging research project where the health and behaviour of lots of individual dogs is logged throughout their lifetime. This has some big advantages over other approaches, as it enables investigation into whether events or environments early in life influence the development of certain behaviours and medical conditions as dogs get older.
“The study is open to all types of puppies and needs vets and new dog owners to regularly provide updates on various aspects of a puppy’s life, including their behaviour and experiences, so common trends or themes can be identified. It’s an ambitious, extensive and exciting study, which will help improve the welfare of dogs in the future and we are fully committed to supporting it.”
She added: “Our first task is to encourage new owners to register for the scheme and help develop a large Generation Pup community because, for the project to be as successful as possible, the aim is to recruit 10,000 puppies. Regular health checks will then be used to record certain additional details regarding their development and health which we will add to the dog’s data records to share with Generation Pup.”
Rachel Casey, Dogs Trust’s director of canine behaviour and research, said: “Generation Pup has the potential to be the largest study of our canine companions of this generation and will collect information about dogs from puppyhood to old age.
“As most owners will regularly bring their puppies to veterinary practices for health checks, we see this joined-up activity helping us make a significant contribution to the success of Generation Pup and to understanding the future of dog welfare.”