Dutch Registry and ZooEasy
The Amazing Unparalleled Register van Kooikerhondjes
Our breed has a document unique in the world of dogs. It provides a treasure trove of information for breeders and researchers. No other breed has such a breadth and depth of data available, thanks to the cooperation and participation of breeders and owners all over the world. It is the Register van Kooikerhondjes and it is crucial that all Kooikerhondje lovers continue to contribute.
The following questions and answers below should help NKCUSA members to understand the importance of participating and, hopefully, increase North American contributions from all who own or breed Kooikerhondjes.
1. What is the Register van Kooikerhondjes uitgave van de Vereniging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes (VHNK) aka The Club Register?
The Club Register is a compilation of litter statistics and health data collected from breeders and owners of Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes around the world.
2. Who started The Club Register?
The Baroness van Hardenbroek van Ammerstol kept detailed records when she restored breeding of the Kooikerhondjes; but in 1992, Carla Snels began to compile, in a searchable form, the information from the Vereniging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes - the Dutch Parent Club - registration files. Ms. Snels states in the Preface:
“At the end of 1991, I became aware that I would not be able to know from memory exactly which Diseases / abnormalities in certain dogs are relevant for breeding and in which combination those deviations and the like were occurring. So I had to create something for that. I therefore started in early 1992 to transfer the old club register, looking for data relevant to breeding selection of the parent animals. That way, with the pedigree of a dog in the hand, it is relatively easy to find all ancestors and fill in the aspects which play a role in breeding, by looking up the litters in question. It is easy to check which combinations have created similar problems.
This club register is therefore not built up with a computer program, matching the data automatically with the parent animals processed; no, it is created manually.”
3. Who has helped maintain The Club Register?
Carla Snels maintained the Register since its beginning in 1992. In 2004, the VHNK established a committee, which assists in the compilation of data. Ms. Snels remains on the committee to enter the data and design the register.
4. How has The Club Register benefited the breed?
The wealth of data collected from owners and breeders through the years allows breeders to know exactly what problems have occurred in their lines in the past and avoid perpetuating health problems by avoiding combinations which would likely produce similar issues.
5. How has The Club Register benefited scientists and researchers?
The ability of researchers to look at The Club Register and trace the appearance of such ailments as von Willebrand’s Disease and Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM for short, after the Dutch name) allowed far swifter identification of the genes than would have otherwise occurred. Paul Mandigers DVM, of the University of Utrecht discovered the gene for ENM quickly, thanks to the ability of The Club Register to narrow his search. A Computerized Breeding Application, currently under development, is using the Kooikerhondje as its first breed because of the amount of data available from The Club Register. Dr. Mandigers believes this application will greatly aid breeders in selecting mates for healthy litters.
6. How do breeders use the data in The Club Register to help make breeding choices?
Responsible breeders review the parents of a possible combination by following the lineage of both the father and the mother in The Club Register back for at least 5-6 generations, but ideally to the begining of the data. Notes are taken of any specific illnesses or problems exist. Issues large and small are recorded, such as aggression, patella luxation, cataracts and other eye problems, to name a few. By reviewing The Club Register, choices for the mating are made based on education.
7. What information should be submitted to the Club Register?
All information on health clearances, anomalies, health issues, such as the above-mentioned problems and color variations (i.e. pirate markings, too much white, too much color on the body, too yellow/light a color or too much black hair in the color plates), temperament issues, age of death and cause of death should all be reported. (See question #22 for a list of information that should be reported or contact the NKCUSA breeding committee with any questions as to what should be included.
8. When is data collected?
Ms. Snels and the VHNK Committee has asked the Parent Clubs in other countries to collect and submit data twice a year. The information is submitted in a specific format.
9. How are data collected?
Every person who wishes to be considered a responsible breeder in the worldwide community of Kooikerhondje breeders voluntarily reports all health issues, including whether a caesarian section was required, the number of puppies born, the registration numbers and registered names of each puppy born in the previous 6 months. The breeder submits the information to the designated committee of their country’s parent club every six months. Ideally, each breeder contacts their puppy owners, reviews the events of their litters and collects the information, so it is ready to be submitted. The KCUSA Breeding Committee submits information for litters in North America using the VHNK format.
10. How do breeders in Europe submit data?
In the Netherlands, Litter Report Forms are completed by a VHNK member assigned to visit each litter and submitted. These litter reports start the process of including every puppy. Other European countries have similar litter visits and the persons doing the visits submit the data on each new litter accordingly. In some countries, like the USA and Canada, due to the distances involved, assigned club members cannot conduct litter visits. The KCUSA Breeding Committee must rely on breeders being responsible and self-report on Litter Report Forms as well as provide health data. All this for the love of preserving and improving the health of the breed. (Litter Report Forms are available from the KCUSA Breeding Committee.)
11. Where are the data stored?
On a computer at Ms. Snels’s home with back-ups elsewhere.
12. What is the ZooEasy database and when was it started and why?
ZooEasy is an online pedigree database, which started in 2014. It is used to calculate a coefficient or the degree of relatedness between prospective parents. It includes registration numbers and names of the dogs.
13. How does The Club Register differ from the ZooEasy Database?
ZooEasy is a traditional pedigree database with the information organized for each dog, not by litter. The Club Register is a chronological listing of each litter. It includes the health clearances and health issues of each dog in the litter. Also included are the dates of litters produced by those littermates. The health problems of the grand-puppies are also listed.
15. Is data submitted to both databases in the same manner?
No. ZooEasy data is submitted in an Excel file and The Club Register requires a Word document with very specific formatting requested to make it easy for the volunteers to input the data. Breeders should review both ZooEasy and The Club Register to carefully plan litters. Using one without the other could cause vital information to be missed.
16. Who should submit information to both ZooEasy and The Club Register?
Every breeder, every owner, every person who has an interest in and supports the preservation of this wonderful breed should submit the information they have regarding the health, temperament, size, and color of every dog they own or have bred.The Excel-file for ZooEasy is only to be filled by a club like KCUSA and than processed by the VHNK.
17. How does a person access the Club Register?
The Club Register is updated every year in November. Paper copies can be ordered from the VHNK – the cost is 55 Euro (2017 edition) for nonmembers of VHNK or 50 Euro for VHNK members plus considerable shipping. For more information contact email@example.com. The digital PDF file is € 50 for members and € 55 for nonmembers when first purchased. The yearly digital updates are free. Anyone can search the digital file by typing in a search term in the Advanced Search feature of Acrobat or a similar PDF reader.
18. How does a person access ZooEasy?
Visit https://www.kooikerhondje.nl/en/fokkerij/zooeasy-account/ and fill out the form. Costs are listed (17.50 Euro for a read-only account and 30 Euro for a breeder account if you are a member of the VHNK, and 42.50 Euro for a read- only account and 55 Euro for a breeder account if you are not a member of the VHNK).
19. “My breeder showed me a page in The Club Register for my dog’s parents and there was no health information listed. Does that mean my dog is healthy?
No health information indicates the breeder and owners have not submitted health clearances or other information about the parents of the litter to The Club Register. No health information is not a guarantee that your dog or its parents are free of health problems. It means health information is unknown.
It is up to each owner and breeder to report all health testing and issues. If any health testing has been done for a dog, please report it to the Breeding Committee in your country so that they can report it to the VHNK (Both The Club Register and ZooEasy). The VHNK requested that Breeding Committees of every Parent Club gather litter information and submit it to The Club Register. In North America, you can contact the NKCUSA Breeding Committee, which has been tasked with collecting and reporting this information to the VHNK.
Some breeders submit their litter data directly to VHNK. These are breeders from a country that does not yet have a Parent Club. Direct reporting to the VHNK should be a rare exception, as we are trying to lessen the work on the VHNK volunteers who are inputting the data, at their request.
20. The information about my dog is not correct on The Club Register. What should I do?
The VHNK and NKCUSA’s Breeding Committee (at the request of the VHNK) look for and collect information from public websites and databases such as the American Kennel Club online database, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and breeder’s websites. Sometimes errors occur in public sources. If a breeder or owner finds inconsistency in The Club Register concerning his or her own dogs, please report to either the NKCUSA Breeding Committee or the VHNK (firstname.lastname@example.org).
21. Is there anything else to know?
Yes, the Club Register is in Dutch! Do not despair, Google Translate enables anyone to uncover the meaning of the various terms, plus there is an English glossary at the front of the Register. One recognizes the words rather quickly after using The Club Register several times.
20. Information about my dog is not listed in The Club Register. How do I add my dog if my breeder has not?
Often a copy of the pedigree gives a lot of information and you can send it in.
In addition, please include the following:
* Registered Name of dog
* Kennel Name
* Registration number (AKC, UKC, FCI, other)
* Dog Information: Health/behavior and other (height to the withers in inch/cm in
adult dog, color distribution/ticking, bite type/dentition in adult dog, tail carriage
in adult dog);
* Illness and symptoms or date of death
* health clearances and when they were done (for example eye CERF month/year).
* Litter information: Sire and Dam info; date of birth; kennel name; number of puppies (males, females); stillborn or info on later illness/death; color distribution
Working together, we can fulfill the dream of a sustained healthy happy population of our wonderful little orange-red and white companions.
(This article was written collaboratively by several NKCUSA members, and has been reviewed by Liliane Klever, editor of the VHNK (Dutch Parent Club) newsletter and breeder/owner of Kooikerhondje since 1984, and Carla Snels, original organizer of the Register van Kooikerhondjes, Kooiker owner since 1988, Breeder since 1991, and FCI Judge specializing in Nederlandse Kooikerhondje and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.)