The Analysis of the Breeding Program for Guiding Eyes for the Blind

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Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB) has been using heritability estimates to breed for desirable behavioral traits in their dogs. Guiding Eyes for the Blind is an organization that breeds, raises, and trains dogs—specifically Labrador retrievers and German shepherds—to become guide dogs for visually impaired people. The method of using heritability estimates for breeding, especially for behavioral traits, is very useful for GEB, because it increases the chances for potential guide dogs to become a phenomenal guide dog to help visually impaired people. The context for the subject of heritability for this thesis is that Guiding Eyes for the Blind uses heritability measurements and Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) to decide what traits to apply selective pressure to in order to improve these traits. GEB also uses these measurements to determine the extent to which each trait is connected to genetics, and to determine the extent to which the environment the dogs are raised in impacts the behaviors of these dogs.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Animal breeding, Dogs, Guiding Eyes for the Blind (GEB)