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).
To provide a source of health information
for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in
breeding healthy dogs.
- To work with parent clubs in the
identification of health issues for which a central
information system should be established.
- To establish and maintain a central
health information system in a manner that will support
research into canine disease and provide health
information to owners and breeders.
- To establish scientifically valid
diagnostic criteria for the acceptance of information into
- To base the availability of information
on individually identified dogs at the consent of the
Once in place and accepted within the dog
breeding community, 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 parent clubs considering
establishment of health databases on their 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 everyone interested in canine
health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease
prevalence and measure progress.