Dr Carol Beuchat is the scientific director of the Institute of Canine Biology. Her background in comparative biology and an interest in the biology of dogs motivated the formation of the Institute of Canine Biology as a means of bringing scientists studying various aspects of canine biology together with the dog breeders and owners who have vast collective experience and knowledge of dogs. The increasing number of genetic disorders in dogs are a huge concern for breeders, who lack the tools and resources to address these problems. At the same time, there is a revolution in genetic research fueled by the discovery of the dog as a model animal in which to study genetic disease in humans. The possibilities for fruitful interaction between the scientists and the dog breeders and owners are potentially endless.