Contribution of blood

We have added Contribution of Blood as a value in the ancestor-listings of IWDB. Interpreting these data is something some people are very used to, while it’s unknown territory for others.

Contribution of blood is an estimation of the genetic contribution made to an individual by a specific ancestor. It is given as a percentage. The base theory is that each of the parents contribute half of the genetic makeup for the offspring (50%). Each grandparent contribute a quarter (25%) each, and so on.

For each generation, the total contribution totals 100%. For each generation we go back, any single ancestor’s genetic contribution thus gets less important. A dog 10 generations back contributes less than a tenth of 1% of its genetic material to the present generation.

The contribution of blood should not be interpreted as giving a precisely accurate measure of the genetic contribution in a hound. In these calculations, the whole of generation 10 seems to be as influential as the parents. That’s not how these things work.

Look at the contribution table below, there is a cumulative effect of each generation. Each parents 50% contribution is made up of 25% from each grandparent, which is made up of 12.5% from each great-grandparent, and so on back through the generations.


GenerationContribution pr appearance

How can I use this?

These values are useful to see which dog is more influential in a certain breeding-program. This is especially true if the breeder is linebreeding. Then one of the more interesting questions is “who are you linebreeding on?”. The contribution of blood will give a good answer to this question. Look for the hounds with high percentage in common ancestors.

If a dog’s parent is also a grandparent on the other side of the pedigree then we can see that this ancestor has contributed 75% of the genetic make up of the dog. It’s not so easy to calculate when an individual appears twice in the 4th generation, 3 times in the fifth generation and once in the 6th generation. Or if she appears 12 times in the 8th generation, 8 times in the 9th and 7 times in the tenth. It’s a very handy way to see genetic influence without having to calculate all of this yourself. When we get way back in the pedigree, it’s quite common that certain dogs appear many times in many generations, making it hard to calculate. Now IWDB can tell you how much genetic influence that ancestor has on your own dog.

Reading healthchecks

We have added quite a lot of health data to the database. These are public records containing results from screening programs. We are making progress in opening up for user-submitted data, but aren’t quite there yet.

Types of data

Most of the screening results fall into one of four categories:

  • Hips or Hip Dysplasia (HD)
  • Elbows or Elbow Dysplasia (ED)
  • Heart/Cardiac
  • Eyes

In addition there is some data on Patella Luxation (PL), Spondylosis, Thyroid levels, and some other problems, but the bulk of our data fall into one of the top categories.

Hips and Hip Dysplasia

There are numerous ways to annotate data on hip dysplasia. If the result is seen as a single letter, it’s the worst grade of the two hip joints. The scale is as follows:

  • A: No signs of Hip Dysplasia
  • B: Near Normal Hip Joints
  • C: Mild Hip Dysplasia
  • D: Moderate Hip Dysplasia
  • E:  Severe Hip Dysplasia

This scoring-system is used throughout most FCI-countries. However, in the US, Canada, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand other systems are used. The US and Canada use the OFA-scoring mode, whereas the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand use what’s called the BVA/KC-scoring mode. In Germany a more finetuned version of the FCI-system is used. You may read more on these different scoring modes in this excellent article.

For comparision, we’ve put together the following table:

FCIUK, AU, NZSwitzerlandUSA (OFA)
A0-30-2Excellent and Good
B4-83-6Good and Fair
C9-187-12Borderline and mild

In some older screening systems, the grade NR is also recorded, meaning No Remark, which would be similar to A or Excellent.

Elbows and Elbow Dysplasia

For elbows and elbow dysplasia, systems have become much more standardised over the last few years. While Elbow Dysplasia can mean a number of different things, the systems used throughout the world grades elbow dysplasia according to this:

  • Grade 0 = normal elbows (no enthesophyte formation)
  • Grade 1 = Mild ED (<2mm thickness of new bone formation)
  • Grade 2 = Moderate ED or a primary lesion (2mm to <5 mm of new bone)
  • Grade 3 = Severe ED (5+ mm of new bone formation or ununited anconeal process)

Some countries will grade both elbows separately. You will then see scores for each elbow (0/1 for example), while others only list the worst elbow without further information (2 for example). You may occasionally see NR used on older elbow-tests as well. That means No Remark, transforming to grade 0.

The Orthopedic Foundation For Animals has an excellent article on Elbow Dysplasia here  which also explains terms used.

Heart and Cardiac

While there are established systems in place for hips and elbows, the territory for heart problems and the cardiac system is more unclear. First off, there’s numerous ways to examine a canine heart. Most breed bodies recommend a composite check, consisting of ausculation, ElectroCardioGram (ECG) and EchoCardioGram (Cardiac Ultrasound). There are several methods to evaluate these results. There’s some consensus across Europe to use the Vollmar-protocol for evaluating results, except for Great Britain where a separate UK-scheme is used. In the US, the screening results recorded by OFA are more varied, but to our knowledge, full tests are done when results are marked with Cardiologist, Echo.

Most screening programs will use a 3-step grading:

  • Normal
  • Abnormal
  • Equivocal

The Irish Wolfhound Health Group has an excellent article on heart disease in the Irish Wolfhound on their website.


You will know there are a number of eye diseases that can affect a dog. The screening result will display what disease (if any) was found. For checks of type Eyes (CERF) and a result which is a number, the number indicates which year the eyes were certified to be fine. If there are any remarks here, they will explain what was wrong.

Private Info

In, you may enter private info on any dog in the database. It’s basically anything that’s of interest to you and isn’t available in the database already. No limitations.

The info you input is encrypted with state of the art encryption tools, and is only available to you when you are logged in with your account and password. All info is stored in encrypted form in our databases and not accessible to others.

Adding images

We love images and would love to have more of them. You may use the “Add Mediafiles” button and drag images or PDF-files onto the window to add them. They will be verified with our admin-team before being submitted to the main page.

Adding info to iwdb

There are four ways for you to add info and correct errors in The button “Report a Problem” at the top of every page, will let you send us a message. Please be concise and clear on the issue and remember to give your email-address so we may contact you if needed. The second option available to all is to send us an email at Registered users may also use the functions Correct/Append to this pedigree and Add Litter to send in information.

Trial Matings

Anyone can create Trial matings. All Trial matings start with the word Trial: followed by what you call it. You may search for trial matings created by you in the regular search box, while other trial matings won’t appear. Trial matings are in fact invisible for other users unless you choose to share the link with others. If you do, anyone with the link may access it.

It’s also possible to search for previous trial matings in the trial mating dialog, for instance to go further down the line with other generations. If you want to use this feature, remember to assign a sex to the trial mating, otherwise it won’t show up when searching for a sire or dam to your future mating.

You may start Trial Matings from the Trial Matings menu

Sharing pedigrees

We have two distinct ways of sharing pedigrees from Both are available from the Sharing-pane on any pedigree (even trial matings). The first one, calles Share, is just a link to the current page including the number of generations you have set. If you click the Facebook share-button, it’s that link that’s being shared on Facebook.

The other function is Embedding of a pedigree. It’s typically used when you want to embed a pedigree from on your own website. Just copy the code and paste it into the edit-box of a content management system or your favourite HTML-editor where you want it to sit, and voila, it’s there.

The Embed-page is slightly different than other pages, omitting page headers, menus and footers to just give a clean four generation pedigree with links.

Favourite dog

Clicking the orange star will favourite a dog, so it’s always available for you in the Favourites-pane. If a dog is already favourited, you may remove it from favourites by clicking the star again.


We use two terms for siblings. They are full siblings when they are from the same litter. If not, they are half siblings. The litter is calculated from sire, dam and date of birth, so an error in one of these data would remove a dog from it’s litter.

Colour of dog

The dog’s colour will normally be what’s recorded upon registration of the dog. Note that different standards for irish wolfhounds operate with different accepted colours and different words for the same colour. There are very different fashions when it comes to colour. Some kennel clubs will only approve the colours stated in the standard, whereas others will accept any colour-combination.