As database administrator at the Dutch Association for Stabij- and Wetterhounen (NVSW), Willem Stemerdink is responsible for entering data in ZooEasy. One of the things he’s tasked with is keeping track of breeding requests. NVSW members who want to breed a litter with their female must submit an application to the association to use a certain male. The breeding advisors of the NVSW then investigate whether the requested combination is a good fit. Willem explains how this process now runs a lot smoother with the help of ZooEasy:
“We have been using the breeding request module at NVSW for a number of years now. This module has been developed by ZooEasy in collaboration with our breedclub. If a bitch owner wants to breed a litter, they log in to ZooEasy, and from there they make the breeding request. They fill in the details of their bitch and the selected dog. We also immediately look at the requirements that the dogs must meet; for example a good HD result, a DNA test for CD, at least two qualifications ‘Very Good’ obtained under a Dutch judge… etc. All these things must be available in the database, and any missing data must be sent to me so that I can enter them.
When everything is filled out and complete, the application is sent. The application goes through our secretary to our breeding advisors of the Breeding Advice Committee (BAC), who are notified that an application has been made for them to assess. The advisors look a little more deeply into the breeding application. Are there any known health problems in the lines of the dog or the bitch? For example, is there an increased risk of epilepsy or another hereditary disorder? Once they have completed the check and issued a recommendation, the application is returned to the secretary. She then sends a message to the breeder with the advice from the BAC.”
“After the breeder has received a positive recommendation, we wait for the mating. When the time comes, the breeder fills in the date the mating took place and any extra information about the breeding. The breeder will then receive a message that the mating information has been processed, and they will have to wait for the birth. After the litter is born, the breeder provides information about the litter and the delivery. For example how many puppies were born, are there any deceased puppies, and so on. They also inform us on how many puppies have to be mediated by our puppy mediation team.
If the mating was not successful and the bitch remained empty, this will also be reported. The breeder then indicates whether they want a re-breeding, and if so with the same male or with a different one. In 2022 we had 77 matings of the Stabijs with ultimately 41 litters, and 12 matings with 12 litters of the Wetterhounen. When the puppies are sold, we keep a copy of the purchase contract with the breeding application. We have a very complete administration, which suits us very well. If you want to keep the breed healthy, you have to.”
“Using this module makes the whole process a lot faster and easier than before. Everything used to go by post; the breeder sent in all the paperwork, and the breeding advisors had to meet physically once a month and review all applications received through the mail. If data was missing, it had to be forwarded by mail, or sometimes something was left floating around somewhere. And if an advisor quit and was replaced by a new volunteer, no one knew exactly how things stood.
As breedclub we decided that this whole process had to be different and clearer, and ZooEasy helps us with that. We have been using the Breeding Request module since 2016 and it works very well. Everything is now fixed, if problems arise or someone asks something, we can neatly show what has been selected and done. It is also much faster now, the breeding advisors do not have to meet up, but can do their work remotely. The advice given is now also neatly recorded. The breeders are made aware of possible risks in a combination, for example that they have to take into account a certain condition if it has occurred once in those lines. The breeder then decides whether they want to take the risk. As breedclub, we do our work in a clear and orderly way and we have everything neatly worked out. Our members also find it agreeable and well-arranged in this way.”
“My advice for new users or people considering the Breeding Request module would be: come and see for yourselves how it works! Then you have a clear image, you can use it live and we can show things from practice. A while ago a few people from another breed club came to see how the module works, a whole new world opened up for them. And if we can show people how well ZooEasy works and can make them enthusiastic, then that’s great. ZooEasy makes administration so much easier for us, we couldn’t do without it!”