Canine Health Foundation

Public charitable foundation created 24th August 1992 - endorsed by ATO. The CRF is a Trust governed by our Trust Deed and must comply with the Australian Charities and Non-For-Profits Commission (ACNC)

The Canine Research Foundation (CRF) is a public charitable trust that funds research at Australian Universities directed at improving canine health, which it does through an annual funding round.


Mr Bob Maver had the foresight to respond to an increase in the incidence of canine hereditary diseases by establishing the Canine Research Foundation (CRF) a totally independent body through the Victorian Canine Association Inc. (formerly the Kennel Control Council of Victoria) with the sole purpose is to investigate and fund canine research through proper authorities.  The CRF was created as a public charitable trust on 24th August 1992 and since this time >100 research grants have been awarded for projects through to those commencing in 2022.  All donations to the foundation are fully tax deductible.

In 2002 the then ANKC decided to use the Canine Research Foundation as the vehicle to receive levies and allocate research grants.  As a result levies ($2 from every puppy registration) were received from all State Bodies i.e. the Victorian Canine Association Inc, Royal NSW Canine Council Ltd., Canine Association of Western Australia Inc., South Australian Canine Association Inc., ACT Canine Association, Tasmania Canine Association Inc., Northern Australia Canine Association Inc., and the Canine Control Council (Q).  The Canine Research Foundation is economically dependent upon the continued financial support of the members of the Stated-based dog associations.

At the end of the 2017 financial year, the Australian National Kennel Council has resolved to establish its own charity to fund canine health and welfare, whilst several State-registered bodies affiliated with the Australian National Kennel Council have indicated that they are reviewing the extent to which they are willing to continue to support and donate to the Foundation.

As of 2019 only Dogs Victoria is contributing to the CRF fund.  As such all activities are now handled by the CRF Trustees. $2 from every puppy registration is donated to the CRF.

What does the funding support?

The purpose of the Foundation is to provide funding for research directed at improving canine health. Canine health refers to research into disease and disease related processes, and/or the prevention of injury and/or disease. These diseases are usually common problems observed in veterinary practice and / or a serious problem in a particular breed where the research has potential applications to other breeds (where appropriate).

The CRF does not support research using dogs as model animals for medical research.  The types of samples collected and used in the projects involve blood samples, tissue samples from patients with diseases and obtained during the normal diagnostic processes involved when treating the dogs, urine samples, DNA samples, imaging including X-rays and MRI and demographic data about occurrences, frequency of diseases and behavioural observations. 

In the scheme of grants for scientific research these are small grants but are an important funding source that may assist researchers set up a protocol or do some early investigative work that will provide evidence that will support applications to larger funding bodies such as the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Breed Clubs and Breed Councils are invited to suggest research topics for consideration, and each year the CRF calls for applications for grants for research to be conducted by Australian universities.

Since commencement the CRF has funded over 100 grants for a total funding exceeding $1,500,000. This is a sizeable and very significant contribution to improvement of canine health, nationally and internationally. The large majority of completed projects have achieved successful outcomes, with results of research disseminated through Australian and international veterinary journals and conferences, with due credit given to CRF for funding.  More details about the projects funded can be found on our website.  Recent projects the CRF has contributed funds to include the Hip2Fit project (Hip Dysplasia in the German Shepherd), Development of vaccines for cancer and pyometra and drug resistance in heartworm treatments.

The CRF has also provided opportunities for undergraduate science students to complete placements with the organisation and have produced our 25 year booklet, the logo and more recently a series of informative articles on health related issues which are available on the CRF website.

Who are the Trustees of the Foundation?

Current trustees of the Canine Research Foundation are a team of 6 volunteers: Mr Roger Bridgford (President) – All Breeds Dog judge (Taumac Golden Retrievers), Ms Louise Brodie (Accountant, Britebay Cocker Spaniels), Professor Brian Corbitt (Emeritus Professor from RMIT, All Breeds Dog judge and Historian), Dr Steve Holloway (Veterinarian and Researcher), Associate Professor Jan West (Lecturer in Biomedical Science Deakin University, Llandaff Cardigan Corgis), and Mr John Chapman (Lawyer, Tollerpoint Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers). All members attend shows and dog related events regularly and are happy to answer any questions you may have.


Compiled by Assoc Prof Jan West
on behalf of the Trustees of the CRF
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Research Articles by The Canine Research Foundation