“Bringing past and present together”
With the welfare of the canine race in mind and a desire for transparency, Karin Schellner imagined a “Tinder” for pedigree dogs – Mate Matcher. In designing Mate Matcher, Karin Schellner developed an algorithm which shows the genetic diversity involved in potential dog couples – in other words, a “Tinder” for pedigree dogs, Mate Matcher helps breeders avoid potential health defects in their canine offspring. It also helps increase genetic diversity.
According to the computer engineer, “The genetic diversity in some dogs became severely limited in the period during and after the 2nd World War.” As the demand for pedigree dogs has steadily increased in recent years – particularly during the pandemic – the challenges faced by dog breeders has also grown. “Mate Matcher makes it easier to find a suitable stud dog within reasonable geographical reach”, explains the entrepreneur.
A lack of genetic diversity in pedigree dog breeding leads to various problems: the dogs are more susceptible to illness, become infertile and are generally less fit and healthy. In many dog breeds, the gene pool has been closed for over 100 years. This can cause extreme inbreeding in some cases. Using intelligent matching algorithms, Mate Matcher looks at important features for breeding such as age, inbreeding coefficient and potential matings, and makes suggestions for optimal stud dogs.
The greater the awareness about diversity in breeding, the greater the challenge to find appropriate stud dogs beyond the confines of associations and clubs. Previously there was no international, inter-association digital family tree for breeders until Schellner came up with the solution – The Breed Archive, an online international platform for pedigree dogs. Pedigree dog-lovers from all over the world provide and maintain the data for this collaborative genealogical research and for exchange within the project’s community. So Mate Matcher can help you find the most appropriate partner for your four-legged friend.
The Breed Archive currently hosts around 50 breeds of dog and enables over 45,400 registered users and over 100,000 monthly visitors to maintain over 2 million dog entries to date, thereby supporting the future and the preservation of individual breeds. The platform is available in four languages and is used in over 170 countries. This increase in users ensures that the platform will continue to grow.
The Vienna Business Agency’s contribution: support, through its Innovation/18–21+ programme. (Contact: Dani Graf)