About C A Sharp

C.A. Sharp is a science writer and an internationally recognized lay expert on canine genetics and hereditary diseases. Sharp has written extensively on genetics and hereditary disease, initially for breeders of Australian Shepherds but more recently for a wider audience. She has since 1993 published Double Helix Network News, a quarterly canine genetics newsletter. Helix has been a finalist in the Dog Writers Association of America’s annual awards competition numerous times, twice winning "Maxwell" awards, one for the newsletter itself and for the feature article "The Price of Popularity." Sharp was the first recipient of AKC Canine Health Foundation’s Golden Paw Award for the article "The Rising Storm." Sharp is currently working on a book.

The Price of Popularity: Popular Sires and Population Genetics

Consider the hypothetical case of Old Blue, Malthound extraordinaire. Blue was perfect: Sound, healthy and smart. On week days he retrieved malt balls from dawn to dusk. On weekends he sparkled in malt field and obedience trials as well as conformation shows, where he baited to–you guessed it–malt balls. Everybody had a good reason to […]

The Downside of Inbreeding: It’s Time For a New Approach

“Inbreeding was once a valuable tool in shaping today’s breeds. As these have now reached a high degree of homogeneity, it has lost its importance and turned into a fatal and disastrous habit.” Hellmuth Wachtel, PhD. Inbreeding (which, for the purposes of this article, includes “linebreeding”) has been the rule in dog breeding for the […]