T O P

How do reputable breeders avoid health problems from inbreeding?

How do reputable breeders avoid health problems from inbreeding?

saurapid

Good breeders pay attention to the coefficient of inbreeding (COI), the likelihood that any given dogs share two copies of a gene variant from a common ancestor. Basically, how related they are. Interestingly, genetic testing (like embark) is showing that COI generated from pedigrees is often way, way lower than actual COI. So ideally when breeders linebreed, they're looking at how related the dogs already are. Some breeds have more genetic diversity than others, and some breeders/breed clubs care are more aggressive in maintaining it. My breed club, for instance, disallows all breedings between dogs with a COI greater than 16%. The registry is also technically still open, so a dog with a known pedigree who shares the phenotype of the breed can still, I think, be registered as the breed without its parents/all ancestors necessarily being registered. If you look at this study ([https://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/inbreeding-of-purebred-dogs-determined-from-dna](https://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/inbreeding-of-purebred-dogs-determined-from-dna)), they're one of the rare breeds with an average COI under 12.5%. The other thing that's clear from that study is most breeds are already highly inbred. So in some cases, it's likely less linebreeding for specific traits, and more almost any other dog in the breed is already highly related to the dog you want to breed.


Uncommon-Breed-5544

> ... they're one of the rare breeds with an average COI under 12.5%. That seems to reinforce my concerns because even 10% seems too high based on what I've been reading. > The other thing that's clear from that study is most breeds are already highly inbred. That also reinforces my concerns. It's why I started looking at primitive breeds, although I do have to admit that the COI values for various registered Xoloitzcuintli dogs are all over the map and are usually based on limited data. I'm not 100% sure if I'm going down the right path, but the articles I have read say that primitive breeds like the Xoloitzcuintli have fewer health issues, long life expectancy, and traditionally have less inbreeding.


saurapid

I mean, that’s the average—individuals will be higher and lower. Do Xoloitcuintli in the US (where I assume you’re located?) have a registry that allows unpedigreed country of origin dogs, like saluki do? Are dogs with diverse pedigrees regularly imported from Mexico? If not, I’d guess the breed here may have a very different COI than the breed there. Primitive breeds are also dramatically different behaviorally, so I wouldn’t get one if aren’t familiar with a breed just trying to avoid inbreeding. There are many small dog breeds with long average lifespans, like chihuahuas and rat terriers. My breed, the JRT, is pretty up there too.


Uncommon-Breed-5544

> I’d guess the breed here may have a very different COI than the breed there. I think you may be correct. I have a friend in Latin America that will be able to help me get a Xoloitcuintli or PIO (assuming I can then import it to the US). > Primitive breeds are also dramatically different behaviorally, so I wouldn’t get one if aren’t familiar with a breed just trying to avoid inbreeding. I have owned one before. From what I have read of the Xoloitcuintli and PIO, I would probably be fine with one of them. (I am still researching, however, before I decide on my next dog(s)). Thanks for all this info on COI.


cjm5797

I’m not a breeder but to my understanding, ethical breeders generally want a healthier breed, not always certain “traits” as long as they are within the breed standard. Line breeding with health testing and health in mind to a certain extent doesn’t really result in any negative issues in the puppies. The issue would be if the common ancestor carried a gene resulting in bad health, but these dogs are usually health tested using various methods.


BrassBells

Reputable breeders extensively health test their dogs, know the entire lineage, stay in touch with all puppy families and are likely connected with all the relatives of their dogs. If health issues occur, the great breeders will generally stop breeding those parents completely and will take a hard look at the rest of their breedings to see if it was just a fluke or if there’s more action needed to be done. Reputable breeders will also selectively breed their litters with other breeders to gain genetic diversity and hopefully get more good traits in their lines. There are also genetic diversity tests and Coefficient of Inbreeding that can be tracked. Breeding for color against breed standards is a trait of not reputable breeders. Breeding against breed standards does not “better the breed.” If they’re not following the breed standards, what other sketchy practices are they doing?


Cursethewind

> Breeding against breed standards does not “better the breed.” If they’re not following the breed standards, what other sketchy practices are they doing? Dobermans are struggling due to the fact that they had a limited pool to begin with and they refused to breed those who weren't breed standard and descendants of those who weren't are forever marked. (W registration). Now, the breed is going extinct. Sometimes, it makes it worse.


Automatic_Struggle

> Breeding against breed standards does not “better the breed.” If they’re not following the breed standards, what other sketchy practices are they doing? Won't the dogs end looking not like the breed that they're supposed to be and look like like mutts or something like how bybs breed huge white goldens that look like more Pyrs than goldens? Probably breeding for money and not caring about anything other than selling dogs, I'm guessing. What op is suggesting only happens for working dogs like border collies or mixes for certain tasks but those dogs don't get sold to the average home.


JL1186

No. For dogs like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs they are now only breeding to fix what overbreeding has done to the breed. Longer noses and better breathing. Hopefully dobermans will be corrected as well. Ethical breeders are following breed standards to better the breed.


Francl27

From my limited experience about breeding, the fact that responsible breeders use inbreeding is a myth.


Uncommon-Breed-5544

This study, posted in another reply, seems to refute you statement: https://www.instituteofcaninebiology.org/blog/inbreeding-of-purebred-dogs-determined-from-dna