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Choosing stud, COI etc...

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by Stellabella, Jan 13, 2012.


  1. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    I understand the basics of the COI, but would be grateful if someone could help me get a better picture.

    Breed average for Cavaliers is 5.2%, and the COI of Stella's pups was 2.8%. Both dogs had a COI well below breed average.

    Now thinking ahead, the dogs I am looking at have COI higher than breed average, but the COI of the mating would be low, around 3.8%.

    So, should I be more concerned about the high value of the sire, or does the low COI of the mating mean that it is a good match.

    With the CM/SM protocols changing there is so much to think about, it is going to get much harder to meet all the requirements. I want to know how much of a concern COI is, but need the experience/advice of those who know more about it than me.

    Our last (first) litter was carefully planned, with all health tests passed and up to date, which they will also be (if there's a) next time with the addition of the DNA for DE/CC & EF.

    Thankies ;)
     
    #1 Stellabella, Jan 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  2. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    You want my honest opinion?

    COI is nice to have - breeding by numbers - don't even go there.

    Does your dog have the strengths to complement your bitch's weakness?

    Are his health tests OK - do you think the pedigree is a good match on paper? - do you have any really close relatives on both sides in positions that you feel would make you uncomfortable?

    If you feel that on paper, the position of certain dogs makes you uncomfortable - at that point, IMHO does the COI become significant - frequently I've looked at pedigrees and thought oooh - but actually, the COI's have been much lower than I'd have anticipated - and similarly - I've looked at peds I wouldn't have thought for one minute look tight - but the figures tell a very different story.

    In addition to the above - I assume you are taking the COI off the KC database? this is done over 8 generations - and you will find that there will be dogs missing from these 8 generations - it took me a while to work out why they were coming up with different figures to mine in my database - and it's because of the missing dogs :(

    I should also add - that for a relatively small gene pool - that COI is LOW - as is the breed average low - lower in fact than more popular breeds - this would also make me question it - do you know anyone with a database who could do some tracking for you?
     
  3. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    ^^^ what Swarthy said, COI is at the gimmicky stage!
     
  4. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    Thanks for your replies. It was the KC one, and does seem to tie in with the breed's database, although I haven't checked that against one particular dog. There are other factors, which mean my choice is going to be limited anyway.

    ...So if there's one dog that crops up on both sides, but in different generations, with a different mating, is that not necessarily a bad thing? I would have thought you'd want to avoid that?

    It is harder than last time, as I really need an older, clear stud to comply with the new guidelines. At the moment it's practically impossible to get it spot on - the new protocols haven't come in yet, and appear to be open to interpretation (and abuse, potentially :( ) so I don't want to muff things up just through not understanding the numbers.

    I'm learning all the time, and I'm afraid the more I learn the harder it gets. :eek:
     
  5. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    It's not so much that it's at the 'gimmicky' stage - it's been around nearly as long as the Labrador has been recognised by the UK KC - but I do think there's a massive risk if people start factoring this above other areas such as conformation, health and temperament.

    I treat it almost as a curiosity tool - many a time I've been asked, or thought to myself, that mating looks tight - only to find the COI tells a very different story - and as above, sometimes I've been surprised that the COI has been higher than I'd have anticipated.

    SB - you don't say what the COI is of the sire, but I am assuming it is not ridiculously high (although I always look at them over 10 generations) - or the pairing is a complete outcross.

    If the dog complements your bitch and the health test results are in order, then a COI of 3.8% for the resulting pups is low and certainly wouldn't have me running for the hills - as for puppy buyers - they have enough to contend with with just explaining health-results and worming schedules - believe me when I say it would be a step too far for the average puppy buyer if you started talking COI's ;)
     
  6. Taylorbaby

    Taylorbaby PetForums VIP

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    I was chatting to a breeder who said that she only line breeds and wouldnt breed her dog to a open pedigree, kinda get what she said, but never had a chance to ask her why! Anyone think of a reason?
     
  7. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    So, am I right in thinking then, that the predicted COI of the mating is more important that the COI of an individual parent? In a nutshell, like!
     
  8. Bijou

    Bijou PetForums VIP

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    yes - it's the COi of the predicted mating that is the important factor - but COi's must be looked at in context of the overall package - as Swarthy said you cannot breed by numbers ! - with ever increasing hoops to jump through it is almost impossible to find dogs that will meet every criteria - :rolleyes:
     
  9. PennyGC

    PennyGC PetForums VIP

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    There are plenty of reasons to line breed - mostly because you are more likely to get a 'type', you'll know what the pups will look like, with a total outcross this is unlikely. You'll also, if you know the pedigrees, know what you're getting in terms of temperament and good points (and bad if you don't know the pedigrees). With an outcross what you get in the litter is more of a 'lucky dip' as the two lines are new to each other.

    Note this is line breeding rather than 'inbreeding' - the lines between the two may be fuzzy but this is where you COI comes in.

    It's also (IMO) more likely that you'll get good hip scores from good hip scoring parents if you line breed - the possibilities of an outcross throwing up new genes which may cause HD is more likely. With line bred dogs they're more likely to have the same HD genes so low scoring parents are more likely to have low scoring progeny. None of this is, of course, guaranteed.
     
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  10. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    This is SO true. I saw the new guidelines yeaterday, and it would seem that despite years of planning and trying to do everything by the book, our last litter could be seen as a 'do not breed' - despite having every test done and to every criteria in place at the time :(



    Thank you, very informative and well put!
     
  11. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    The COI 'thing' is, to me, simply putting numbers to pedigrees to show when line breeding, in-breeding and out-crossing have been used and to help you decide which direction you want to go in - nothing more, nothing less. ;)

    I have heard it said that breeders shouldnt be aiming any higher than a COI of around 5-6% and certainly not more than 7%. A contenscious subject and one which will always raise differing opinions. I believe, on the whole, a lot of breeders (especially the newer ones) will be following this guideline/opinion to the letter (or should I say number, lol!) without any real knowledge to explain the whys and wherefores. Whilst the KC Mating Tool is a step in the right direction, its certainly not the be all and end all and I still dont think people should be using it without fully understanding what line/in/out breeding truly is.

    Some breeders outcross through fear of the degeneracy 0f type that they believe results from all inbreeding. Other line breed in an effort to obtain the good results of inbreeding without assuming its alleged hazards. And yet others, who having been told that good dogs are produced by inbreeding, accept this as a matter of policy and inbreed merely for inbreedings sake.

    The truly knowledgable breeders who know what they are doing, inbreed when inbreeding is indicated, they line breed with a purpose and they outcross to obtain certain characteristics which they desire to add to their stock.

    When considering the mating of two dogs, phenotype must also be considered, an understanding of the manner in which the genes and chromosomes carry family traits, or drop them from generation to generation and of genetic probabilities - this allows us to see why a brother may be so much more closely related to one full sister than to another - think phenotype - or why King George V looked so much more like his first cousin the Czar Nicholas of Russia (saw this on QI last night, and thought twas a good example, lol!) and he didnt look like his other first cousin Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany at all - the joys of genetics, lol!

    This example simply allows you to see just how hard it is to define where line breeding becomes inbreeding.

    As for outcrossing - the perfect outcross would be two dogs of the same breed, one of which was homozygous dominant for all traints and the other homozygous recessive for all traints. This kind of genetic purity simply does not exist!! So it is impossible to make what is known as a perfect outcross within a given breed.
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I haven't read all of this article myself, but thought it might be interesting:

    Cynologist » The importance and development of the Prepotent Sire

    I do think at the moment, the KC database with the CoI is *gimmicky*, because the numbers don't add up, and yet people are using them as if they are absolutely accurate. Just as an example, Rhuna has a lower CoI according to the KC database, than either of my Lab bitches, despite the fact that she's more line bred than both of them. Why? Because her dam is imported, and yet the KC database makes it look like there are four complete generations on either side with the wording, and yet there can't possibly be? If you weren't/aren't aware that there are serious flaws with the lack of full data on there, then you could be misled into believing the wrong figures, and I do think the KC need to put up (if they haven't already) a disclaimer about how their figures are calculated.
     
  13. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    Very good article, lol! I used a prepotent male and then went back again for a repeat mating. ;)
     
  14. comfortcreature

    comfortcreature PetForums VIP

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    A lot of good points here, but there is a huge point that has been missed (maybe it was to be assumed?).

    When you are breeding within a closed gene pool, and putting pups back into that gene pool, as a breeder you not only become responsible for what you put on the ground, but what is does to the breed in future generations. Preserving genes has to be part of that.

    When linebreeding is done in order to make breeding choices easier for the breeder, and create more reliable outcomes, this also has an effect on the future diversity of the full gene pool. How much will depend on the impact that dog makes and how often it is used in the future.

    That ALSO has to be part of the considerations that a breeder takes into account. That is the reason why aiming for a lower COI litter than the COI of each parent is recommended by those promoting the consideration of populaton genetics when making breeding choices. Please keep in mind the word 'recommended', as most understand there is a full host of other considerations as well . . . and especially so in the Cavalier breed at this time.

    Thank you Stellabella for putting in this great effort. Look for my pmail please.

    The sometimes slow and sometimes fast loss of diversity within a breed (which is harmful), and its causes, (continuous linebreeding, popular sire, ever more specific selection criteria) and the best methods to KEEP a gene pool from diminishing to the point of too many problems, is what the study of population genetics is all about.

    Lots of important information at this link (written by a breeder) about all of that: "Canine Population Genetics in Practice: Principles for the Breeder" - Canine Population Genetics in Practice: Principles for the Breeder - Canine Genetics Diversity Articles

    ----------

    This might be your experience, and I have no desire to diminish it, but wanted to note that there has been at least one study that has shown an increased risk of HD in the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever breed with increased COI. It is here for those that would like a looksee - "Breeding against Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs" - http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/maa/kotie/vk/maki/breeding.pdf


    CC
     
    #14 comfortcreature, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
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  15. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    Wow, thank you all! Brilliant helpful replies and really useful information. I will have a good long read through all the links, no doubt they will lead me on to others too.

    When I started out thinking I might breed my girl, I knew about health issues, made it priority to be fully informed about those, but the deeper I go, the more there is to learn and understand. It truly is a much bigger picture.

    Since Stella had her litter I feel like (sorry about the cliches) I've turned a corner and seen that bigger picture. It is partly because of the new CM/SM protocols that have come in that I've had to think things through almost as if from the beginning, and seen things through fresh eyes, but thankfully with that little bit more knowledge behind me. I stress - little bit! There is so much to think about.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just have to add a quickie (I'm so proud!) - I have had wonderful feedback from my pups' new families, they are 11 weeks old now. They happy and well adjusted, learning fast and mostly toilet trained. (I started them early, and I had started teaching 'sit' before they left). One of them comes back for puppy sitting, and will be staying with us for his holidays :) They have all gone to super homes and are all in touch with each other too!
     
  16. Snoringbear

    Snoringbear PetForums VIP

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    The problem with the KC database as SL said is that dogs with no pedigree behind are given a COI of 0%. I have a couple of dogs with import parents but fortunately they have a KC record behind them. If I calculate all my dogs' COI using their 5 gen pedigrees, the results are between 0% and 1.9%. If I look on the KC database the results are between 0.8% and 2.8%, however without knowing exactly how many dogs and generations that is calculated from it becomes less meaningful other than being under the breed average of 6.2%. the breed average is calculated from the previous years registration of puppies rather than the entire gene pool which is also strange.
     
  17. swarthy

    swarthy PetForums VIP

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    mmmm - for Labs - they are now saying the COI could go back as far as 20 generations - this tells us NOTHING -

    I've just calculated my last homebred bitch's COI over 8 generations - and it comes in at 5.34% on my database - the KC has 8.8% (generations unknown) - dad's dam line is American from his grand-dad back - so no dogs - so the 8.8% - tells me NOTHING as I know my girls is 11.35% over 10 generations and I have the full 10 generation pedigree in my database :(

    mmmm - I really would tread warily and use someone who you know has a comprehensive database of dogs :(
     
  18. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I already do :lol:
     
  19. PennyGC

    PennyGC PetForums VIP

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    The question asked why line breed - I responded to that rather than write an essay :(

    There are factors for and against HD and line breeding - it's clear that where you breed dogs with similar genes (and good scores) you'll get less HD as they wont have the full complement to give HD although they probably will have some of them. Where you line breed with poor HD you're more likely to have HD as clearly the genes are present. Where you outcross with good scores you're more likely to get 'surprise' HD as the relevant genes come together. Without having a DNA test it's easier to avoid HD if you line breed on known good hipped dogs than if you outcross as it's less clear what genes (and we don't even know which they are and as they act different depending on what other genes they're with it's even more complicated). BUT you have to know all the dogs in the pedigree (and their relatives) for this to happen.
     
  20. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    Just another point on hips and I should say elbows too, for my breed anyway (its growing in popularity year on year) , is that do we truly have a 'true' picture of average within the breed when the majority of a litter are never scored.......................;)
     
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