Breeding Schemes

Breeders often talk about inbreeding and outcrossing as though they were the only possibilities — and generally with negative comments about the latter. There are other possibilities, and I have long been a proponent of assortative mating. It is not a theoretical concept that doesn’t work in practice; I know several breeders who do it […]

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 […]

Achieving Genetic Health for Our Dogs – Part 3

Lessons from Population Genetics Gene Frequencies Much of the work of population genetics involves estimating or calculating gene frequencies, which quantify the relative commonness or scarcity, within a particular population, of alleles at a particular gene locus. If there is only one version of a gene in the population, then the entire population is necessarily […]