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#21 Columbia MO

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 03:29 AM

Regarding Missy's pedigree, I got to looking at it this morning, and there was a heck of a lot of inbreeding going on.

Based on the AIBC numbers alone, there are at least 2 brother/sister matings (Jem/Jackie, Billie/Bright Eyes).

First, Jem/Jackie produced Rock, Billie and Bright Eyes. Then two of these inbred puppies, Billie and Bright Eyes were bred to each other to produce Babe. Then Babe was bred back to her parents' sibling Rock. With this degree of inbreeding, no wonder Missy has some hip soreness! I'm so glad that her temperament turned out nice though--you got very lucky.

The really confusing part is when you look at the names vs. AIBC numbers, especially the breedings between White's JR and Sissy. In one case, they produce a puppy with a number of 90410. In another case, they produce a puppy with a number of 112403, which is very close to the numbers of their two (apparent) grandchildren, Rock and Bright Eyes.

Does anybody have an explanation for this discrepancy? All I can think is that the two generations had litters on the same day or so, and all the registration numbers were given out at the same time. Right now, it is too early on a Sunday for my brain to work through this tangle!

Columbia, MO

#22 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 05:16 AM

The litters were just registered at the same time probably - they may have been years apart even. ABCA used to allow this but I think it's changing/has changed. I know AIBC is perfectly all right with it because I registered my dog long after he was born - he was four by the time I got my papers back from AIBC.

Columbia, the dog it's going to be hard to find modern pedigrees without is John Thomas' Don. At one point about two dog generations ago, it was estimated that 80% of ISDS dogs were his direct descendants. And he probably DID pass on the gene for CEA - or his mother did, anyway.

Every generation has their key dogs. It's really OK. There's a lot of genetic diversity within the key dogs themselves, generally, that the soundness of the breed remains stable.

Don't forget the overall soundness of the breed is constantly being monitored by the work it does. It's not like a couch potato breed where a lot of unsound progeny could produce a lot of unsound progeny and no one would notice for several generations (ahem, storage disease). Certainly defects are present but with a working breed the choice to cull breaks at "Is this dog sound enough to to the work?" The choice to breed breaks at, "Will this cross potentially produce pups that can't do the work?" That's really different from trying to decide whether it's "good enough" to be a nice pet - like Missy, hips a little sore but probably a back yard breeder with a lot of dogs would miss that.

Anyway, the work makes sure (or is SUPPOSED to ensure) that any concentration of lines remains healthy ones. Outcrossing is tested in the same way to ensure a consistent level of working ability, and new soundness issues would be observed then (in the old days it might not be recognized as such - "She won't go to her right" was bad enough to cull - same result as if we took her to a vet and found out she had mild dysplasia on the left hip.

One big point is that these days we've GOT to make sure we are still holding our breeders to those standards. And there's new technology out there to screen for defects to back up the old ways, too. I like to see, personally, at least one parent screened for hips and both CERFed.

But I think the work they do is the MOST important. That's how we got a breed where an individual (Missy's mom) goes back to the same two parents five generations back, over and over, and obviously the result of that breeding could still walk and reproduce and have a reasonably healthy puppy! But it won't STAY that way - those original two were from the old days for sure - I've seen stuff like that around here pretty often. I ought to type in pedigrees of the sisters Steve rescued last year. These pups were sold as breeding stock to someone - talk about a family tree with no branches!
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#23 Eileen Stein

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 12:41 PM

There is no way that "pretty much every BC alive today goes back to Wisp." Heck, Wisp only died about 5 or 6 years ago (time flies, so I could be off a little, but not much). He certainly was a popular sire, and he fathered more than 500 pups, but it would be totally impossible for him to have serviced most of the working border collie bitches alive at the same time he was, and there has not been time since then for the lines to which he didn't contribute to have withered away. Not that they ARE withering away, mind you. It's just an obvious impossibility.

You must be thinking of Wiston Cap? (Or Old Hemp?) Wiston Cap was the most used stud in ISDS history, and he appears somewhere in the great majority (but not all) of border collie pedigrees, but you won't find many working border collie people lamenting that fact. It's generally agreed that the breed took a great leap forward in working ability thanks to Wiston Cap, and yet it still has exemplary genetic diversity. The working border collie would be a lot poorer today if he had only been bred ten times in his life.

Formulas like a 10x cap on breeding for any stud dog, while they may be desirable for show breeds, are inappropriate for the border collie. If your trade-off is between a perfect ear set and the possibility of concentrating some potentially harmful recessive gene, it's a no-brainer. Limit the trendy dog with the perfect ear set to 10 breedings. But where you're weighing the possible negative recessive gene against something that really matters, like what Wiston Cap contributed to working ability, then the risk-benefit equation is totally different. I hope there will never be a limit such as you propose, and if there ever should be, it'll portend the demise of the working border collie, IMO, because it will be a sign that the majority of breeders have their values seriously skewed.

From 1960 through 1989 the International was won 24 times by a dog, 6 times by a bitch.

As for the AIBC registry, it has been "re-organizing under new management" for more than ten years now, and throughout that time it's been virtually impossible to get papers out of them. I think as a practical matter it's defunct.

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#24 Smokjbc

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 01:02 PM

Smokjbc,

I'm glad for your reassurance that there are still some pedigrees of EITHER type of BC that are not closely inbred or linebred.
>>>Columbia

My assurances have only to do with working border collies- not "either" type. For myself, there is only one "type" of Border Collie.

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#25 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 03:34 PM

Yes, and I've looked at an awful lot of working pedigrees and haven't even noticed a high degree of line breeding, much less inbreeding. I own pups that are about as line bred as I generally see. They have the same bitch as their great grandmother on the top and great great grandmother on the bottom. Most dogs I see I have to run right off the papers to start seeing direct relationships.

I only have one Border collie, out of eight that I've ever owned, that goes back to Wisp. I actually owned two that didn't go back to Wiston Cap at all - both old cattle working lines. I don't go out of my way to avoid either of those lines, so I suppose I'm probably fairly representative. I've also seen zillions of rescue pedigrees (well, maybe just a couple hundred), and just don't see any inbreeding or even dangerous linebreeding problem - even among the various random bred Border collies out there.

I don't have to guess, either. There's a scientific measure for this sort of thing and it's been show that the working Border collie has a remarkably low inbreeding coefficient (um, I don't think that's the right name for it), even as represented by its worst inbred individuals!

The only reason I'm hammering on this point, is that I've heard this idea that "working dogs are horrendously inbred" before from, well, people who think working breeders are in need of serious guidance. We won't say WHERE that mindset comes from. But I do contend that it's completely baseless.

Here is an interesting discussion of inbreeding and linebreeding - more or less seperating fact from speculation, at least I thought so. Even though it's from the standpoint of a breed specialist :rolleyes: his points are still valid. He addresses in particular sire limitation, by the way, near the end of this article. Basically he points out that sire limitation means you can't select for anything - your breed will turn "average" within a few generations. http://www.dobermann...o/PEDIGREE .htm
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#26 Maralynn

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 04:37 PM

If I can chime back in here for just a minute, Missy's hips actually seem to be fine (Krista's dog has the sore hips). Never been x-rayed, but she'll play ball for an hour or more with no apparent soreness. Even rough encounters with the sheep have not seemed to bother her.

Does inbreeding to the extent that her mother was usally lead temperment issues? Does it all depend on the dogs and who got what genes?

Although Miss was extremely withdrawn when I got her, she is not so anymore - just a little shy. Before I got her she had little interaction with people, and had ridden in a vehicle only once or twice. But the car has never bothered her. And she always wants to go places with me. I take her to TSC often and even took her to a elementary school for a day of dog obedience demonstrations. Her main fobia is of loud power tools. Fireworks don't even bother her if she is in the car or house. And nothing makes her day more than to go do chores. I have a feeling that my lack of knowledge is holding back her herding potential.

So reading this thread has got me wondering - is my dog a fluke? is she pretty much the exception to the rule considering all that inbreeding?

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#27 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 05:28 PM

Oops, got confused.

Actually, like I said, I've seen several instances where even closer breeding was done with no apparent ill effects. We've got an awfully healthy breed. We can't KEEP doing that without messing something up, no doubt, and I wouldn't recommend it to a beginner.

The really bad ones I've seen, where there were no branches top or bottom, were physically sound but mentally whacked out (severely shy, aggressive). We're only talking maybe half a dozen of these really inbred dogs in my whole (short) career so not a scientific sample, but it leads me to think the mind goes first. Hey, you know that was the case among European royalty, too, right? George III and all that.
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#28 juliepoudrier

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 05:32 AM

I think what hasn't been mentioned in this discussion is inbreeding/linebreeding in the hands of responsible, knowledgeable breeders vs. everyone else. My best dog is in part the product of years of line breeding back to John Thomas' Don. She has many of the working traits that the linebreeding was intended to keep within the line. And it's those traits that I really like--they are what make her a great working dog for me. The fact of linebreeding is what enables us to see those dogs work and know they go back to Don just by watching them.

Now take a look at another dog I have and whom I took as a private rescue as a favor for a friend. He also happens to go back to the aforementioned breeder's lines. He's a bit loony (OCD, fear aggressive, inappropriate social behavior). Some of that may be the result of nurture, but no doubt genetics (nature) also plays a significant role. I do not recognize the names of the people who bred this dog (that is, they are not known working dog breeders), but he is basically the result of an uncle-niece breeding, which means that the top half of his pedigree and the top of the bottom half of his pedigree are the same. (His sire and his dam's sire were littermates.) Oh, and he may be one of those to whom Rebecca refers. He's physically sound and extremely athletic, but mentally he's a nut.

So what's the difference between these two dogs? The former breeder has been linebreeding, assessing results, fixing working traits, etc., for years. And he's produced some top working dogs. He knows what he's doing. The latter are likely backyard breeders who each had a purebred border collie and thought they'd make some money selling pups. So what if those two dogs were extremley closely related? I wouldn't be surprised if the breeding was done to get a particular color. I doubt they even gave passing consideration to the implications of the cross they were making (beyond maybe color).

Linebreeding has its place, but it should be undertaken with care and by those who know what they're doing (and that certainly wouldn't be your average breeder).

J.

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