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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel as though I'm in a bit of a rabbit hole of genetic information at this point in my search. Once I learned about the importance of biodiversity in spoo's for genetic illnesses, I began to narrow my search to breeders who are testing above OFA standards and assessing Betterbred statistics/VGL in their program. Then, I found said breeders and inquired about the diversity and pairings of the sires/dams, which prompted my search into the specificities of their numbers like DLA, OI, IR, etc... Learned how not all category 10 pairings are equal, how breeding a low IR with a low IR doesn't necessarily mean what I thought, and so on. I tried looking at the specific numbers of potential sires/dams, taking educated guesses from my lack of experience.
That being said, I'm beginning to think I'm creating unrealistic expectations, looking for a pairing/spoo that simply doesn't exist (given that generally, the breed as a whole suffers from a result of inbreeding).
So my question is,
In your search where genetic diversity was important, how in depth did you look into the specific numbers?
At what point do I say, hey this is good enough? At this point, are just low generational COI's sufficient? Or will just an Embark test do?

I'm aware that such diseases like Addisons can't be foreseen/tested and these numbers are simply testing the probability of such traits, but I feel that by atleast ensuring that there's low inbreeding/linebreeding, I'm getting a healthy Spoo. Any other opinions are appreciated since I feel that the more I learn, the more discouraged I get in finding the right puppy 😂
 

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I looked at it a bit, but COI wasn't the deciding factor. For various reasons I wasn't able to get a puppy from the pairings with the best COI. If COI was truly what was going to keep me up at night, I'd probably go for (avast ye! 🏴‍☠️ 😱) an intervarietal cross between an impeccably bred mini and an equally good standard. These are, of course, pretty scarce, as they are highly frowned upon among respectable breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I looked at it a bit, but COI wasn't the deciding factor. For various reasons I wasn't able to get a puppy from the pairings with the best COI. If COI was truly what was going to keep me up at night, I'd probably go for (avast ye! 🏴‍☠️ 😱) an intervarietal cross between an impeccably bred mini and an equally good standard. These are, of course, pretty scarce, as they are highly frowned upon among respectable breeders.
Right?? A part of me also thought, if all this inbreeding is cause for genetic issues... wouldn't a (hold your breath) poodle-mix 😱 be healthier than all these line-bred, champion bred poodles... Anyway, my search for a poodle continues
 

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If I were to get another spoo I would look at Coi and knock out most popular sires, if possible. (Perpetuating the bottleneck is immoral, imo). The bottleneck created in the 70s has pretty much fixed autoimmune diseases in standard poodles so know you're always going to be at risk for Addison's and SA when you get a standard poodle.

I won't take that risk again. As much as I love standard poodles, the compromised genetics caused by irresponsible breeding is a step too far for me.
 

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Right?? A part of me also thought, if all this inbreeding is cause for genetic issues... wouldn't a (hold your breath) poodle-mix 😱 be healthier than all these line-bred, champion bred poodles... Anyway, my search for a poodle continues
We've had plenty of discussions around poodle mixes in the past. The short version is that in most cases you are just trading one set of problems for another.
Tangent Alert
Frequency and distribution of 152 genetic disease variants in over 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs | PLOS Genetics

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Now, back to the regularly scheduled thread :)
 

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I didn't really put that much thought into it. I was just looking for an acceptable COI range from embark test. When I found the level was indeed in the acceptable range. I told Dewy yep you're your own grandpa or something like that.😅 I was more concerned with the dogs behavior and traits being predictable. I definitely did not want to leave it up to mixed breed genetic coin toss. I could end up with a terrier or something like mastiff behavior-traits. The DNA Health screen was nice there's always risk involved in anything though. Things they can't test for yet for sure with any purebred or mix. So I just split the difference acceptable COI with a clear health screen on the things they can test for. I was looking for under 15% COI this is what his come out at. I've seen dogs with as high as 20% and no genetic problems. I was shooting for 15 or less though.
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@mrtobympoo I feel your paralysis of analysis! I sidelined my Standard search early this summer due to a tragic first experience with a Standard pup and not feeling comfortable to take the dive yet again. When I was searching, I found Dr. Clair Wade's research and perspective tremendously...practical and calming. Here is a link to a nerd-out DNA Webinar of hers. She breeds Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, a breed with a terribly small gene pool.

I think that when I am in the position to take another shot at a Standard (my heart still aches when I see/meet one), I will look holistically at the breeding pair/program and know...it's a game of stats driven by my criteria and risk tolerance. As with all things in life, no dog is perfect, no breeding is perfect, and no breeder is perfect. We're not purchasing an iPhone here. So, looking at the cost-benefit of my personal criteria helps me. I know, hands down, that I am not a mutt person. So, baseline, I accept a higher risk level. Then I look at deeper criteria: Health testing is critical (though some are more critical than others - I understand some Standard Poodle breeders not doing SA punches, for instance). COI is important but I must be reasonable about COI, because conformation is also very important to me, whether I send a dog out to show or keep him/her as a companion/performance dog. I also want to see solid puppy rearing/exposures to help develop brains that stand a better chance of self-regulating. And, I factor in the breeder's communication style/breeding philosophy. Ideally, I like a "whole dog" philosophy, but that's not critical if the other factors are set.

What I find the most interesting, and perhaps this will resonate, is how familiarity adjusts my risk tolerance. I've had SFTs all my life, and they have a very small gene pool - so much so that EVERY SFT I have ever had goes back to the same foundation dogs (Ttarb the Brat, TooFox dogs, etc). The breed is "vulnerable" even in the UK. I ended up opting for another SFT this summer who has a fairly low pedigree COI (diversified by Euro blood lines, which, if you go to the 1950s still go back to older foundation dogs: Watteau & Newmaidley), comes from health tested stock, and has a breeder who is midway between old school and new school. But, it was my familiarity with his lines that gave me an unofficial/rough predictability score that I personally felt comfortable with. Could he come up with LP or pass from cancer at the younger end of the life expectancy spectrum? Yes. Could he have allergies? Yes. I know these things based on his lineage. Admittedly though, SFTs are a fairly healthy dog. I think when we have had a bad experience and/or are new to a breed, we don't have that comfort of familiarity that breeder-exhibitors have.

All this to say - getting in the weeds is fascinating, but ultimately, trying to find that lynchpin data point/points to ensure you're making the right decision is...perhaps not reasonable. It's one of many factors at play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to say, that was a very interesting read! I had heard before that mixed breeds are just healthier than purebreds (and I had blindly believed it at the time), but now I see that it's not necessarily true-- the probability of breeding two carriers resulting in the manifestation of the disease was just lower given they were breeding different breeds with different conditions. Just goes to show that health testing and careful breeding are still SO important. It's comforting to know that we're on the right path, doing our due diligence as "consumers"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Heartland22: That's very interesting. Is that COI for the past 5 generations? or 10?
@TerraFirma: I'm sorry to hear about your first spoo experience :(
You make some very good points, and I relate with your thought process- I'll look at the parents' stats, for example their genetic relatedness and internal relatedness and want the lowest numbers for them. Yet conformation is also important so at that point, I have to be okay with what that entails in terms of numbers. And yet again, remind myself that I'm not Iphone shopping 😂
"I think when we have had a bad experience and/or are new to a breed, we don't have that comfort of familiarity that breeder-exhibitors have" 👏 You summed up what I've been feeling in my search, the unfamiliarity of a breed and the baseline of a higher risk level with what I'm looking for. I hope that with more research and preparation, (as well as experience when the time comes), I'll be enough to be a good parent to my spoo 🙂
 

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Best I can understand it goes back 50 to 100 Generations or to the founding. I've included all the links that it gave me in photos for references articles and information. How Embark performs this COI calculation how it differs from pedigree based. I also included a link to Dewy's Embark profile with his full pedigree public information. Some of this dna stuff can't be seen on the public side of profile though. Here are all links in no particular order from photos.


Dog Inbreeding, Its Consequences, And Its Quantification | Embark.





As you can see I'm not an iPhone user 😆. I like customization with no limitations. I can control the whole house from this thing believe it or not🙂. It will even start the car for me. I'm rolling with Wi-Fi 6 too 🚀 sorry about the split screens I was super multitasking. Hope this information helps some of it is a little beyond me to be honest. I'm afraid to look into it too deep I might find out I'm my own grandpa😬 🤔. Note to self avoid ancestry website 😜.
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Personally I'd look for a happy medium of a breeder that outcrosses regularly but not so much that they lose predictability in their lines. This to me would mean a breeder that is concerned with genetic diversity, but also doesn't make all breeder decisions with diversity as the #1 priority. Long term health and many generations of health tracking is perhaps more important to me. I prefer an older sire and a middle aged dam. Ideally (hypothetically) the sire would have died of sound old age at 15 and the dam would be inseminated with frozen semen via AI. Then you really know what that sire's health was like. When you have a breeder that keeps good records and breeds for consistency, they should be able to better predict health. Too much outcrossing will reduce predictability, so to me it is a balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You're right, it really is about finding that happy medium. Also, wow I had never even thought of your hypothetical situation, but that does sound ideal :unsure:..lol, That's why I'm not so convinced when people recommend a breeder saying their puppy is a dream.. I'd much rather hear about your healthy 12+ y.o poodle from said breeder (although I could see not many breeders have been around long enough for that).
btw, I stumbled upon your video on Misha's gait/trot back when I was a lurker and I've shown it to everyone around me when I rave about poodles and their little proper walks :love:
 

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If you're looking for another rabbit hole, try this one:
Standard Poodle Database

You'll need to join to get access but you'll be able to see reported info on many poodles. Search by breeder/kennel name to get all their reported dogs results.

The PHR database is in an "archive only" state but this link takes you to page where the HealthInfo links kind of work.
Poodle Health Registry Database (phrdatabase.org)

As I understand your reasoning on COI, diversity, etc., a primary goal is still for good health. You can track backward for up to 8 generations, I think.

I'd much rather hear about your healthy 12+ y.o poodle from said breeder (although I could see not many breeders have been around long enough for that).
That's surprising to me.


And now a potential wrench in the monkey works. It's supposed that a large portion of the diversity loss and rise in certain health issues are due to several bottlenecks occurring not much separated in time around the 1950's. These will be the Wycliffe, the wider Midcentury, and the OEA bottlenecks.

The effect of genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding on the incidence of two major autoimmune diseases in standard poodles, sebaceous adenitis and Addison’s disease - PMC (nih.gov)

"There has been a general belief that SA and AD entered the breed as a result of extensive inbreeding starting in the middle of the twentieth century that involved a small group of founders that produced show winning offspring. These offspring and their descendants were widely used by Standard Poodle breeders in North America and exported to the UK, Scandinavia, Australia Continental Europe.
This artificial midcentury bottleneck (MCB) has created a severe imbalance and probable loss of genetic diversity. Using genetic tests based on 33 genome-wide and seven dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) class I and II short tandem repeat (STR) markers, we were able to study genetic diversity in poodles from the USA, Canada and Europe. Standard Poodles from all of these geographic regions were closely related, indicating a considerable ongoing transoceanic exchange of dogs.
Although Standard Poodles still possess considerable total diversity, 70 % of this diversity resides in only 30 % of the population."

This speaks to cowpony's quote.

"Diversity could also be increased by bringing in entirely new blood, such as the outcrossing of Standard Poodles with Miniature Poodles. Although Miniature Poodles are genetically distinct from Standard Poodles [54], poodles are registered by size and such crosses are allowed by the AKC and some other registries but are not widely accepted."

I'd probably go for (avast ye! 🏴‍☠️ 😱) an intervarietal cross between an impeccably bred mini and an equally good standard. These are, of course, pretty scarce, as they are highly frowned upon among respectable breeders.
One more rabbit hole - an oldie but still interesting.
The Canine Diversity Project (dogenes.com)

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This is my long and quoty way of reminding that research is valuable but ultimately, it's the breeder you're going to be depending on. Not only for how they breed and raise their dogs, but how confident they are that they have done their best.

How does their contract read? What will they promise and stand behind, and for how long? What will they expect of you? Thats a gauge on your 12 year old poodle question :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's surprising to me.
yes! I feel that when a puppy is temperament matched to the family/owner/lifestyle, it's not too surprising that they are a dream..but at the same time I don't expect them to be a dream when it's supposedly like taking care of a newborn (and the consistent training it needs). I think because health is so important in my search, it means more to me when I hear more about the offsprings' long, healthy lives... thoughts?

It's supposed that a large portion of the diversity loss and rise in certain health issues are due to several bottlenecks occurring not much separated in time around the 1950's. These will be the Wycliffe, the wider Midcentury, and the OEA bottlenecks.
Oh yes! I was reading up on the Wycliffe % and how looking back 10 generations is more important than 5 because of the very reason that it doesn't go back far enough to count the "bottlenecked" standards from those 5 dogs. However it overwhelmed me to also have to factor that in so I decided not to get too caught up on that as well 😵

And for the miniature x standards mixing, I read a really interesting interview today that shed more light on that (scroll farther down):
Breeder Spotlight #2 Tiara Poodles
 

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yes! I feel that when a puppy is temperament matched to the family/owner/lifestyle, it's not too surprising that they are a dream..but at the same time I don't expect them to be a dream when it's supposedly like taking care of a newborn (and the consistent training it needs). I think because health is so important in my search, it means more to me when I hear more about the offsprings' long, healthy lives... thoughts?


Oh yes! I was reading up on the Wycliffe % and how looking back 10 generations is more important than 5 because of the very reason that it doesn't go back far enough to count the "bottlenecked" standards from those 5 dogs. However it overwhelmed me to also have to factor that in so I decided not to get too caught up on that as well 😵

And for the miniature x standards mixing, I read a really interesting interview today that shed more light on that (scroll farther down):
Breeder Spotlight #2 Tiara Poodles
On the first, I wasn't clear. I meant this portion:
"(although I could see not many breeders have been around long enough for that)."

To build a reputation as a quality, conscientious breeder takes many years, and there are many of them, tho nowhere near as many as we might hope for.

Part of my point about the bottlenecks is that this is only one part of the equation and to look beyond just the numbers to find breeders who can look to their lines and be happy with their results, their total package. They are doing this for the future.

COI is important but isn't the whole story. Health testing is important, but there are many conditions that can't yet be tested for and maybe never can be.
Use the data, don't lose your way in it.

I just re-read these two references on health testing. They describe some of the limits to current testing and how the results might be used. They are pro testing but point out the weaknesses.

As TerraFirma and Raindrops posted, find the balance.

In the words of one of our breeder members, farleysd,

farleysd said:
When evaluating a dog for breeding I reference an equilateral triangle,,,,,, all three sides of this decision must be equal, the three sides are * health *temperament * conformation. Each are equally important:

Health -- I want a healthy dog in my life, I want my dog to live a long, happy, and carefree life. (Testing is important)
Temperament -- My dog will live in my house with me and my family, I must have a good dog that I never worry will be disruptive in any manner. (Temperament testing is important)
Conformation -- the make and shape of the dog also impacts 'form and function' form and function will also determine how this puppy will be able to move and live a daily existence. (Evaluation is important)
 
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