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Discussion Starter #1
Trillium and I have been on the phone this AM and looking up on PHR dogs that grew up in my household when I was a kid. WOWIE!!!! The COI's of most of them was astronomical. I guess that is why we should be looking at this as a tool when deciding to breed (who to breed, what dogs to look at breeding to, etc.)

One of my Moms top breeding dogs when she was still breeding blacks had a COI of over 24%!!! This solves a myystery for me. Most of our dogs did not live past ten years old. A few lived to be 14-16, but they were the dogs with the lower COI's. So, this is certainly confirming what the Canine Diversity Project has stated- that dogs with a lower COI tend to live longer.

As a kid/teenager, I never questioned why our dogs died young. Now, it is all making sense to me.

Trillium was able to pull up the pedigree of her very first Standard, and found his COI to be 29.4 % as well. He died at ten years of age of bloat.

My Mom would have been so excited to know this information was available, but would have been shocked,, knowing what we know today, at how high the COI's were on her breeding dogs and their puppies.

Some of the dogs we were looking up go back to the late 50's/early 60's!!! How cool is that?? I am beyond excited. Though it saddens me that we were breeding dogs whose COI happened to be so high, we did not even have the resouces available to check things out if we had wanted to. So while it is sad for me, it also excites me to have this absolute conformation that what I believe to be true seems to be. Lower COI`s means healthier dogs.

I hope this does not offend anyone, but seriously, I am just very thrilled to be looking up the dogs I grew up with, and happy to know this toll exists and is doing what is should be doing!!
 

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Another interesting thing you can find on both the SPD and PHR datbase is the # of unique ancestors.
In a 10 gereration pedigree, there are 2046 possible ancestors.
Most pedigree's have the same dogs several times in the background, so
it has a greater influence.
The higher # of unique dogs, the more diverse the pedigree.
This is from Dr. Armstrongs website- at the time of his death, the highest # of unique ancestors he had found was 938 from a possible 2046.



Unique ancestors
Most of the dogs described above have a low COI due to their parents being from different lines (despite the parents themselves being moderately to highly inbred). There are also some whose parents are not highly inbred, but I presently have too few examples to tell whether there is any significant difference and health and longevity between the two groups.
The number of possible unique ancestors doubles in each generation. The following table gives the expected number in each generation and the cumulative number up to 10 generations.



Generation No. in generation Cumulative No. Best achieved
1 (parents) 2 2 2
2 4 6 6
3 8 14 14
4 16 30 30
5 32 62 59
6 64 126 115
7 128 254 218
8 256 510 385
9 512 1022 624
10 1024 2046 938

Most of the Standard Poodle pedigrees have 350-400 unique ancestors in a 10-generation pedigree. The lowest I have on record has 79, and an COI of approximately 70%. The highest have 700-800 and are all below 5%.

Among all the pedigrees I have examined, that of Dorothy Dehn's Cafe Rubio de Beau Raccoon has the greatest number of unique ancestors, as shown in the final column of the table. This is truly remarkable pedigree. (His COI is 3.34%)
 

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One of my Moms top breeding dogs when she was still breeding blacks had a COI of over 24%!!! This solves a myystery for me. Most of our dogs did not live past ten years old. A few lived to be 14-16, but they were the dogs with the lower COI's. So, this is certainly confirming what the Canine Diversity Project has stated- that dogs with a lower COI tend to live longer.
I'm not sure that it confirms it. Rather it is anecdotal evidence that substantiates it.

As a kid/teenager, I never questioned why our dogs died young. Now, it is all making sense to me.
Did you guys keep a record of why your dogs died? That would be interesting.

Trillium was able to pull up the pedigree of her very first Standard, and found his COI to be 29.4 % as well. He died at ten years of age of bloat.
My Sabrina's COI is 5.04%. She still bloated. The Tiara kennel in California got obsessed with COI and started breeding Minis to Standards. They produced a litter with a COI of 2.29% yet those puppies have proved to be quite unhealthy (Legg-Perthes, severe allergies, retinal dysplasia).

So no... lower COI does not necessarily mean healthier dogs. COI is simply another piece of the puzzle to consider when breeding.
 

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Agree with this Cbrand. Total outcrosses you never know what you will pull forward. Dogs die for lots of reasons. Bad food, Bloat (Which BTW we still do not know for sure what causes this) cancer heart issues the things that we did not test for way back then. the PHR is a tool COI is a tool health testing is a tool Pedigrees area tool..Knowing what you have is pulling all these tools out and using ALL of them not jsut hanging your hat on one..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Never once did I say it is the end all and be all, but I will certainly make low COI's a HUGE consideration when choosing patners for my dogs. Not hanging my hat on it, just making sure that on TOP of everything else, that the dogs I choose to breed to ALSO has a low COI.

I think that you will get cases of cancer, bloat, Addisons, etc., even if you have a low COI, but I also think that the incidence of these things will be higher if the puppies from a litter have a high COI.
 

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I also agree with cbrand. I think the COI should be used as a tool, I never knew about COI until I came on this forum. I just read pedigrees and can tell if the dog is inbred a lot or not just by looking at the pedigree. I like that you can actually get a % with these auto calulators.

I too experienced low COI problems with my cats , with terrible results. So IMO you just have to know your lines and the lines you would like to breed your dogs too.

It just all depends. I have seen some future breedings on dogs I did not care for only because its not going to improve the breed and the coi was high. Those types of breeders make no since to me at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I also agree with cbrand. I think the COI should be used as a tool, I never knew about COI until I came on this forum. I just read pedigrees and can tell if the dog is inbred a lot or not just by looking at the pedigree. I like that you can actually get a % with these auto calulators.

I too experienced low COI problems with my cats , with terrible results. So IMO you just have to know your lines and the lines you would like to breed your dogs too.

It just all depends. I have seen some future breedings on dogs I did not care for only because its not going to improve the breed and the coi was high. Those types of breeders make no since to me at all.
I definately agree with that last statement. If yotu are going to risk a high COI, best make it worthwhile and use a dog with a high COI ONLY if it brings a lot to the table!!
 

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My thoughts on this are simply I lost Rusty (my first standard) when he was 10 years old. My oldest son remembers him and still misses him and gets very upset from time to time about his passing. My whole family would have given a lot to be able to have a few more years with him.

There are absolutely no guarantees with anything, life is not that way I wish it was. BUT had he had a lower coi would he have lived longer? Well from the canine diversity project the answer I get is on average yes. So if we can breed dogs using something that could give them a few extra years with a pet they love isn't that worth doing? I know that health testing is certainly part of it and they can work together to provide us with the tools to be able to breed a dog that is hopefully as healthy and as long lived as we can make it. To me this is a goal that is worth striving for. The ability to be able to provide a family with a furry family member that they can on average live those extra few years. That is a priceless thing to the families who own and love those dogs. I wish that I had the chance to be able to know if we would have been able to keep Rusty with us longer if his coi was lower.
 

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but I also think that the incidence of these things will be higher if the puppies from a litter have a high COI.
No, I don't think that the incidents will necessarily be higher. If one linebreeds on a dog who lives to be 15 and who has consistently produced healthy puppies, then a higher COI will not magically give you unhealthy puppies.

At least one of your Mom's dogs died at an early age because her line had an issue with Bloat. Even if she had outcrossed, she still could have passed a genetic predisposition for Bloat down to the outcrossed puppies.
 

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I was curious to see what the COI on your last litter was, Arreau and it is low at 3.53. One thing that caught my eye, though was that it looks like you bred Holly to Duncan when Duncan was only 14 months old. Is that right?

So many Poodle health issues can not be tested for and don't express themselves until our dogs are 3+ yrs old. Waiting to breed until our Poodles are older allows us to not only see the how healthy our breeding parents are, but to see the overall health of a line: grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles etc. I know with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, buyers are counseled to only buy from breeding parents who are over age 5 who have clear tested hearts.

I know long term health is an issue for you. Frankly, I wish it were an issue for more breeders. I would encourage you for the sake of long term health in your puppies and line to look for older studs who have a demonstrated track record of good health.

COI... pedigree study..... health testing... taking a wait and see approach... All of these are tools that a breeder can use to produce puppies that will hopefully live a long, long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A lot of very weird cancers (two died of oral cancer) one died being hit by a car because she was in a stupor from phenobarbital (she was a severe epileptic) and various other things, but at young ages (less than eleven).
 

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Sorry cbrand...I was not being evasive by not answering you in my last post. Yes, I used Dugan at fourteen months. He brought a lot to the table for what I was trying to achieve. My girl is large, he is smaller, he has an incredible topline, much better than hers, He comes from Palmares lines, which appear to be extremely healthy. He came from remarkably healthy bloodlines (I did research his pedigree) had some preliminary testing done which all came back great, and to top it off, had a remarkably low COI. I knew there were some risks, but was confident enough to keep one of the offspring for future breeding, then had an opportunity to get another back for my breeding program too. It worked out great, because Dugan has had his hips OFA`d good, his CERF has been done and his eyes are terrific. I know there was a small risk, but would I do it again with the same dogs, knowing what I know now... Probably. Why... Because I was ready to move forward with my breeding program, and there are just not a lot of males out there I would remotely consider using. If his background had been at all questionable, or his preliminary testing were coming back iffy, I would have waited. If his COI had been high, I would not have used him at all. But everything came together, and the pups we produced using him are beyond my wildest dreams. He and Holly make magic together conformationally and as far as colour goes. Will the offspring remain healthy. I am quite certain they will. Both parents COI`s are very low producing puppies with low COI`s. Both parents testing has come back good. Both parents are from healthy backgrounds with good longevity pedigrees (those that have been reported) and both are healthy themselves. While I knew there could have been risks, after researching, I am very glad I did it.
 

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This is a bit off subject about COI but still inline to long healthy lives. Something I find of great importance in lengthening a dog's life is by getting senior blood profiles every 6 months. You can get early detection of Liver and kidney failure due to aging. In Elsa's case, she takes a regular over the counter vitamin called Milk Thistle which has put her numbers back into the normal range. (Denmarin is usually the drug of choice in these cases and it contains Milk Thistle. However in Elsa case the regular vitamin did better then the $60 a month drug.) Also a lower protein diet of less then 20% is recommended. If left untreated the numbers would have continued to climb and thus reduce her life expectancy. All three of my elders get a full blood workup every 6 months. It's not cheap either, we spend approximately $400 each time for each one. They also get their Milk Thistle (we take it too, one of those wonder drugs like aspirin.) their Senior Vitamin, Glucosamine and 3V-caps. They are very robust and active seniors.
 

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This is a bit off subject about COI but still inline to long healthy lives. Something I find of great importance in lengthening a dog's life is by getting senior blood profiles every 6 months. You can get early detection of Liver and kidney failure due to aging. In Elsa's case, she takes a regular over the counter vitamin called Milk Thistle which has put her numbers back into the normal range. (Denmarin is usually the drug of choice in these cases and it contains Milk Thistle. However in Elsa case the regular vitamin did better then the $60 a month drug.) Also a lower protein diet of less then 20% is recommended. If left untreated the numbers would have continued to climb and thus reduce her life expectancy. All three of my elders get a full blood workup every 6 months. It's not cheap either, we spend approximately $400 each time for each one. They also get their Milk Thistle (we take it too, one of those wonder drugs like aspirin.) their Senior Vitamin, Glucosamine and 3V-caps. They are very robust and active seniors.
Good Advise Stars! Thanks for pointing out that the elders do deserve as much attention as the younger breeding dogs.....
 

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This is a bit off subject about COI but still inline to long healthy lives. Something I find of great importance in lengthening a dog's life is by getting senior blood profiles every 6 months. You can get early detection of Liver and kidney failure due to aging. In Elsa's case, she takes a regular over the counter vitamin called Milk Thistle which has put her numbers back into the normal range. (Denmarin is usually the drug of choice in these cases and it contains Milk Thistle. However in Elsa case the regular vitamin did better then the $60 a month drug.) Also a lower protein diet of less then 20% is recommended. If left untreated the numbers would have continued to climb and thus reduce her life expectancy. All three of my elders get a full blood workup every 6 months. It's not cheap either, we spend approximately $400 each time for each one. They also get their Milk Thistle (we take it too, one of those wonder drugs like aspirin.) their Senior Vitamin, Glucosamine and 3V-caps. They are very robust and active seniors.
Just to not confuse anyone Milk thistle is a herb not vitamin. Just thought I clarify that. I have used it in my hair before.

thanks for sharing that info about it. I like to taking herbal supplements :D
 

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Sorry cbrand...I was not being evasive by not answering you in my last post. Yes, I used Dugan at fourteen months. He brought a lot to the table for what I was trying to achieve. My girl is large, he is smaller, he has an incredible topline, much better than hers, He comes from Palmares lines, which appear to be extremely healthy. He came from remarkably healthy bloodlines (I did research his pedigree) had some preliminary testing done which all came back great, and to top it off, had a remarkably low COI. I knew there were some risks, but was confident enough to keep one of the offspring for future breeding, then had an opportunity to get another back for my breeding program too. It worked out great, because Dugan has had his hips OFA`d good, his CERF has been done and his eyes are terrific. I know there was a small risk, but would I do it again with the same dogs, knowing what I know now... Probably. Why... Because I was ready to move forward with my breeding program, and there are just not a lot of males out there I would remotely consider using. If his background had been at all questionable, or his preliminary testing were coming back iffy, I would have waited. If his COI had been high, I would not have used him at all. But everything came together, and the pups we produced using him are beyond my wildest dreams. He and Holly make magic together conformationally and as far as colour goes. Will the offspring remain healthy. I am quite certain they will. Both parents COI`s are very low producing puppies with low COI`s. Both parents testing has come back good. Both parents are from healthy backgrounds with good longevity pedigrees (those that have been reported) and both are healthy themselves. While I knew there could have been risks, after researching, I am very glad I did it.
Personally I think the pedigree is a bit scary His brother OFA'd as a fair and there is quite a bit of Fair back there.. But then he has a low COI so there is that....
 

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Isn't fair passing? I've seen dogs in pedigrees with excellent and good make mild dysplastic dogs. Isn't hip dysplasia polygenetic? So it's one of those things that's very hard to pinpoint. While I agree that breeding fair to fair is risky and you should breed up, hips are an iffy business in breeding.
 

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I know that Milk Thistle is a supplement. However, my dogs only know the word "vitamins" not "supplements" and they know when they have to take them since they remind us at 10 pm every night and you will definitely hear about it in this household if you are not on time. You ask them if the want their "vitamins" and they go crazy. Sometimes we think and talk in our dogs terms. Once they get "vitamins" they go off to bed. Such ritual creatures. LOL
 
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