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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Because we know, now.

Many purebreds are subject to various health issues, due in large part to breeding practices before genetic testing was discovered and then available outside of the scientific community.

For example, a beautiful dog wins at a big show or is just admired by another owner of another beautiful dog. That beautiful dog becomes sought after to reproduce but unbeknownst to anyone, the dog carries mutated genes that cause life threatening or life altering disease.

That beautiful dog is mated to another beautiful dog who doesn't have the mutated genes. Their beautiful puppies are now carriers too.

Then their beautiful puppies grow up and get mated to more beautiful puppies, some of whom are also carriers. Half of those puppies develop the life threatening or life altering disease, half don't but are still carriers.

You can see where this is going.

It became apparent that many health issues were inherited but until the tools of science became available, it was best guess work to try to reduce or eliminate those genes or heritable health issues.

Standard poodles probably have the brunt of it, and most likely due to what's known as the Midcentury Bottleneck. Due to "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."

From <The effect of genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding on the incidence of two major autoimmune diseases in standard poodles, sebaceous adenitis and Addison’s disease>

Toy and miniature poodle varieties have their own share of genetic or heritable health issues.

As an example, and I'm not even going to talk about breed standards, the cute, short legs of many toy poodles are a genetic mutation, in fact a genetic disease. The gene responsible is inserted as "an extra copy of the gene "fibroblast growth factor 4," or FGF4." (with 2 variations of note)
From <Chondrodystrophy (CDDY and IVDD Risk) and Chondrodysplasia (CDPA) | Veterinary Genetics Laboratory>

In and of itself, beyond the expected challenges that shorter legs present, this isn't a life threatening issue. "Dogs with chondrodysplasia (CDPA) have short legs; this phenotype is characteristic of many breeds such as Corgis and Dachshunds…"

But "Chondrodystrophy (CDDY), caused by a separate mutation, also includes a short-legged phenotype as well as abnormal premature degeneration of intervertebral discs leading to susceptibility to intervertebral disc herniation."
From <Doggone Legs: Dog Breeds with Short Legs Have an Extra Gene | Understanding Genetics>

IVDD, Intervertebral Disc Disease, can be life altering, up to and beyond, paralysis.

This doesn't even come close to all the info available that might help people understand.

There was a time that we all had to take the hand dealt when adding a four legged companion to our families. We don't have to accept that any longer. The deck can be stacked in our favor if a breeder does the correct testing for breed and variety, and we only support breeders that do.

If someone chooses to breed their beautiful, beloved dog without health testing or profits from doing that with many, and then sells that heartbreak along with those big puppy eyes, I can only say that I hope they never sleep well again.
 

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As an example, and I'm not even going to talk about breed standards, the cute, short legs of many toy poodles are a genetic mutation, in fact a genetic disease.
This very much. I have yet to see a good toy poodle in (or any toy breed, really) our area that does not have terrible body proportions, likely because there are no actual toy dog breeders here. And every time I think of Fluffy’s breeder selling a dog that had health problems, my tummy feels a little funny for supporting it, so to speak. I want to eventually, waaaayyyy in the future, when I have the funds and the time and space help with this, and get into the breeding of proper toy poodles. Health tested, shown, everything. That won’t be happening for a while, though, until I have the knowledge to do it right.
 

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Rose this is great and I laughed at the title. I'd like to add this paper as a resource to show how it's proven that OFA hip and elbow scoring of parents is heritable in the offspring.

How the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is tackling inherited disorders in the USA: Using hip and elbow dysplasia as examples
 

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Health tests are just one tool. Some mutations are virtual guarantees that the dog is going to have a problem: dwarfism, for example. Other mutations merely increase the chances of something going wrong. Niels Pedersen from UC Davis has written some very though provoking papers on the high incidence of auto-immune diseases in Standard Poodles and its relationship to genetic diversity problems.

Two quotes from one of his papers:

such studies led us to hypothesize that positive selection for desired phenotypic traits that arose in the mid-twentieth century led to intense inbreeding and the inadvertent amplification of AD and SA associated traits.

and

Standard Poodle breeders may have several strategies to confront their genetic diversity problems [47]. The simplest strategy may be to rebalance the genetic diversity that still exists across the breed. This can be done by increasing the contribution of genetic outliers, which are a minority of the population but contain a majority of the genetic diversity. Although this study tried to identify as much existing diversity among Standard Poodles as possible, more genetic diversity may still exist and should be sought out. Diversity could also be increased by bringing in entirely new blood, such as the outcrossing of Standard Poodles with Miniature Poodles.

 

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For example, a beautiful dog wins at a big show or is just admired by another owner of another beautiful dog. That beautiful dog becomes sought after to reproduce but unbeknownst to anyone, the dog carries mutated genes that cause life threatening or life altering disease.
This reminds me of that documentary with that horrible cavalier breeder who studded her champion dog out, many times, despite him being affected with syringomyelia! 😡
It makes me so angry people don’t health test or breed regardless of the results.
I can’t remember the name of the documentary it’s quite old
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Floofypoodle, just hang with PF til you get going :).

Raindrops, glad the title worked :). We've had another influx of members who are finding PF out of near desparation, so the more we get the information out, without raining on an individuals poodle parade, the better. I collect all these resources, so thanks. Maybe we can lobby our excellent SMods to build a resource library for all sorts of topics :).

Cowpony, I don't remember right now what I was researching before when I first saw that paper. There's another with Dr. Pedersen as an author that's loosely related, tho I suspect you've seen this too. They were trying to determine if breeding standards with miniature poodles could serve as genetic "intervention" to address the presumed bottleneck SA and Addisons.

It can't work because of this, and I still can't find anything suggesting how this could be:

"It is widely assumed that Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodles are one breed differing only by their shoulder height. Miniature Poodles are also relatively free of the autoimmune disorders that affect Standard Poodles, such as Addison’s disease, sebaceous adenitis, and chronic active hepatitis. This difference makes Miniature Poodles a possible source of genetic diversity free of these disorders. Thus, some breeders advocate cross-breeding Miniature Poodles with Standard Poodles as a means to increase genetic diversity of Standard Poodles and reduce the prevalence of these autoimmune disorders. There is also evidence that the both SA and Addison’s disease are complex genetic traits with incomplete heritability, and that the genetic susceptibility to these diseases is fixed in Standard Poodles. If this is so, there is no way to do a case and control comparison to identify genetic associations for these diseases. If Miniature Poodles are closely related to Standard Poodles, they may serve as controls for a control vs. case comparison for SA and Addison’s disease."

"Miniature and Standard Poodles are much more genetically different than has been commonly assumed and are in fact distinct breeds that are as distant from each other as many other random breed pairings."


That's mentioned in the paper you cited but not quite that emphatically. I understand why the hypothesis won't pan out, but how is it that miniature poodles are so genetically different as to be a distinct breed, not simply a variety?


Vee, I don't think I've ever seen that documentary, but it's not surprising. If more people understand the pain this lack of care in breeding can cause, maybe...
 

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Health testing of both the parents is incredibly important. Otherwise it is like paying Ferrari prices for a Ford Pinto
I tire now if hearing "I just want a pet poodle", okay then go to a shelter or rescue don't pay for a discount poodle, otherwise you will most likely be repairing it like a junk car. It is so easy to get things these days with a click of a computer mouse and you can have a car.
I wish they had Car Fax for dogs, I know they do to a point with OFA and CHIC.
But in this day and age of instant gratification, we now have "rare" colors, a breeder should know what colors their pups are or mostly be.
Why is color to some potential poodle owners so important? Red puppies don't always stay red and brown puppies don't always stay that deep dark brown.
Or what bothers me the question is my poodle a toy or a miniature?
Inter variety breeding leads to nubby legs and long backs, or higher risk of I.V.DD. more than just a bad back, it can end paralysis and death.
So health testing is very important.

A healthy pure bred poodle with a good temperament is what I want otherwise I will go a rescue.
 

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Rose & Poo..Just want to thank you for all the work you have been putting into this knowledge base.
Here is a classic example..I have a neighbor with a really tiny yorker. Now she didn't go looking for an extra tiny yorkie but she ended up with one. He literally fit into the palm of her hand at 12 weeks old. He maybe weighs about 3 lbs now at 1 1/2 years old. She bought him when her doctor told her she best go get herself another dog after losing one she had for 16 years. Anyway she paid about $1500 for this pup thinking it was health tested, didn't check out the paper work. In the first year she has spent $ over $3000. to repair lactating patellas in both rear legs. And one may have to be done again, so far its not popping but she notices periodically her gait is off. The dog is a real cutie, really tiny and does have a sweet pend she contacted her not looking to return the dog and not looking for any compensation . She told her this and that her vet said she should advise her NOT to breed this particular pair again.
 

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Would it help with the genetic diversity in the standards to be a bit more open with the show lines? as not being less picky, but just picky in a different way and breed spoos which are healthy and have good temperaments but might have minor faults according to the standard. Minor faults which, like colour faults or less than perfect face proportions, won't affect the health or temperament but might make it less likely to get another champion out of the litter, than if you had breed a champion to a champion. But would result in a better COI%.

Could that help with the mid-century bottleneck? or is the genetic diversity between the show lines and the 'faulty' dogs not far apart enough anyway?

I ask because my mum got a yorkie from a decent breeder (not top of the line but I wouldn't call her a BYB). His father is a bit small, but he was a showdog. I think a champion but at least had a few judgings on him (they are not belgian and the country is small you can't always get enough CC's to 'finish' a dog within the country and if you leave the country the dog has to go through 6 week quarantine so its normal not to finish a championship). But his mum was not a showdog because she was over the breed standard. I don't have a problem with that pairing because although she is not technically to breed standard she is 'faulty' in a way which actually improves the chances of a healthy litter. You really want to breed as close to the size limit with such a small breed and I don't mind breeding over the size limit for a toy breed even though that means that you might not have as many show quality pups but you have a better chance of a healthy pregnancy and litter.

I am also rather confused as to why parti poodles are not accepted in most show rings. According to the poodle book I bought, parti poodles have been a part of the breed since the very beginning, there are references to piebald poodles in texts and paintings from centuries ago. It seems a bit arbitrary to demand a solid colour now and an unecessary restriction of bloodlines.

It would also be interesting to see whether poodles from countries where interbreeding between the three/four varieties is accepted. My breeder told me that in Europe it varies between countries/clubs how they register the poodles. In some its like in the US, if the parents were toys the puppy is considered a toy even if it is in the size range of a miniature. In others the poodle is registered according to its size and its not forbidden to breed toys to miniatures etc. I think my miniature pup will have some toy in its pedigree. It really makes sense in Europe especially because we have 4 varieties so the size difference between varieties is not as huge. It also seems a bit silly to say that a 27cm toy poodle can't breed with a 31cm miniature poodle.
 

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Excuse my ramplings I have never been good at being concise.

Im also curious is there any data on the health of the Klein variety in Europe? Did they suffer from the same genetic bottleneck in the 20th century as the standard poodles or do they have more genetically in common with the miniature?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Would it help with the genetic diversity in the standards to be a bit more open with the show lines? as not being less picky, but just picky in a different way and breed spoos which are healthy and have good temperaments but might have minor faults according to the standard. Minor faults which, like colour faults or less than perfect face proportions, won't affect the health or temperament but might make it less likely to get another champion out of the litter, than if you had breed a champion to a champion. But would result in a better COI%.

Could that help with the mid-century bottleneck? or is the genetic diversity between the show lines and the 'faulty' dogs not far apart enough anyway?
This article touches on the above point. Regaining diversity is not as easy as it might seem because those bottleneck genes have spread nearly thru the whole standard population. Almost all lines share genetics even if the two being bred don't share the same lines. The rise of genetic illnesses seem to be related to the MCB but they are frequently not caused by a single gene.

If I remember correctly, there is actually nothing in the AKC regs which prohibit intervariety breeding. They're all poodles to the registry outside of competitions.

If you don't mind reading this is a link to a fascinating view into the poodle breeding world of the 1930's where miniatures and toys were interbred to improve some features of the toys, and standards and miniatures were interbred to "improve stock". Miniatures were classed as standards in the show ring and then they weren't, Parti's are mentioned but the author wasn't fond overall of them because they had "worked so long to get the solid color".

If I can find it, there's a book featuring breeding historically, from soup to nuts. I'll post that if I do.
James Watson, The Dog Book (there are 2 separate volumes, this is the first)
 

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If I can find it, there's a book featuring breeding historically, from soup to nuts. I'll post that if I do.
James Watson, The Dog Book (there are 2 separate volumes, this is the first)
You continue to amaze with your wealth of knowledge. I am excited to see this book and will definitely be going through it. I love historical dog stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You continue to amaze with your wealth of knowledge. I am excited to see this book and will definitely be going through it. I love historical dog stuff.
LOL, truly, I'm just really nosy and love poking around info.

If for some reason you can't get the full book from Google books, it is public domain and can be found thru Calibre Library, probably also the Gutenberg Project or Amazon, any open source for free e-books.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Just starting to look into the proof if any that genetic testing is helping breeds become healthier and found this:

"The research also indicated that through healthy breeding practices, which often include genetic testing, some diseases appear to have been eradicated from breed pools"

More complete but same article on the aaha.org site

Mixed breeds come off better in the incidence of disease but purebreds had a lower carrier rate. The testing seems to have been done by Wisdom Health, one of the many testing companies but this is published on the avma.org site
 

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Just starting to look into the proof if any that genetic testing is helping breeds become healthier and found this:

"The research also indicated that through healthy breeding practices, which often include genetic testing, some diseases appear to have been eradicated from breed pools"

More complete but same article on the aaha.org site

Mixed breeds come off better. The testing seems to have been done by Wisdom Health, one of the many testing companies but this is published on the avma.org site
Interesting article, Rose! Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the sample size of mixed breed vs. purebred uneven for this study? The article states that 83,000 mixed breed dogs were a part of the study, whereas only 18,000 purebred dogs were in it by comparison. Both fairly large sample sizes, but wouldn’t that skew the data towards the mixed breeds? Or am I misunderstanding something?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Interesting article, Rose! Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the sample size of mixed breed vs. purebred uneven for this study? The article states that 83,000 mixed breed dogs were a part of the study, whereas only 18,000 purebred dogs were in it by comparison. Both fairly large sample sizes, but wouldn’t that skew the data towards the mixed breeds? Or am I misunderstanding something?
Good question. Here's the full peer reviewed paper. I've only just started looking at it.
 

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I found it it’s called Pedigree dogs exposed. It’s a difficult watch. I think I first watched this about 10 years ago but it stuck with me.
Thank you, Vee! My mom and I were reading about the AKC yesterday and it is disgusting and heartbreaking. For those who haven't read about the AKC should read about them.
 

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Thank you, Vee! My mom and I were reading about the AKC yesterday and it is disgusting and heartbreaking. For those who haven't read about the AKC should read about them.
I take a more nuanced view towards AKC. They don't control breed standards. That's under the purview of the breed parent clubs. That said, they could do more to ensure health of dogs shown. But they're under a lot of pressure from different sides.
 
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