Home Page Forums Darwin’s Ark 90% of DNA tiny dogs… But dog isn’t tiny

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    casey stanton

    I’m sorry, I promise I’ll stop asking my specific Nigel questions after this.

    Nigel’s DNA is 90% Pomeranian, Chihuahua and Yorkie (in total), 7% unknown and 2% pitbull (hmm…)

    I looked up the average size of those dogs are they are all like 6-10 pounds – very tiny toy dogs. But Nigel weighs 20 pounds…

    So, I guess it’s possible that other 10% of unknown / pit bull (hm…) is making him so huge compared to his ancestors… but is that odd? Shouldn’t he be smaller if 90% of his DNA is tiny dogs?

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    kathleen morrill

    Hi Casey,

    That is intriguing. It would depend on which weight- and size-affecting genetic variants Nigel inherited. In a size prediction model we are working on releasing, Nigel is predicted to be calf-high in height relative to an average person, which is in line with his reported height but doesn’t reveal much about weight.

    As the APBT call is quite low (5% is our threshold for likely real, based on mix simulations), there is probably another breed that we cannot call yet in Nigel’s ancestry. The other sub-threshold call that we didn’t report (almost certainly not real) is 1% American Cocker Spaniel. The algorithm is trying to find a match, and I think it’s come up short for that 10%.

    That said, the breed standard weights for those tiny breeds are quite low, but from my experience as an owner of a hefty pet Papillon, and a daintier one who has put on some weight in his older age, sometimes the pet population of a breed has more variation in size and weight than the show population.

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    elizabeth walton

    Those averages are really low. My pom mix is 14 pounds, My silky terrier (related to yorkies) was about 12. Neither were/are overweight. Healthy full size yorkies and pomeranians should be closer to 10-16 pounds. Your mix is not all that much larger than those breeds and with a little cocker and pitty it is not surprising at all.

    In recent years people have been actively trying to breed teacup sizes of dogs that were over 10 pounds and I am guessing that has effected average weights by alot.

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    Years ago, we had a Pomeranian that weighed in at 14 lbs, around twice what he should have. Our vet explained that there are occasionally throwbacks to the larger German Spitz varieties they were bred from. Maybe a stray gene or two from the pitbull and unknown admix combined with some latent size genes form the spitz side.

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    My 2 Poms weigh @ 20 lbs each, one is a bit lighter, both are on perpetual diets. It’s deceiving because they look like they are all fluff.
    Lil Guy’s breeder said he would mature at @ 8 lbs. (ha!)

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    yes i agree with all My 5 Poms weigh @ 20 lbs each, one is a bit lighter, both are on perpetual diets.

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    kristen johnson 2

    So fascinating! Thanks for that info Kathleen. This is why I love this project. It’s so interesting. Casey, I love that mix. And that name! My Dexter is half Australian Cattle Dog and have Jack Russell. He weighs about 25 lbs. He has such a weird body type and looks like he’s only a few pounds overweight. He’s constantly on a diet but never looks any different. Of course he’s also constantly being trained because as half herding dog (that came from dingos) and half terrier is is quite the handful! So even though I try to account for all the training treats I’m sure I don’t do a great job. I know that’s not at all similar to your situation though. I’ll be interested to see what that other breed Nigel has.

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