Home Page › Forums › Darwin’s Ark › mutts vs pure breeds
- This topic has 38 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 9 months ago by dawn miller.
October 25, 2016 at 12:39 am #5554
That is a very interesting article, car2ner!October 26, 2016 at 12:17 am #5555
thanks, it has been making the rounds on the internet. it seems to fit in well with this thread.November 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm #5556
We have had a multitude of mixed breeds and golden retrievers over the years. Our mutts have all lived to be 15 years old, our purebred goldens, 11 to 13. Our current mix is 13 and keeps up with the 6 year old lab just fine. So overall, maybe mutts are a bit healthier. .seem to require less in the way of extra medical care as well.November 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm #5557
linda holub 2Participant
Breeders that care about the breed and not their pocketbook or “their line” can make a difference. By sheer luck I had a healthy toy poodle live 18-1/2 years. Now I have a poodle that has been diabetic since the age 4 (she is now 10) and if you look at her pedigree they “line breed” on her father’s side 5-6 times (not much was left of the diversity). The last poodle I got came from a decent breeder – she doesn’t have slipping knee (most do because of lack of room), she has perfect teeth for a tiny mouth, and a strong heart. I believe there will always be people like me who want a specific breed (be it guard or herding, etc) what needs to happen is educated buyers and moral breeders who care about the breed.November 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm #5558
it is so dang complicated keeping breeds healthy. For instance, in my favorite breed we have some who are all about body structure..slot a fitting into slot b, and others who are all about the working ability and temperament. But really we need both.
I’ve had one mix that lived well into her teens and was smart and sociable. Not a good watch dog though. I had another that lived until 12,a bit neurotic but it might have been as much from being a stray as from genetics. She was sweet though. That is why I like these studies. How much is genetic, how much is experience?November 21, 2016 at 1:49 am #5559
This discussion reminded me of a question I had when originally filling out the surveys. I think the question was something like “Is your dog a registered purebred?” I have 2 pugs that I signed up here; one is AKC registered and one is not, but they are both purebred pugs. (Supposedly) I answered no for the one that’s not registered even though she’s pure pug. Was this right?November 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm #5560
Becky, that sounds right to me. For that checkbox in the dog profile we are really looking for whether the pup is an officially registered purebred. Any major kennel club would be fine (AKC, CKC, etc). There are certainly many purebred dogs who have never been officially registered, and that’s fine. We’ll be able to figure that out from the DNA anyways. But getting a check for registered purebreds serves two related purposes.
First, some background – one of the things many of our participants want to know is what breed mix their dog is (if they are mixed). While this is not a goal of our research, we’d very much like to provide our participants with feedback that they most want, so we are working on getting some ancestry reconstruction up and running. One of the major hurdles for this is having an ample reference panel of **known** purebred dogs of as many breeds as possible. We don’t need all that many representatives of each breed, but we do need many many breeds. For these analyses, failing to include additional representatives of a given breed will not really have any negative impact (except perhaps for very rare breeds) – but including a incorrectly identified purebred could really mess up the analysis. So we’d prefer to be overly cautious and any dog that is “supposedly” a purebred is not worth including (especially for an already well represented breed like pugs).
So in short, we want to include only dogs that we can be absolutely sure are purebred. Still, one might be absolutely sure that their dog is a purebred but they’ve just never bothered with the registration process. Here still using only officially registered dogs is good for less-scientific but more practical reasons: as our reference data will become a shared resource for the scientific community, and our results will be published (and peer reviewed) it is cleaner to define our purebred references as “registered” purebred as opposed to “either registered, or otherwise asserted by the owner”, The official registration through the AKC, CKC, or other breed clubs just adds an impartial confirmation which can ensure confidence in our purebred reference set.November 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm #5561
I will be very interested to see both of my dogs’ results. One is kind of like a “village dog”–picked up off the streets of a reservation where the dogs tend to run free. The other dog appears to be purebred, but he was picked up as a stray with no known history and shows no inclination for any of the traits that his breed is known for (other than a sweet disposition).November 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm #5562
Thanks Allison, we are really interested in the potential for North Amercan “village dogs”. It’s unclear, and a bit controversial, as to whether there are any remaining “just dog” dogs in the US. A majority of our mixed breed dogs in the US are just that **mixed**. They are a remixture of a variety of purebred dogs. But it’s possible that some of them are – or at least include some ancestry of – dogs that never went through a breed-creation bottleneck.
Detecting that, however, may be pretty difficult. There is a subtle but hugely important difference in saying we can’t confidently assign a block of DNA to a specific breed ancestry and saying we can confidently say is not from a breed ancestry. There are some genetic metrics that can get at this in principle, but in practice it depends on the resolution of data we can get.November 22, 2016 at 12:24 am #5563
Well, we did do a DNA test on our reservation dog through Wisdom Panel. They were able to detect two specific breeds at 25% each, but the remaining 50% was not pure enough to say what the remaining ancestors were.November 23, 2016 at 6:47 am #5564
So many interesting ideas here. I love dogs to the moon, and mine being of uncertain ancestry, and Awesome! it is interesting that people always want to know exactly what she is. They really don’t want to hear that she may be generations of mixes, it’s strange. Then, they want to profile based on what they think they see!
I love the mixes and I love the breeds. I hate the silly snobbishness.
There is breeding for money, breeding for the breed, I think you are very lucky if you find such a breeder. Some people worry that if dogs were neutered as the humane societies encourage, they would die out!
Now, after reading this thread, I have an answer for that one! I am happy to hear that the species is absolutely not in any danger of dying out!
It would be lovely if we could learn to care for them even better, feed them better, get rid of at least some of the diseases and allergies so many of them get.December 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm #5565
This thread is very interesting. I breed Hamiltonstovare and there are less than 50 of the breed in America. Hamiltonstovare as a whole are an incredibly healthy breed with lifespans of 14+ being average which is remarkable for a large breed dog. What will be interesting is that Hamiltonstovare are one of the pioneer breeds for the Swedish Kennel Club’s mandatory hip x-ray scores before allowing the registration of litters. Also, the SKK (Swedish Kennel Club) has rules that limit popular sire syndrome. The Swedish Hamiltonstovare club has been tracking genetic diseases since the 1960’s and now the instance of dogs affected with hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism and epilepsy have dramatically lowered. In Sweden, their program for health testing and responsible dog ownership means that mixed breeds and rescues are incredibly rare. As the Hamiltonstovare is very rare in America, the national parent club is trying to follow the Swedish lead and allow more research regarding DNA. I’ve also contacted companies like Wisdom Panel about getting a DNA profile going for Hamiltonstovare but it is next to impossible to do with a rare breed because of the sample size needed. I am very interested to just see what the DNA says about my 4 Hamiltonstovare because DNA testing has never been done for the breed.December 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm #5566
Now I’ll have to Google the Hamiltonstovare. I have signed my dogs up with Embark for further DNA testing. My male has a combination membership with Dognition, which is behavioral games and studies. I’m going to wait until my female is about three before signing her up for Dognition since so much changes as they grow their first two years (GSDs)December 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm #5567
I had to look up Hamiltonsovare too. Good looking dogs.
Our ancestry mapping does depend on good reference data for each breed – but as we have many purebred dogs signed up to this project we’ll be able to use them as a reference panel. Some or preliminary tests are looking promising suggesting that a reference panel of a dozen or so representatives of each breed may suffice. Of course, these should ideally be as unrelated as possible. A dozen purebreds from the same parents, or even the same breeder, may be problematic.
Out of curiosity, I just checked our data, Asley, yours are the only Hamiltonsovares (I also checked for anything starting with “Hamilton” as wikipedia suggests they have other names including Hamilton Hound).
Of course a vast majority of genetic variants that one might be concerned about for health reasons would be shared among many breeds. So if there are genetic variants associated with any medical issues we may be able to find them just as well in these dogs as any others (notwithstanding any breed-unique issues). If you have a veterinarian or kenel club that can work with that genetic data it will be all yours if/when your dog’s DNA is analyzed. We will also be working on giving nice summaries or reports for the genetic data, but this will not include giving any medical advice or diagnostics.December 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm #5568
That sounds great. I just sent in the DNA samples for Alice and Rolo who are my foundation dogs. I have their two daughters who will also be sent in as soon as I get the kits. What is interesting about this breed is that their color seems to follow a different set of rules than other tricolor hounds. Most tricolor hounds, like Beagles, Foxhounds, Coonhounds and Basset Hounds have a black saddle fades (in some cases dramatically) with age. Hamiltonstovare are born looking like Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and their black saddle fades to their adult color around 2 years of age, then stops and stays the same throughout the dog’s life. I am really interested to see what is revealed about one of Alice and Rolo’s daughters, Selene, her black saddle has stayed primarily in the adolescent stage for over a year now, none of the Hamiltonstovare breeders in the UK have ever heard of this happening. Some of the Swedish and Norwegian breeders have heard of it happening and they call it “puppy color”, nobody knows why it happens and the current idea is that it has to do with the gene responsible for coat texture as Selene’s coat texture is smoother than all of her littermates. Her two brothers and sister are all in gorgeous adult coats.
Another thing that will be interesting to see is if Hamiltonstovare are closely related to Beagles because Beagles aren’t in their ancestry at all, but we are constantly being asked if they are Beagles. Hamiltonstovare are originally from English Foxhounds, Harriers, other Swedish hounds and extinct German Hounds. I am also curious if this breed is closely related to Treeing Walker Coonhounds and American Foxhounds, the reason behind that is Hamiltonstovare were reportedly brought over to America in the 60’s to make the color of those two breeds more vibrant (Treeing Walker breeders deny it but the rumor has been around for a while). Also, Hamiltonstovare have a rescue problem in America and we see between 6-10 dogs come through shelters in a few states every year. Would it be beneficial to have those dogs submit DNA samples as well?
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