The Kennel Club (KC) has released a new set of annual breed averages for the coefficient of inbreeding (COIs) in each pedigree breed on its free online health resource, Mate Select.
Mate Select provides breeders with calculators that use all pedigree records stored on the KC’s database to calculate the COI of individual KC-registered dogs, puppies that could be produced from hypothetical matings, and each breed as a whole.
Each calculator uses all available pedigree information and does not limit the number of generations used, making calculations as precise as possible.
Before July 2014, the breed average calculations were based on all dogs recorded by the KC during the previous year. This included imported dogs, dogs that form part of an overseas pedigree, but are not necessarily registered with the KC, dogs born one year and registered the next, and dogs registered late (over a year old).
Following feedback from users, the COIs on Mate Select have been reviewed and recalculated to reflect only those dogs born and registered in the UK in a given year.
In future, this calculation will be carried out each June and will generate the annual breed average using KC-registered dogs born in the UK between January and December of the previous year. Using this data will provide a more effective means of monitoring yearly change.
Caroline Kisko, KC secretary, said: “We believe these new annual breed averages will not only help breeders to continue to make responsible choices when choosing which dogs to use for breeding, but also show the effect these decisions have for their breed year-on-year.
“Although the new calculations may appear to show the COI in some breeds has changed significantly in the past year, this is not necessarily the case, but reflects the previous figures drew data from a different set of criteria and we have modified this to use more relevant data from solely UK-born dogs.
“These revised figures draw a new baseline from which breeders can follow the improvements made in their breeds as they make responsible choices to help manage genetic diversity.”