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Hudsons Alaskan Malamutes - AKC bred for temperment, quality and size

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Hudson's Malamutes - Frequently Asked Questions

25. What is Inbreeding/Linebreeding? Genetic Diversity? What do breeders need to know?

Many people are not aware that AKC allows and even promotes inbreeding/linebreeding.

Differences in Inbreeding and linebreeding are -
Inbreeding is mating of mother/son, father/daughter, brother/sister.
Linebreeding can be known to be grandparent/grandchild, aunt/nephew, half brother/half sister, etc.
Linebreeding usually being at least one generation away. To a geneticist linebreeding and inbreeding only differ some. Inbreeding occurs when dogs are bred to their relatives. The closer they are related the higher the "inbreeding coefficient". That is a number or measure of the degree of inbreeding that is done relative to a random or outcrossed population. In most cases Inbreeding is done most for the breeder's specific idea or type. In the quest of some for breed purity or in their eyes "perfection", most have made a sad mess of their breed. And then some just don't even know or care what they breed and don't understand the lasting ill effects of their actions.

Studies have been done to prove that inbreeding/linebreeding lessens the lifespan by up to three years. Dogs are more prone to disease, infections, cancers, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, skin diseases, and other illnesses. And more likely to have bad temperaments. And also made it a low or total inability to reproduce without breeder intervention in many cases. It also removes most of the genetic diversity in the first few generations. If you have been unlucky or have not chosen a suitable mate (sick, diseased) most of the time because of lack of knowledge of their breed and breeding, there may be problems that most likely will affect the life of that prodigy (Your Puppy). It also increases the probability of doubling up on any obviously bad traits carried by a shared ancestor.

In many cases breeders proceed to ignore a hereditary problem for fear of shame or a "good dog" including dogs that have won Championships having to be pulled from a breeding program. Pride and greed follow many of these practices. I have myself had this problem with another breeder where the breeder sold me a show quality bitch with Excellent hip ratings only to find that the bitch's father (a Show Champion) had hip displasia resulting in many of her offspring having the inherited problem. In my breeding program the bitch was found to be the problem factor and she was spayed. A piece of paper proving your dog is good does not mean that the bloodline is pure from genetic problems.

Inbreeding coefficient and diversity should be sought after first before inbreeding occurs because of the lack of truthfulness about the dogs past in many cases. I have found that many breeders can not tell you about their own dogs, let alone their dogs' parents or further back. Or they choose to look past known problems, and ignore the problem making everything worse. If you check for yourself, many breeders do not care about a pedigree or even own a pedigree on their dog. Can you imagine the problems inexperienced breeders are causing by not knowing their dogs' bloodlines and reducing the gene pool in their lines to promote sickness and disease in their pups/YOUR pups lifespan because of ignorance and just lack of care for what they are doing?

To give a little more info on this, "Techy" terms are -
All animals carry two copies of each gene. One from each parent. These genes have DNA, each that are codes for a unique protein. Changing the DNA code (called mutations) change the structure of protein produced by the gene in turn changing the way everything works.
Because in the wild evolution has selected only the best and closest to perfection (natural selection) the mutations are less effective than the best (humans having the best intentions in mind but many not having a clue what they are doing).
Natural selection has the least chance of having an abnormal copy or mutation. And with that having the least likely affect on the negative genes.
But because we have so many genes we all carry some harmful genes. These genes usually can not be found because we have one good copy of the gene to carry us through this to produce a normal protein which can perform the task of that gene.
When we have two copies that is said to be "Heterozygous" for that gene and one of the copies is hidden. The other copy is said to be "Recessive". If both copies are the same that is Homozygous. If that copy is bad then that gene will not work right and may be less healthy. Some single genes are so important that affected animals die or suffer major disease. And some only are affected mildly.
Hybrid Vigor is the term used to describe the burst of fertility, good health and growth that is seen in the progeny when two unrelated breeds are mated. The longer the breeds have been apart, the greater the difference between them, the stronger the Hybrid Vigor will be. Hybrid Vigor is something that is proven to happen throughout all species when unrelated breeds of any type are mated. The offspring in the "first" generation will be healthier, more fertile, and other positive affects.

It is possible to prevent deterioration in health by limiting linebreeding and selecting only the best just as nature would in Natural Selection. Responsible, Intelligent breeders do that. And responsible breeders should pass on any breeding issues/gene faults to the next person carrying that line.

Good Breeders take years trying to make their breed better. Not "JUST ONE LITTER". There is no knowledge or good that can come from "Just One Litter" Or "Limited Breeding Knowledge" (two/three litters a year), which is promoted in many show cultures.

Just imagine what a breeder that truly breeds litters/pups knows over someone that has seven/ten pups in one-two years? What does that limited breeder really know?

To make it simple for the average person not knowing what to look for in a pedigree or the questions to ask -
one obvious factor is asking the breeder for a copy of their pedigrees on each parent of the prospective pup-
Looking at the pedigrees and not seeing the same name/dog more than once in any of the pedigrees.
The more you see the same names the more inbred that dog IS.
Also a breeder that has only been breeding a "short time" or in my opinion less than 8 - 10 years should be avoided or researched heavily.

With all of this there are many other things to get into with linebreeding/inbreeding, genetic diversity and choosing the right breeder. In time I will write more of my ideas and feelings on these issues. This was just a little information for the general public to see and understand why you shouldn't just buy from JUST ANYONE!!!

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O Lord, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
© 2004-2013 Jolene Houghtaling
Hudsons Huskies and Malamutes
P.O. Box 241
Baxter, TN 38544
(931) 432-0955