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Willys Dad

USA
139 Posts

Posted - 05/11/2008 :  08:37:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by GregB
Just wondering out loud here, as I have no experience at breeding and am not a genetic scientist, which path is correct? The positions are fairly at odds. Thanks



The correct path has a lot to do with the breeders goals. If a breeder is looking to set a type or reduce variability in type (geno or pheno), then inbreeding/linebreeding is the tool that is used. If hybrid vigor is the goal, then outcrossing is what needs be done. It isn't a simple as "correct path". It's still a game of craps. Just rolling the dice.
Chris

The more people I meet the more I like dogs and their people.

Edited by - Willys Dad on 05/11/2008 08:48:03 AM
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GregB

148 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2008 :  7:49:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess what I mean by correct path, I'm thinking what yields the progressively best sled dog? To constantly improve the abilities of a sled dog, hybrid vigor seems to be a logical path. But from everything I have read, it is really a roll of the dice, as you have suggested.

Line breeding is great if you are sure what you have is the best there is, because essentially a large part of that strategy is reproducing (or nearly reproducing) what you have.

And maybe the above are the two primary strategies that need to be used at given times in the life of a kennel. I do think that line breeding, at least for trying to better the physical ability of sled dogs, is an eventual dead end. But the citation of horse pedigrees, previously, would seem to refute that. Unless there are outcrosses for many of the horse generations cited. I'm also assuming that the physical ability of horses is getting better.

Just noodling along......

Greg
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Dougskijors

Canada
573 Posts

Posted - 05/13/2008 :  11:00:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dougskijors's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I read that physical performance of thoroughbred horses has not improved significantly in 50-100 years.
I think that horse lineage has been bred about to full species potential, and training methods are probably maxed out as well, for maximum performance in a fairly defined test under highly standardized conditions.

I am guessing that performance dogs are not nearly as far along yet in either generations of fully controlled breeding, nor perhaps in full understanding of training methods.

Also, breeding and training for winning performance in a dog sled team race might be a more complex situation than training and winning for an individual horse race.
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SharkyX

Canada
681 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  09:39:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit SharkyX's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Linebreeding exists in show circuits etc. because that breeder believes that they have the best. Normally breeding one well titled dog to another of the same family in hopes of repducing what made those dogs winners.
They have breed standards to which they have to conform and produce the best example of that breed.

Linebreeding for dogsledding COULD be useful if you want to get dogs that are similar to dogs of the late 90's and early 2000's. Although as dog sledders continually breed this dog to that dog to try and make a better sled dog the value of it as compared to a linebred purebred show dog isn't really there.

Sledders breed to improve... linebreeders breed to hang onto there existing dog... although eventually genetic defects will start to appear rendering that linebred useless and they'll have to re-arrange there breeding program.
Ray Coppinger explains it pretty well in a PBS documentary I can't remember the name of... lol I'll look it up when I get home.
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krakenrsh

Canada
313 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  11:22:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim (SharkyX),
Your analogies have many holes and inaccuracies.
I urge you to analyze the breeding patterns of winning sprint or distance kennels. They all linebreed on their superstars.
Linebreeding or inbreeding has nothing to do with show dogs vs. performance dogs. It has everything to do with trait-setting when you find something you like.

Paul
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northome

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  1:21:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit northome's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The only way to get a new genetic defect in your line is to outcross to something outside. Now, this is assuming that you have been line breeding the same line for generations and not seeing that defect. If that is the case, you can make a pretty safe bet that the defect doesn't exist in your line. If you are trying to improve your breed stock, it doesn't make any sense to import defects. If you outcross to two different lines that don't apparently display a certain defect, but it resides in their recessive genes separately, you can get it from both sides and end up with tons of it without being able to assign origin.

I would like to do away with the misconceptions surrounding "hybrid vigor". What many of you think is hybrid vigor is absolutely not it. The key word here is vigor. Vigor means overall well being, strength, vitality, longevity, fertility, etc. If you are experiencing hybrid vigor, you should notice a dramatic decline in your vet bills and be enjoying a lot of really old dogs. They won't be faster or more enduring unless you have bred characteristics into them that accomplish those things, such as a large efficient heart or thick tough feet.

If you already have a line of dogs that have what they need to compete, why would you go looking for something else? Oh, I suppose you could enjoy tossing the dice, gambling that you will hit big. But, I have watched hundreds of people over the years breeding this to that with a plan in mind that was nothing more than a gamble. They had fun, and some of them even got somewhere. The vast majority of them didn't.

Of course, inbreeding depression is real. In human directed reproduction, it is usually accompanied by poor selection. However, inbreeding depression doesn't make the dog less than he is, it just makes him sicker. Sure, sicker dogs won't compete as well as healthier dogs, but they will still have the characteristics to do the job, just not the vitality.

So, if you think that you are improving your dogs with "hybrid vigor", you aren't. You are just maintaining them at a healthy level that will allow them to maximize their other inborn talents.

Al Stead
Northome Siberians

Ann Stead
Northome on Windhill
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dashinsam

USA
283 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  2:56:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit dashinsam's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I listened to some interesting commentary on the news following the death of the filly in years Kentucky Derby. One of the topics discussed was whether or not the frequency of injuries seen in thoroubred race horses seen now may be related to the fact that they have been linebreed so closely on Native Dancer.

We had some serious discussions on a Samoyed Fanciers list years ago where we discussed this at length and one thing that some emphasized is for a "breed" in particular the advantage of having "families" present within the breed, each of whom uniquely linebred based on their breeder's desired traits. This may better preserve diversity for the future in the event of a common problem.

I have yet to see a group of linebred dogs that did not have some traits within that were deleterious. But I do agree with Al that when outcrossing something or unexpected can come up. I think one has to think beyond that breeding though. Breeding is not done in one step it is done through many many small steps....ie it is the program/pedigree/lineage that is the goal. You may go out to bring to something in you may not have, because otherwise you may have to go a couple generations trying to get it. Then blend these side back into create a "line".

J

Jill Wilson
The Dashing Kennel
Racing Siberian Huskies
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JGSperry

194 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  4:13:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How much inbreeding is considered line breeding?

For instance, if a dog has different ancestors with the exception of the same great grandfather on both sides, is that considered line breeding?

"I urge you to analyze the breeding patterns of winning sprint or distance kennels. They all linebreed on their superstars."

Take a look at Streeper's winning Rondy team this year: http://www.dogtec.com/kennel/ListGroupDogs.asp?idGroup=2735

Looking at the pedigrees of these dogs, it seems to me that the majority are outcrosses bred to outcrosses. Some of the dogs do have Sailor-Hop-Mike pedigree on both sides but that goes back 4-5 generations. Would you still consider those instances a line bred dog? I have yet to see an example from this breeding program where a dog was bred directly to her father, grandfather, great grandfather (I guess this is what I consider line breeding).

Looking at Streeper's pedigrees I just don't see any patterns that would tell me they are maintaining specific breeding lines. To me it looks like they are breeding their best to their best(rolling the dice??).

These guys have the most successful dogs in our sport, if line breeding is the best way to reproduce desired traits, why are they not line breeding?

Edited by - JGSperry on 05/14/2008 4:17:23 PM
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northome

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  5:26:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit northome's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think it would be best to define line breeding as breeding a line predominantly. For instance, if you bnought a bunch of dogs from Terry and bred those dogs together, that would constitute line breeding sort of. Back crossing is fairly agressive inbreeding. Brother to sister is somewhat less aggressive, but still inbreeding. Having the same grandfather on both sides is more to the line breeding side, but could still be called inbreeding.

When I looked at the Streeper pedigrees, I saw that one half of the pedigree for the first dog on the list was unknown to them. That is my definition of tossing the dice. It is interesting that the year that I ran the ONAC, the two teams that had the most littermates on the same team were the first place and second place teams and the last place team. As you went down the standings, the number of related dogs dropped off at a steady rate. I'm not saying that this is an indictment of hybrid vigor, but it sure doesn't look like it helped most of the teams.

If I were to cross a springer spaniel and a sheep dog, I should get hybrid vigor up the wazoo. They wouldn't likely be very good sled dogs though. See, that is the point here. If you breed dogs with the characteristics that make up a good sled dog, you should get good sled dogs. It is the phenotype doing the work not the genotype that gets you down the trail.

Al Stead
Northome Siberians

Ann Stead
Northome on Windhill
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krakenrsh

Canada
313 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  5:33:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
JG,
The Streeper's program is too large for me to study in depth.
Egil's breeding program is based on Mike, Peavey, Odin; in fact, you'd be hard pressed to look at a pedigree without Mike listed on both sides. Egil frequently refers to his dogs as 'his bloodline', the only way to develop a unique bloodline is to linebreed on traits.

The Pointer crosses are still relatively new, but they will become more defined just like the traditional Alaskan did; when Gunner, Hop, Victor and other famous studs permeated virtually every racing kennel of Alaskan Huskies.

I would also venture a guess that fewer and fewer of today's breedings are producing dogs that have the ability to compete at the level of the Streepers' and Ellis' or at least a top 10 performance. People are outcrossing to outcrosses and then putting them up for sale or free to good home because of poor breeding practices. Breedings of top distance mushers are ending up in shelters. Why???


Edited by - krakenrsh on 05/14/2008 5:34:12 PM
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GregB

148 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  7:31:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Al-

Thanks for responding again to the thread. I think it's important to have your point of view in this discussion. I do have a couple of questions and observations.

First, aren't there always underlying deleterious, recessive genes in a line. They only are typically quite recessive and perhaps may never surface?

Second, isn't it with thoughtful vigor that we improve the athletic attributes, make those leaping advances in performance? I use performance hear as the desired trait/outcome.

Third, can't it be said that you are always breeding for phenotype? The typical discussions I've heard among successful breeders is "I want to breed X dog to Y dog to better the lines feet", etc, etc. depending on the desired trait. If I am starting a new kennel, then I might be interested in another kennel's genetics and so would be initially getting those genetics for initial breeding. But beyond that wouldn't I be breeding for phenotype because you don't actual know what genes you are breeding for.

Last, one of the earlier posted articles indicates a level of infertility creeping in over 8 generations. I think this was under fairly aggressive inbreeding conditions. Have you noticed infertility as a condition in inbreeding?

Sorry for the bombardment of questions. Any input you can provide will be valuable to not just myself but many. Much thanks for your contributions.

Greg
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sublunar

828 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2008 :  8:13:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit sublunar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some thoughts, hunches, unsubstantiated intuitions.

I tend to be a fairly close line-breeder as far as dog-mushers go, breeding half siblings, half uncle-niece combinations. I've tried breed father-daughter or brother-sister combinations only to have the stud owners refuse.

The fact is I'm not breeding that tight, but am in the minority as far as breeding goes, with most of the mushers I know breeding best to best or to the stud of the moment. At this level, I don't see much more uniformity in form, temperment or perfomance than I do in dogs that are outcrossed. Me sense is that there is so much variation in the Alaskan/German Shorthair/ English Pointer combined gene pool that its going to take a multi-generational program to see dramatic results.

My other guess is that line breeding may not be as succesful as out-crossing at producing superior individuals. It may be a quicker, more effiecent way to produce superior teams. I don't like having more than 25-30 dogs in the kennel, and I want consistent athletic ability among the members of a litter more than I want superstars. When I do get a star I try to breed them to a close relative with similar traits.

The Streeper's breeding program is mentioned as an example of a breeding program based on out-crosses that has phenomenal success. But its a very large breeding program. Ellis's program has frequent line breedings and is as succesful or almost as succesful with far fewer dogs.

Edited by - sublunar on 05/14/2008 8:26:27 PM
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northome

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2008 :  10:01:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit northome's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Greg,

I have read that on average every dog carries 4 recessive genetic defects. Of course this is just an average and many dogs can carry many more than that. If the mode of expression can be determined, these defects can be done away with, but only by cagey inbreeding. Outcrossing will only bury them for the short term and could easily stock pile them until they reach critical mass and scuttle your breeding program.

Vigor is different from changing the shape. Most breeders have concentrated on adding something that they think their dogs lack, such as better shoulders or tougher feet. This can be accomplished by many more breeding strategies than outcrossing. For instance, I have a dog that showed up in my breeding that has the best reach I have seen in a coon's age. In order to get more of that I have inbred him. So far the results are quite good. I bred for a specific trait that wasn't the norm, and now hope I can project it into the future. I think that what you are referring to is something like injecting grey hound into a husky line in order to bump up their speed. This is not hybrid vigor. It is changing the shape.

I had a friend ask me what I was breeding for these days. I told him I was breeding for health first and performance second. I can get away with this because my homework has been done for me a long time ago. As you can tell by the above, I am always breeding for trait improvement too. In my mind there are two important aspects that should be considered separately which is vigor and performance. For me it is easier to focus my efforts simultaneously as well as separately. (if that makes sense)

I read about some breeding experiments that used brother sister breeding for 30 generations or so. They selected for the most fertile and vigorous individuals but kept to the inbreeding. The result was the production of the common lab rat. Researchers wanted individuals that had as little genetic variation as possible to negate variation in their experiments. The rats are doing fine. As I said before, fertility and inbreeding depression are usually accompanied by poor selection.

Al Stead
Northome Siberians


Ann Stead
Northome on Windhill
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JGSperry

194 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2008 :  10:58:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"The Streeper's breeding program is mentioned as an example of a breeding program based on out-crosses that has phenomenal success. But its a very large breeding program. Ellis's program has frequent line breedings and is as successful or almost as successful with far fewer dogs."

Mike, I think you may be inferring that line breeding will produce higher success rates (if you can accomplish the same results with fewer breedings). I don't know if that conclusion can be made in this case since there are many other factors at play. Streeper’s may likely produce so many dogs because they know they can sell them for a good price. Maybe their business plan relies on selling dogs more then Ellis's does and that is why they produce more dogs than he does?? (I don't know). Streeper’s regularly sell dogs running on their main team and seemingly have little trouble filling in the ranks. I'm not sure if Ellis does that.

Ellis's breeding program is much harder for me to follow since he does not list his dogs on dogtec and I don't live in Alaska.

Al, thanks for your insight on this thread. I would encourage you to share your breeding program on-line so that we could learn from it.

Lets keep this discussion going, its been very informative.

Edited by - JGSperry on 05/15/2008 11:56:59 AM
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sublunar

828 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2008 :  11:58:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit sublunar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My suspicion is that a well-thought out line-breeding program will produce more consistent litters, although I'm starting to feel like its going to take multiple generations in my own program to really see significant effects. Producing consistent litters is an important goal for those of us who want to keep our operations small.

I don't doubt that the Streepers produce a lot of dogs because the market is there for a lot of dogs. And I wouldn't be surprised if they had a large pool ready to step up and run on the main team. But if I'm going to emulate a breeding program, I'm looking for the most efficient breeding program.

The Tritt X Mimmie litter that produced leaders for Buddy is a good example of an outcross where I think almost every dog made a solid racing team, couldn't hope for more consistency than that; but the Timmie X Lonely line breeding Egil is (was) doing is producing a large portion of his team. Two pretty different paths to great results. (You can look up both Timmie and Lonely on dogtec, but not, I think, most of their offspring.)

Edited by - sublunar on 05/15/2008 12:05:19 PM
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