These calculations are used to plan each Wayeh litter.
Co-efficient of Inbreeding (COI)
COI is how inbred the pedigree of a particular dog is. It is a mathematical estimate of inbreeding, but we have not yet mapped the genome in a practical way for breeders, so it’s still a calculation, not a fact — but a calculation based on the science of statistics. COI is one of the tools a breeder can use as a guideline to build pedigrees that are either outcrossed or inbred, and how much so. Ten generations is the standard used by geneticists in calculating COI.
If you bred a Golden Retriever to a Poodle the 10-gen COI would be 0% because there would be no common ancestors in 10 generations. This is no guarantee that both parents didn’t carry dangerous or unwelcome genes — especially if you don’t bother checking — because all dogs are dogs. And all dogs have dangerous or unwelcome genes. But the likelihood is less that you’ll double up on these same dangerous genes, AND you’d be increasing the odds of genetic diversity. All purebred dog populations are inbred to a certain extent, because we’ve closed the studbooks to new bloodlines in nearly all breeds.
In Malamutes a 10-gen COI of 0% is nearly impossible because of three things:
- The two genetic bottlenecks. First of course were the Foundation Dogs. We just don’t know who some of their ancestors were and if you winnow it down, there were only 22 original Foundation Dogs. Second, in the 1950s after devastating losses in the Antarctic and WWII, the studbooks reopened to allow the M’Loot and Hinman third strain to join the Kotzebue. Since then, there are a handful of pure Kotzebue dogs left, and none of the M’Loot and Hinman third strain. Today, all modern pedigrees of Malamutes (save those rare and wonderful pure K dogs) are roughly half Kotzebue and half M’Loot, by pedigree, with a tiny bit of the third-strain dogs. The trick is, of course, as with any breeding, how those pedigrees are arranged.
- Blended pedigrees. Because of the advances in transportation, the internet, and veterinary medicine, there are very few isolated pedigrees. Until recently, it was possible to have relatively isolated populations of purebred dogs — kennels or countries that rarely saw new pedigrees except from their immediate neighbors. Now you can buy semen half-way around the globe and have it frozen and then surgically implanted in your bitch. This is wonderful, and terrible, as well. It’s wonderful finding new pedigrees to help you fix a problem. It’s terrible because those new pedigrees are finite. Pretty soon we no longer have those isolated kennels to which we can go when we need to fix a problem.
- Popular inbred pedigrees are the norm in what I consider the top 3 show kennels of major influence — Uyak, Storm Kloud, and Nanuke. At least one of these three kennels have been contributors to most modern Malamutes — save the few wonderful pure Kotzebue pedigrees. Which are highly inbred as well. Inbreeders can always argue the benefits of inbreeding. And to an outcrosser like me, it is wonderful that they are inbreeding so that I can dip into their gene pools as needed. Wayeh pedigrees include all four of these major kennels/pedigrees, but not always all three in the same dog.
At Wayeh, we are striving for generations of CERF/Thyroid/OFA working obedience dogs who are outcrossed (10-gen COI below 7%).
Co-efficient of Relationship (COR)
COR is how much a particular dog influences a pedigree — statistically. Just because you put CH Uyak Buffalo Bill in a pedigree 30 times, doesn’t mean you’re getting another Bill. Every generation between then and now has made decisions that eliminate or concentrate genes, sometimes wisely, sometimes recklessly. But if you build a pedigree you can look at the dogs who have the most influence, and you’re more likely to get some of their strengths as well as some of their weaknesses.
See individual litter pages for individual COI/COR calculations.