Inbreeding again

This Autumn co-efficients of inbreeding in Glen of Imaal Terriers has been a recurring subject. “Cat Amongst The Pigeons” certainly caused thought and today Malinka Lingmont gives her take on the subject:-

The articles on the blog about the loss of genes and how to avoid this were very interesting. But does anyone realise that the situation in Glens is already critical? These days it is hard to find a litter with an inbreeding percentage less than 15%. Recently litters have been born whose inbreeding percentage was about 25% to 34%! I recently noted  the death of a thirteen old dog in the database whose inbreeding percentage was 23%. Suddenly I realized that close breeding has been going on for a very long time! Of course it was very difficult to find out the inbreeding percentage in those days. And therefore closely bred dogs were mated to other closely bred dogs and were also closely related to them. But this cannot be continued for ever! It will ruin the breed after all. Nowadays, with databases at hand, it is so easy to avoid. Test the mating in the data base and the inbreeding percentage shows. If it is too high, be wise and go for another combination. Looking at a three generations pedigree is not enough to check if a combination is safe. The database goes back as far as 10 generations and also includes related animals. In Glens it is almost impossible to find a combination less than 10%. In other breeds this number is considered to be dangerously high! In order to protect our breed for the future we MUST try to make combinations less close.  It is the only way to protect the breed. Don’t we all know what happened to humans who lived in a closed society without “fresh blood” from time to time? Let this not happen to our beloved breed as we have, unlike those humans, no place to go if things go wrong. Accounts on the Zooeasy database are free of charge and available through our website: