It’s a question that’s igniting great debate in the dog world; are inbred dogs at a health disadvantage to those dogs with wider genetic diversity?
Recently the Kennel Club outlawed the mating of fathers to daughters, mothers to sons, brothers to sisters but it is still possible to mate dogs who are very closely related – and this is something that many argue is seriously detrimental to the long term health and prosperity of breeds and individual dogs within those breeds.
An interesting, albeit not exhaustive, study of Standard Poodles has produced some fascinating findings:
The difference between those inbred to less than 6.25%, the equivalent of a mating between first cousins sharing no other common ancestry, and those over 25%, is striking. Half of the latter die by 10.5 yrs while more than 3/4 of the low-bred dogs are still alive. The average lifespan differs by almost four years! Furthermore, if the data for the under 6.25% group is compared to human survival, multiplying by 5.5, the match is almost perfect.