The Kennel Club has released a new set of annual breed averages
for the coefficient of inbreeding (COIs) in each pedigree breed on
its free online health resource, Mate Select.
Mate Select provides breeders with inbreeding coefficient
calculators for all dogs found on the Kennel Club's Breed Register.
These calculators use all pedigree records stored on the Kennel
Club's database to calculate the COI of individual Kennel Club
registered dogs, puppies that could be produced from hypothetical
matings, and each breed as a whole.
Each of the COI calculators uses all available pedigree
information and does not limit the number of generations used,
making each calculation as precise as possible.
Prior to July 2014, the breed average calculations were based on
all dogs recorded by the Kennel Club during the previous year. This
included imported dogs, dogs that form part of an overseas pedigree
but are not necessarily registered with the Kennel Club, dogs born
one year and registered the next, and dogs registered late (over a
Following feedback from users, the Kennel Club has reviewed and
recalculated the COIs on Mate Select to reflect just those dogs
born and registered within the UK in a given year. In future, this
calculation will be carried out each June and will generate the
annual breed average using Kennel Club registered dogs born in the
UK between January and December of the previous year. Using this
data will provide a more effective means of monitoring yearly
change than by using the average of all recorded dogs in each
In smaller breeds, if no dogs have been born in that year, the
annual breed average will default to the last year in which a
calculation could be performed. In breeds where there is no
available annual breed average data for the past five years, the
annual breed average will display as 'N/A'. This may include
breeds where no dogs have been born in the UK for five years or
more, and some newly recognised breeds.
Of the 215 Kennel Club-recognised breeds, 206 meet the new
criteria of having dogs born in the UK in the last five
years. The remaining nine breeds consist of either new breeds
where no dogs have yet been born in the UK, or breeds where no dogs
have been born in the UK in the last five years.
The changes do not impact on any individual dog's inbreeding
coefficient, including imported dogs, nor the COIs of hypothetical
Of the 206 breeds, using the new calculation, the annual breed
average COI has decreased for 9 breeds and stays the same for an
additional 12. Of the 185 breeds with higher annual breed
average COIs following the revision:
- 74 are 1% or less higher (e.g. increasing from an annual breed
average COI of 5% to 6% or less)
- 76 are between 1% and 3% higher (e.g. from an annual breed
average COI of 5% to between 6% and 8%)
- 19 are between 3% and 5% higher (e.g. from an annual breed
average COI of 5% to between 8% and 10%)
- 16 are more than 5% higher (e.g. from a breed average COI of 5%
to 10% or more)
Five breeds did not have any dogs born in the UK in 2013 and so
the current annual breed average COI is based on the most recent
year in which an annual breed average could be calculated.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: "We believe that these
new annual breed averages will not only help breeders to continue
to make responsible choices when choosing which dogs to use for
breeding, but also show the effect that these decisions have for
their breed year-on-year.
"Although the new calculations may appear to show that the COI in
some breeds has changed significantly in the last year, this is not
necessarily the case, but reflects the fact that the previous
figures drew data from a different set of criteria and we have now
modified this to use more relevant data from solely UK-born dogs.
These revised figures draw a new base line from which breeders can
follow the improvements made within their breeds as they make
responsible choices to help manage genetic diversity.
"Our breeding guidelines state that, where possible, breeders
should produce puppies with an inbreeding coefficient which is at,
or below, the annual breed average and ideally as low as possible.
By doing so, breed enthusiasts should be able to manage and monitor
their breed's genetic diversity year on year and see how their
breeding decisions ultimately have a significant impact on the
health and welfare of the breed."
Further information on COIs and the Kennel Club's Mate Select
resource can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/mateselect
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.