Mate Select

Standard Operating Procedures

Calculation of the coefficient of inbreeding

  1. Scope

    This document applies to the calculation of the inbreeding coefficient for an individual dog whose pedigree details are recorded on the Kennel Club registration database. It also applies to the calculation of predicted inbreeding for a putative mating and the calculation of a breed’s average inbreeding coefficient.

  2. Objective

    This document describes how the inbreeding coefficient is calculated.

    1. Materials/Data

      The process uses full pedigree data for dogs recorded on the Kennel Club registration database. Electronic records go back to 1982, and in some cases to 1962, and consist of, on average, X generations of pedigree ancestry.

    2. Documentation

      Supplementary documents and cross-references to other SOPs:
      1Meuwissen, T.H.E. and Luo, Z. (1992) Computing inbreeding coefficients in large populations. Genetics Selection Evolution 24: 305-313.

    3. Description

      1. All ancestors of the identified individual, for which the inbreeding coefficient is required, are located and extracted from the Kennel Club registration database. The list of ancestors will be referred to as ‘the pedigree’ from this point forwards.
      2. The pedigree is examined for accuracy and consistency by checking that (a) all individual, sire and dam identities are unique (b) there are no repeated records (c) no animal appears as both a sire and dam (d) there are no circularities in the pedigree, i.e. animals that appear as their own ancestors. Any sires and dams that do not have an entry in the animal identity column are identified and added, setting their parents as unknown.
      3. The pedigree is reformatted so that for all N animals in the pedigree a list of sire and dam identity is produced in numeric format from 1 to N, with parents coming before offspring.
      4. The 1Meuwissen and Luo algorithm is applied to the reformatted pedigree to calculate the inbreeding coefficient of the identified individual.
      5. The KC cannot be held responsible for any errors arising from the implementation of this algorithm.
      6. Predicted inbreeding, for a putative mating between two identified individuals, is calculated by creating a putative offspring identity and calculating the inbreeding coefficient for the offspring using the process described above.
      7. The average inbreeding coefficient for a breed is calculated on an annual basis by calculating the inbreeding coefficients of all individuals of the breed born during the selected year. The mean of the inbreeding coefficients is taken as the average for that year.


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SOP 001.1 version 1

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