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Thread: DNA Determined Defects....

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    Senior Member Travis R. Bullock's Avatar
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    Default DNA Determined Defects....

    Ok, so who on this forum thinks with the multitude of genetic defects our wonderful Labrador Retriever breed is cursed with, that we should start to eliminate as many of these defects as possible through selective breeding? I would like to see a push to breed only clear EIC, CNM, PRA etc. dogs to eliminate some of these defects from the gene pool. Now in saying this I realize that we will always have the mad scientist backyard breeders that don't screen any health defects so as a Part #2 of this what if we were to demand a registry or multiple registries to step up and require certain clearances to be done prior to an animal being recognized to the Breed Standard and registered.

    Thoughts, Ideas?
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    Senior Member jrrichar's Avatar
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    I think in theory it is a great concept but more then likely the outcome would be exactly the opposite of what you would desire, why....polymorphisms, mutations, and recessive vs. dominant. Genetics is never black and white. It often creates its' own grey.

    If you narrow the gene pool to only dogs that have X clearances you are narrowing the genetic make-up of the breed. Nature has taught us that this almost always is a bad scenario. Just because you dodge the bullet on the genetic illness screened for, doesn't mean you don't dig yourself a deeper hole by unintentionally increasing the expression of a terrible gene mutation that you haven't yet identified let alone screen.

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    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    "Ok, so who on this forum thinks with the multitude of genetic defects our wonderful Labrador Retriever breed is cursed with, that we should start to eliminate as many of these defects as possible through selective breeding? I would like to see a push to breed only clear EIC, CNM, PRA etc."

    It might be simpler to start a very carefully worded poll.
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    Senior Member Travis R. Bullock's Avatar
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    I like the discussion. We have a lot of years of experience on this forum and certainly people in the dog world that could make a difference. Although I agree w/ jrrichar and the points made in that post a lot of things sound great in theory but implemented don't work out like it sounds on paper. However, doesn't seem like we could do more?
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    Senior Member Buck Mann's Avatar
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    This has been really beat to death. But from a genetics standpoint that is a REALLY bad idea. The reasons have been described in detail.

    Buck

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    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    Would you rather have a "genetically clean" washout or win the National with a carrier of something?
    When you leave the carriers out of the gene pool you also leave all their desirable traits out too.
    Carriers can be identified with a pretty simple test. What if 25 years from now you learn that the "clears" that were propagated have a predisposition to cancer at a young age and there's no test to identify the carriers?
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    Senior Member sdnordahl's Avatar
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    Not to mention you can breed a carrier and a clear together and some of the pups will be clear and some carriers. (If I understand "things" properly) Thats why we test so we know what we're breeding. You wouldn't want to cut out the geens of a 4 time NMH because he/she is a IEC carrier. One would just need to breed to a clear.
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    Senior Member Jerry Beil's Avatar
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    Seems like a pretty drastic approach. You're basically trying to eliminate a completely preventable problem from being able to happen by substantially shrinking the gene pool. I think it's a bad idea.
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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

    We can easily "see" and avoid the Autosomal Recessive devils we know (EIC, CNM, PRA), through the use of simple inexpensive genetic tests that have been developed due to necessity.

    The reason that those traits have become concentrated enough that they are expressed with enough frequency to necessitate testing, is that the gene pool has become concentrated enough to expose them.

    They aren't the only "bad things" that are out there hiding in the DNA of these breeds.
    And they aren't the worst either.

    Eliminating the carriers of EIC, CNM, or PRA will only succeed in further concentrating the gene pool.

    That will result in more frequent expression of other Deleterious Autosomal Recessive traits, that we will then need to test for. Traits that currently exist, but are rare and thus not expressed with enough frequency to be a real problem for the breed as a whole.
    Last edited by copterdoc; 05-02-2014 at 04:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdnordahl View Post
    Not to mention you can breed a carrier and a clear together and some of the pups will be clear and some carriers. (If I understand "things" properly) Thats why we test so we know what we're breeding. You wouldn't want to cut out the geens of a 4 time NMH because he/she is a IEC carrier. One would just need to breed to a clear.
    If we breed the clears out of the this breeding to other clears from other such breedings will we have lost anything..? I am not a breeder just a trainer ....Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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