Genetic Diversity Testing of the Dobe - How to save the breed! - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Genetic Diversity Testing of the Dobe - How to save the breed!

I am sharing this here because I think it's important that all doberman owners (of ANY type - foreign, domestic, imports, rescues, BYB, well bred, you name it!) - take part in the study currently underway to determine the genetic diversity of the breed.

Currently the work that has been shared has shown the doberman is THE most inbred breed out there. Our breed experienced two severe bottlenecks during the wars, and our famous "seven sires" and such breeding patterns have left us with dogs who despite varied pedigrees, genetically are as related as siblings (or closer). It is no longer enough to look at COI, etc - we need to know the actual genes the dog has inherited from each parent, and start to consider how we can diversify the breed and attempt to dilute out some of the deleterious genes that are being passed along. The first group had 71 dobermans - VGL currently sit at about 200 dobermans tested, but the more data that is gathered the more info we have at our hands. Information from VGL can then be shared to, so that this information becomes a searchable database for the fancy to use. There is also a private Facebook group discussing the genetics and diversity.

In looking at genetic diversity, we may be able to identify pockets of diversity left within the breed. Minimally we need to arm ourselves with the data so we can try to ensure there is a doberman alive in the future decades.

Swabs and the test can be purchased from the VGL website. Current pricing is at $50, but will rise to $80 once the phase 2 study has been completed. I have tested both Berlin (passed away) and Cherrybomb and will encourage everyone else I know to submit swabs as well.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 08:12 AM
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Perhaps this is a stupid question but is there value in swabbing a dog if its parentage is unknown? I just lost my last one to DCM but my parents have a 10yo female rescue. Is her data of value if we can't do anything with her (spayed 10yo) and we know nothing about where she came from?

I feel like I am missing the bigger picture....I have not had enough coffee yet!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:04 AM
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your rescue girl does have value in a research project!! It doesn't matter about her pedigree, but at double digits and in good health, her karyotype could help narrow down areas of concern, and areas to look at more in depth that could affect longevity. There is one project that I admit I'm partial to as it is Doberman specific. A private lab (Embark) is working with the Doberman Diversity Project with a long term research goal in mind. You do get a lot of information on your particular dog, some is Doberman specific, some not so much,(they test for all 160 known genetic diseases in dogs) but all genetic profiles are being compiled into research data bases to study where/how/ why Dobes are plagued with so many disorders. It is 150 for the test, but your girl would be a valuable contributor to the ongoing project if you participate with her! is the place to go for more information
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 05:49 PM
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The DDP and UC Davis VGL are two different entities.
I tested with the VGL. They now have around 250 Dobermans from all over the world tested and updated results.
It looks like the Australian Doberman may be a "sub-type" of all other Dobermans. Interesting stuff.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:00 AM
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They are two entirely different projects. The test you do through UCDavis measures diversity only. The DDP is a long term research project looking for areas of commonality in disease processes. So many have 'research fatigue' that DDP founders(who are Doberman folks) wanted to offer value for your money as well. Therefore you get a complete picture of your dog's genome, (homozygous and heterozygous across the entire genome) genetic COI(based on your dog's genetic makeup) PDK4, DM, vWD, and color. One test that no one expected to be of value is one that tests for a mutation on the gene that affects the production of ALT(a liver enzyme) turns out a lot of Dobes have at least one copy of the defect, which in itself isn't a terrible problem, but when reading blood labs, it's good to know that your dog may tend to run lower than average numbers as 'normal' for that dog. The founders of the project also felt that breeder tools would be essential, so to that end they've had the scientists and software gurus at Embark putting together a set of tools that should be ready for release in the next couple of weeks. So they are absolutely different projects, with different goals. The biggest difference is in the research aspect. UCDavis is not running any Doberman specific research on the data collected, DDP is, and is willing to share all data with any other group who is looking into Doberman health and longevity. I've participated in both, but in addition to gaining knowledge for myself, I absolutely want to support research into the long term improvement of health and vitality in the breed.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:03 AM
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I have submitted my gang to VGL and also paid for and submitted the stud dog I am breeding Fame to this year, to VGL as well. I am looking into doing the DDP study as well.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 03:26 PM
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I am looking into doing the DDP study as well.

I hope you choose to participate! I know one thing they're working on in addition to the laundry list of other items<G> is a way to match heart info (holter and/or echo results)to a dog, not necessarily for public consumption, but to track the health of that participating dog, and then hopefully it's offspring and grandoffspring and and and ........ as I said, it is absolutely a long term project, and while the diversity aspect is a plus in my mind, and the breeder tools will be a helpful addition to anyone's toolchest,the research possibilities are what have me most excited about participating. That and it's Doberman only, all the data is on just the one breed, compiled in one place, with the ability to look at the entire genome with the best science we currently have.As fast as the fields of genetics, genomics and epigenetics are progressing, the possibilities for gaining knowledge in the future is mind boggling!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 09:12 AM
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