What does it mean to add genes?

I've attached the photo montage I was referring to in a previous post. These dogs are the offspring of a rescued female basenji and an unknown male. It is rather striking the variation that you see among the different dogs considering that they are all half basenji.

So if an import in question comes from an area that is populated by "non-basenji-like" dogs the probability that the import may not be "pure basenji" is much higher. It can be hard to tell this just by looking at the dog.
attachment_p_144777_0_pop-genetics.jpg

@eeeefarm:

I have a question, but I am not familiar with the procedure involved in accepting new dogs, so bear with me. Are these animals just assessed on their own appearance, or are there test breedings to see what they will produce?

Here is the page where you can find out information on the process. But in short, test breedings are not required. We would have to have the stud book open pretty long at a time to enable that unless you want to breed them when they are really young (they are typically imported as puppies).

https://www.basenji.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=98

@Nemo:

I've attached the photo montage I was referring to in a previous post. These dogs are the offspring of a rescued female basenji and an unknown male. It is rather striking the variation that you see among the different dogs considering that they are all half basenji.

So if an import in question comes from an area that is populated by "non-basenji-like" dogs the probability that the import may not be "pure basenji" is much higher. It can be hard to tell this just by looking at the dog.

I don't think there is any question about whether or not a mixed breed dog can produce a dog that looks like a basenji when bred to a basenji. So I think we all agree that just looking like a basenji isn't enough to cut it.

So, are we saying that we want more 'proof' that the area is remote and free of non-basenji dogs beyond the importers' word? And what kind of proof would we find acceptable? I am not disagreeing with this statement…I am wondering how, exactly, the BCOA could evaluate this?

On a cursory reading, there appear to be a lot of potential "holes" in the process. So what happens if a dog is accepted and then sires or whelps a litter with some individuals so off type that it is obvious there is major influence of non Basenji blood ? (I know some breeders would just make such puppies "disappear", but one can hope for honesty) Does the dog then get dropped from the registry? Or is there any mechanism allowing this?

Once the dogs are in the stud book they are in the stud book. One would hope that the breeder would be ethical enough to withdraw the dog from breeding and gene pool but it would be up to the breeder.

I think that though there are many articles published and importers work to get information out there that when dogs are put up for a vote it is really left to each individual to try to go back and find the right article for the dogs being voted or rely on memory of the details of each importation group. It would be far more helpful for voters to have access to information about the importation groups being voted on that is comprehensive and not confined to just the individuals being voted on. I feel that though some of the dogs being withheld from voting are ones that people feel are just not up to snuff breeding wise, there are also ones being withheld because they lack basenji-type and that may very well change how people vote if they had the information of those dogs in front of them at the time of the vote instead of relying on them keeping all the groups straight. It may also be that some people vote against all imports because they can't remember which groups are which and choose to error on the side of caution.

@Quercus:

I don't think there is any question about whether or not a mixed breed dog can produce a dog that looks like a basenji when bred to a basenji. So I think we all agree that just looking like a basenji isn't enough to cut it.

So, are we saying that we want more 'proof' that the area is remote and free of non-basenji dogs beyond the importers' word? And what kind of proof would we find acceptable? I am not disagreeing with this statement…I am wondering how, exactly, the BCOA could evaluate this?

It may not have to be too complicated as it looks like the importers are already gathering the important information required and sharing it in different venues, it's just not a formal part of the application process. I really think it should be. Perhaps the application just needs more detailed questions around the area chosen and types of dogs that are in the area with some requirement of pictures and or video. Plus, information on any other dogs brought back from the same area needs to be including in the information packet even if they aren't going to be submitted to the studbook. That way if population genetics is a concern for a particular voter then they will have information to consider via the formal process to make their decision.

@LVOSS:

The Other Import section has been on the website for some time, before the Native stock project…

My issue is that though I feel importers have been very open, because when the vote comes only the information on the dogs be put up for acceptance is sent and there is not a central place where people can go to view information on all the other imports from the region, including those not be put up at that time, people don't have the full picture at the time of voting.

If the issue for the group being put forth is just some are lesser quality but all are considered basenji then there should be no arguement about providing information about the entire import group including those not being put up for consideration.

The OTHER IMPORT page of the ASP was created after the 2009 Board mandated the change in October/November 2009. Prior to that mandate, the page never existed - this is per James (the creator of the page and the person who maintains this section of the website).

The original online Native Stock pages were created in 2007-2008 and yes, at that time anything and everything submitted by the importers was online in a hodge podge sort of way; once the application process started, the page turned its focus on those specific dogs to keep confusion, of who was applying vs who was not applying, to a minimum.

As a member of the Native Stock Committee LisaV, you are in a position to create change if you want things done differently. I admit, this is the first time I have heard this complaint about the NS pages and I am also on the committee.

@Katheris:

For Clay and whomever else has Sponenberg's Managing Breeds for a Secure Future on their wish list, I checked amazon.com and it is not currently available through them since it is out of print. But it looks like you can get a copy from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy at http://www.albc-usa.org/store/store-conservation.php

Enjoy!

Katy Scott

I looked and I found it on Amazon - ALBC is printing this themselves and it's a small press - it's available via LuLu Press - at http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002ACYY26/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&condition=all

and also at ALBC at http://www.albc-usa.org/store/store-conservation.php

Cost is 22.95.

Lisa

I am not sure if you all are speaking of my Miss Wheat, who was brought over with the last 2 b's approved or not. But if you are I am going to say this. Lisa Saban had her totally tested with all that should be given before approval. She was "sadly" a carrier for fanconi. That and the eval we had re her yellow eyes, and how hard they were to get out of the lines, once in, was the reason she was withheld. I don't mind calling her a village dog. As she was not put up and approved,because that is what she is, but that in no way should "blight" the ones that were approved. Had she not had these flaws, we would have put her up and hoped she would be approved. I do think its unfair to try to "tarnish" the new b's approved by implying they are flawed because of Wheat. Ethical folks take in information, look at what will happen and decide to do what is best for the breed. If your not speaking of Wheat, then I am happy to share why we didn't put her up.

I disagree Sharron. I think it is important to look at the entire group, regardless if they are being submitted to the stud books, not just one or two that are "Basenji Like". I refer back to Dr. Jo's post earlier in this thread and her statement (which I agree 100%).

Quote from Dr. Jo's post:
"I personally am strongly in favor of voting based on a geographic region because one or two "basenji-like" dogs (please see my previous posts in this thread) from a population within the traditional range of accepted Basenjis but from a current location where dogs are not ALL "basenji-like" makes a big difference.
When the goal is at the genetic level, the whole population must be considered because they are all locally from the same gene pool"

And I don't think this is just about your Ms. Wheat, but applies to all dogs brought in and considered for addition to the stud books.

Pat, even if Wheat was the next Dan Patch, she couldn't be submitted until this year.
That is why James had to wait for his boy. Neither dog was old enough. The others were many months older than my Wheat and James boy.

@sharronhurlbut:

Pat, even if Wheat was the next Dan Patch, she couldn't be submitted until this year.
That is why James had to wait for his boy. Neither dog was old enough. The others were many months older than my Wheat and James boy.

That is not the point, the point is "all the dogs" should be considered along with the ones that are submitted that are all from the same geographic region. Obviously, my opinion, but I believed shared by many.

I totally agree with Pat (again I'm butting in - can't help myself, sorry but after all this forum brings us together whichever country we live in and I'm just as concerned about the situation wherever it occurs).

If one dog from an area where others have been accepted is considered not worthy of approval how can the others be approved (after all they could even be from the same parents).

Sharron I do hope no one is referring to the gorgeous Miss Wheat - if so I hope you're covering her ears! As you know, I'm one of her many fans.

Hugs and laugh to the Wheat fans. I am one myself. I just wish if we were discussing one group, or groups, we could be a bit more specific. It would help me..at least.
It would be best, I think to get input from folks who have been to the areas of concern.
Otherwise, we are looking at this from a US mindset and it can be totally different over there.

Ok, you guys, Bryan Gregory who went over and p/u the last batch is on this list. He sent his note under Jumoke. Ask him about all the questions re b's and other dogs and what you all think is important. I for one, am delighted he is with us.

@Patty:

I totally agree with Pat (again I'm butting in - can't help myself, sorry but after all this forum brings us together whichever country we live in and I'm just as concerned about the situation wherever it occurs).

If one dog from an area where others have been accepted is considered not worthy of approval how can the others be approved (after all they could even be from the same parents).

Sharron I do hope no one is referring to the gorgeous Miss Wheat - if so I hope you're covering her ears! As you know, I'm one of her many fans.

It depends on what you mean by not worthy of approval. If you mean "clearly a part Beagle", that's one thing.

If you mean a cream or a saddle or a sable, or a Fanconi carrier, or with a loopy tail, or an off bite or with a longer back - the original founding dogs came from populations with those issues, as was discussed in great detail by the writings of various breeders over the years. Our "pre 1990 domestics" have exactly those issues today. Our domestics don't meet that standard.

A lot of this discussion, to me, appears to have a point - I just don't know what that point is. Some people here are basically saying that "we have enough founders, why add more" and genuinely not understanding. Some people appear to me to have issues about specific dogs that they don't want to post publicly. Some people are saying things that are VERY not accurate.

My viewpoint. I came from a big extended family that bred and breeds animals (dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, etc) and especially Arabian horses. I don't claim to be an expert horse breeder - I'm not - but I've been visiting stud farms since I was about 5, and reading Arabian horse pedigrees and reading the writings of people like Bazy Tankersley and later Michael Bowling since I was 11.

Arabians are also a land race breed. Purity is a huge issue with Arabian breeders. There are distinct bloodlines. A lot of people in and linebreed and some are passionate advocates of such. So there are some points in common.

Bottom line is, with Arabians, you see a fairly good number of different bloodline groups, and it's not rare to have people stay within their own bloodlines. The bloodline groups are preserved, in part, explicitly for the reason of diversity. Whether it's Davenport, Crabbet, CMK (which is a larger group that includes Davenport and Crabbet), Babson Egyptian, Straight Egyptian, Blue Star, Blue List, Pure Polish, Spanish, Russian (a blended group) - you name it. You don't just have options - even at this date, you have actual outcrosses available to you, with little recorded pedigree in common.

In Arabians, those outcrosses come from different bloodline groups that go back to different known founders. You get overlap (particularly via Crabbet, which has some infuence in most bloodline groups) and the various Ali and Abbas Pasha influences - but you have many, many different founders - and many of those are represented in one group but not in another.

And a founder, BTW, when used to refer to a domestic breed, is the animal where the known pedigree stops. Founders are not expected to be unrelated - the term means they have no recorded pedigree in common. It's not the same thing. All individuals of a breed, including a land race breed, are expected to have some degree of relatedness. That's why they are a breed.

Arabian horses have about 100 existing unique tail female dam lines where the pedigree ends. Not just 100 unique female ancestors - there are many, many times that represented in the middle of the pedigrees - but 100 distinct tail female lines where the female line of descent is unbroken, mother to daughter.

I have a 33 year old mare (last horse I have) that is mostly Kellogg - the K in CMK. I'm pretty sure this one elderly horse, with a pedigree mostly from one bloodline group that is a subset of a larger group, has more unique founding ancestors in her pedigree than the entire Basenji breed has in its stud book. I need to re-register for Arabian Horse Datasource, but I may play with her pedigree later this week.

Several years ago, in playing around with pedigree software, I did % contribution reports for Basenjis. I started with dogs I owned, then tried popular sires, then dogs whose owners had publicly identified themselves as working with older lines that do not have a lot of popular sires.

With Basenjis, what it boiled down to was - for every pedigree that I ran that did not include new imports, over 90% of descent came from a handful of ancestors. Eight, to be exact. The range of % influence by ancestor varied, but not all that much.

Without the new Afs, we don't have an out.

In Arabians, I can (and people in my family and their friends did, and some still do) inbreed to Skowronek, and further inbreed on his inbred son *Raffles, to hearts content - and know we have an outcross available when needed.

In Basenjis, without the Afs, we don't have that luxury.

I'll repost here my 2005 note to BBR.

This is a lightly edited version of my original 2005 BBR post. It's copyright Lisa Corell Auerbach, 2005 and has been used in some of my other copyrighted materials - used here with permission. Main change is I added a comment and redacted some people and kennel names as I haven't had a chance to ask if it's ok to use them here, and I don't like to surprise people. If you're on the BBR list, the unredacted post is in the archives circa 2005.

"A while back, I did a pedigree analysis of sample domestic Basenjis, with an eye to including samples from "relatively unrelated" lines. I was interested in finding out why "full" COI's are so high for this breed. For example, the COI on my Pete - who had no ancestors doubled in the first 3 generations - was over .3, which is greater than breeding a sire to his daughter. I found extremely high COI's on a signficant percentage of Basenjis I looked at, which piqued my interest in looking at Basenji pedigree structure.

The dogs I reviewed included successful sires and Honor Roll Stud Dogs (including Ch. JuJu's Pistol Pete, Ch. Kazor's Deerstalker, Ch. Akuaba's Tornado, Ch. Reveille Boutonniere, Ch. Berimo's Roustabout, etc.), Datar, and dogs from two domestic lines frequently identified as having been kept fairly distinct for a long time.

About half were dogs I'd used or that had a connection to my dogs, the rest were dogs I thought would be relatively unrelated.

The results of this sample were as follows:

1. There were basically eight significant founders - Bongo, Zig, Bereke, Kindu, Kasenyi, and to a lesser degree, Fula, Bokoto, and Wau.

Percentages of Bongo ranged from 24.11% to 16.136%.

Percentages of Zig ranged from 21.793% to 15.36%.

Percentages of Bereke ranged from 18.654% to 12.504%

Percentages of Kindu ranged from 13.88% to 5.943%

Percentages of Kasenyi ranged from 13.863% to 5.827%

Percentages of Fula ranged from 15.234% to 0.322%

Percentages of Bokoto ranged from 7.681% to 5.156%

Percentages of Wau ranged from 9.195% to 2.393%

No other foundation dog contributed as much as 2% to any dog I analyzed.

Of the foundation dogs with less than two percent contribution, three founders, Bungwa (1.328%-1.922%), Bakuma (0.43%-1.93%), and Bashele (0.681%-0.909%),
contributed between 0.43% to 1.93% of ancestry. Kiki of Cryon contributed 0% to 4 dogs reviewed, and 0.020% to 0.415% to the rest. Mbinza contributed 0% to five
dogs reviewed, and 0.096% to 0.232% to the rest.

No other foundation ancestor was identified that contributed as much as one tenth of one percent by ancestry to any of the dogs reviewed.

Conclusion - the US Basenji gene pool has approximately eight significant foundation
individuals.

Virtually all of Kindu and Kasenyi's descent comes through a single individual, Kingolo - percent descent ranging from 10.825% to 25.199%. Whether to argue that there are 7 founders (and use Kingolo instead of Kindu and Kasenyi), I leave up to you.

2. Domestic Basenjis also have significant bottlenecks other than original ancestors. The first appears to have occurred in which "of the Congo" (OTC) dogs bred on the most. Some samples -

Percentages of Kinga of the Congo ranged from 29.063% to 43.635%

Percentages of Piccolo of the Congo ranged from 12.481% to 15.613%

Percentages of Orange Fizz of the Congo ranged from 13.673% to 20.303%

Percentages of Brown Trout of the Congo ranged from 15.515% to 23.002%

And so on. I did eleven OTC dogs, that ranged from about 6% to over 43% of total ancestry of modern dogs.

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US show a second significant genetic bottleneck through important OTC dogs. [Additional comment – this appears to be related to the WWII bottleneck – see VTW’s “Coincidences” article reprinted in The Basenji recently.]

3. American dogs have a third significant bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's. For American dogs, which excludes Datar, with the exception of the two kennels picked specifically because they had avoided popular sires of that era, percentages were as follows:

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Recruit ranged from 13.28% to 27.539%

Percentages of Ch. Reveille Re-Up ranged from 12.988% to 22.656%

Percentages of Ch. Khajah's Gay Flambeau of Ed-Jo ranged from 11.67% to 26.172%

Conclusion - Basenjis in the US had a third significant genetic bottleneck in the 1960's and 1970's.

Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.

@sharronhurlbut:

Itzyu, reading this, we really need the new genes we can get to help our breed.

However, are we adding "genes" for the sake of adding "genes"? Or are we really bring in new "Basenji Stock"? Accepting dogs for the sake of adding dogs to the gene pool without regard to where they come from, what others in the area look like, not taking into account the geographic region, IMO is just the wrong way to approach it.

The point of the discusion from my perspective is demonstrating the actual benefits we are trying to achieve by introducing "new genes" and identifying what success looks like in the end to the breed as a whole. If the goal at the end is to increase diversity within the breed, how do we accomplish that on the larger scale versus just the local scale so that it is more meaningful?

Increasing diversity of the breed is a lofty goal but if there is not a shared vision (or big picture) on how to get there there then the liklihood of success is much lower. This is particularly the case since individual breeders make decisions on what they breed (some may be working together as previously mentioned). It doesn't help much if we work to introduce more diversity/variabilty into the breed and then end up breeding it back to cookie cutter dogs again. And it also doesn't help if the membership as a whole does not agree on what appropriate variability within breed type is. That is the repeated message I am hearing in these conversations around how people may be viewing Native Stock through the lens of a "show quality" test.

There may be educational components that are needed so that the same "mistakes" are not repeated and everyone is on the same page with what is trying to be accomplished. The clock is ticking and we can't go back to the Congo indefinitely.

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