• Perfect explanation by Lisa. Line breeding is HOW breeds are made. It does not create genetic diversity…but that isn't usually the goal in domesticated animals. The goal is to set type, and preserve desirable attributes.


  • There can be genetic problems with a breeding as you describe in your email… difference would be testing.. and it is just a possible to have them as with a father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister.... the key is testing and also testing the sibs... looking at a vertical pedigree...


  • Another thing to be aware of is that even just because a pedigree looks like it may be a outcross in 3 generations it may have quite a high COI, coefficient of inbreeding, when you look at it over 10-15 generations. It is really important to look at the whole pedigree.

    Line breeding is not a bad thing in and of itself and is a tool in a breeder's toolbox but it is really important that it is done with good vertical knowledge of the pedigree


  • @lvoss:

    Another thing to be aware of is that even just because a pedigree looks like it may be a outcross in 3 generations it may have quite a high COI, coefficient of inbreeding, when you look at it over 10-15 generations. It is really important to look at the whole pedigree.

    Line breeding is not a bad thing in and of itself and is a tool in a breeder's toolbox but it is really important that it is done with good vertical knowledge of the pedigree

    Very well put, Lisa


  • Thank you everyone for al the great info!!!!


  • I thought one of the attributes of the Basenji was how close they were to their roots. I understand in certain breeds that were "created" like pugs, bulldogs etc; they would have to breed closely to get that look because their is no way those dogs would survive in the wild. And also with the African projects the thought was to keep the Basenjis diverse in the genetics so they don't become like the other breeds. One of the major issues with the close breeding is a huge problem in other breeds. Am I totally on the wrong page here?


  • There were about 20 dogs that contributed to the what is now the basenji breed as it exists today as a registered breed prior to the new imports. Of those 20 dogs there are some that are no longer represented in any dogs of the modern population. The "new" imports of 87/88 included 10 more dogs that were bred from though again some are no longer represented in any dogs of today's population. There are now very few places in Africa that are remote enough to still have true basenjis. It is also extremely expensive to import these dogs. Though the basenji is a landrace breed and may have more founders than some breeds we still have relatively few founders.


  • @dash:

    I thought one of the attributes of the Basenji was how close they were to their roots. I understand in certain breeds that were "created" like pugs, bulldogs etc; they would have to breed closely to get that look because their is no way those dogs would survive in the wild. And also with the African projects the thought was to keep the Basenjis diverse in the genetics so they don't become like the other breeds. One of the major issues with the close breeding is a huge problem in other breeds. Am I totally on the wrong page here?

    No, you aren't on the wrong page 😉 Breeding, and maintining a breed is always a balance between two main things; a) maintaining a diverse enough gene pool that will sustain healthy reproduction and b) trying to breed for desirable traits… usually those traits are physical or "type", sometimes they are less concrete like temperament, working ability, and sometimes health.

    If you go exclusively in one direction, where you are breeding for maximum genetic diversity, you most likely will be unable to predict what your puppies will look, or act like. For some people that isn't a problem. Some breeders in our breed are ONLY breeding for genetic diversity..and they are mainly dealing with the new Africans.

    If you go exclusively in the other direction where you are only breeding to fix type (or be able to predict that your puppy will have certain attributes that you desire) you will lose genetic diversity, and you may run into one of two possible health issues related to that, one is reduced fecundity of your breeding stock, and the other is obviously having genetic recessively inherited disease expressed, and carried throughout your line. There are breeders in our breed who almost exclusively line breed. You can usually tell their dogs because they are VERY similar in type. This type of linebreeding is common, but kind of a lottery, because if you aren't screening your dogs, or there are diseases in the breed that are late onset or you don't know how they are inherited, you may not know exactly what genes you are doubling up on. If you start with genetically clean dogs, you may win the lottery, because you won't be breeding into lines with problems. But it is rare that you can exclusively line breed for long periods of time before you find yourself wishing to cross out to another line for some reason.

    So most breeders do a bit of both, and everybody falls somewhere in the spectrum. Close breeding isn't really a huge problem for any breed per se. Poor breeding decisions, lack of knowledge about how disease is inherited, lack of adequate screening techniques, people breeding with disregard to health...those are the things that have put some breeds in a bad place.

    You mentioned Pugs and Bulldogs as an example...but they aren't really poster children for inbreeding. Their issues are different, in that humans shaped the breed into something that isn't consistant with health...I really don't get that...but it isn't the fault of in- or line breeding.

    Thanks to anybody who made their way thru my essay 😉


  • Andrea, thank you for your essay it was very informative!!


  • Lisa and Andrea, Thanks for explaining that. I will tell you how it came up. I am not criticizing anyone and I don't want to offend any breeders so please understand I am just trying to learn and understand better.
    I have met 2 breeders outside of this website. I have no question that both have the best interest for the breed in mind but it seems for different reasons. CarolAnns Lukuru dogs are very diverse in the gene pool but don't necessarily have the exact look of the basenji I am used to seeing. Sue Kite (I met her this weekend) mentioned she bred a brother and sister but she wanted to keep the line traits and being that she has top B's in the show ring is probably why.
    9 I think it may have been the avongara line as well. You guys probably know better than I do.) Her little girl I saw was exactly what I expected to see and she was beautiful. I had previously considered in-breeding and line-breeding to be the same thing but I realize now there is a distinction. It does seems to be acceptable as long as all the necessary tests are done and they aren't in-bred to many times. That just seems icky. :rolleyes:

    Again the essay was great! I did have to do some research to what founders were. I think I got it now.


  • @dash:

    Lisa and Andrea, Thanks for explaining that. I will tell you how it came up. I am not criticizing anyone and I don't want to offend any breeders so please understand I am just trying to learn and understand better.
    I have met 2 breeders outside of this website. I have no question that both have the best interest for the breed in mind but it seems for different reasons. CarolAnns Lukuru dogs are very diverse in the gene pool but don't necessarily have the exact look of the basenji I am used to seeing. Sue Kite (I met her this weekend) mentioned she bred a brother and sister but she wanted to keep the line traits and being that she has top B's in the show ring is probably why.
    9 I think it may have been the avongara line as well. You guys probably know better than I do.) Her little girl I saw was exactly what I expected to see and she was beautiful. I had previously considered in-breeding and line-breeding to be the same thing but I realize now there is a distinction. It does seems to be acceptable as long as all the necessary tests are done and they aren't in-bred to many times. That just seems icky. :rolleyes:

    Again the essay was great! I did have to do some research to what founders were. I think I got it now.

    First of all the Lukuru dogs are not registered Basenjis at this time, so they can not be used in the gene pool (at least not to get AKC registered Basenjis).. As for Sue, that was her and Jeff that did a brother/sister and yes it was Avongara lines. The reason was they wanted to see what they got and what traits were dominate, Andrea, you might want to jump in since you have one of the pups…and these were not show dogs... and again as long as you know the lines and do the health testing, not always a bad thing... both are acceptable... Sue and Jeff have done some close breedings as in uncles to nieces....


  • <>
    Right...I wasn't sure if that was the litter that Sue was referring to? But I don't know of her doing any other brother/sister breeding.
    So yes, Ariel is a product of that breeding. The idea was to do a test breeding to see what genetically, if anything, might be brought out. By doing an inbreeding, you can 'expose' recessive genes, and see what you've actually got. You can also set (as in permanantly set) type...but, that wasn't the goal in Sue/Jeff's breeding. In this case, the two "best" "typey" puppies from this litter will most likely be bred on from, as long as they test out as genetically and physically healthy, they will most likely be out-crossed, to bring in different genes. Ariel's brother, George, is quite stunning, and is easily the best looking puppy in the litter. Ariel has a beautiful head, but is long in body, short in leg. Neither one is what we consider a "show dog" 😉


  • @Quercus:

    <>
    Right...I wasn't sure if that was the litter that Sue was referring to? But I don't know of her doing any other brother/sister breeding.
    So yes, Ariel is a product of that breeding. The idea was to do a test breeding to see what genetically, if anything, might be brought out. By doing an inbreeding, you can 'expose' recessive genes, and see what you've actually got. You can also set (as in permanantly set) type...but, that wasn't the goal in Sue/Jeff's breeding. In this case, the two "best" "typey" puppies from this litter will most likely be bred on from, as long as they test out as genetically and physically healthy, they will most likely be out-crossed, to bring in different genes. Ariel's brother, George, is quite stunning, and is easily the best looking puppy in the litter. Ariel has a beautiful head, but is long in body, short in leg. Neither one is what we consider a "show dog" 😉

    And the litter's sire is quite handsome!.... the dam of the litter, while long in the back and short on leg (like it sounds Ariel is) has a great temperament... both are great to build on the future.... and breeding out from these pups will be great to build on too....
    I am pretty sure that would be the breeding Sue was talking about, like you I don't know of any other brother/sister breeding she and Jeff has done.

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