Miniature American Eskimo Test Breeding

Ever wondered how to use our tools at BetterBred? Recently we made a test breeding video for the Miniature American Eskimo dog breeders!

Toy and Miniature American Eskimos were found to be genetically similar in the study by UC Davis (unlike the Standard American Eskimo dog, which was found to be distinct from the smaller two varieties). Because of this and the fact that the two are somewhat frequently crossed, Toy and Miniature American Eskimo dogs are included together in our database.

A little background on the state of the varieties:

When we compare the Standard, Miniature and Toy subpopulations, we see that Miniatures maintain relatively high biodiversity (40.4% relative to an ideal natural population) as compared to the Standard population, which only retained 33%. On the other hand, Toys appear to have only retained 25.3%; however, this is likely due to the low sample size and will change with time. (More samples are needed of all varieties!) The study also found both of the smaller subpopulations are less inbred relative to the larger subpopulation of Standard American Eskimos. Breeding for increased heterozygosity in puppies will allow for breeding populations to avoid unknown recessive component diseases and, using our population management tools, will help maintain the biodiversity of the breed and varieties.

To help demonstrate, we’ve made a test breeding video for the breeders of this community! We compared two siblings as potential sires for a particular female. Was one breeding more favorable than the other?

Interestingly, neither brother really had a “leg up” over the other. Both were relatively inbred, so it’s possible they are very genetically similar to one another. Very typically we see an opposite effect and one sibling will be much less related to a potential female.

Miniature American Eskimos by themselves have been found to have retained more genetic diversity than the Standard variety, while currently the Toy variety appears to have less genetic variability. Toy American Eskimos will likely find more biodiversity as more of their population is tested. As more dogs are tested, we will learn more about the genetic variability that still exists within them and how these populations are structured, such as whether there is a true genetic bottleneck within the existing gene pool.

Want to learn more about Enrolling your Breed? Click here!