Advanced Course: Breeding for Conservation


A 5 week course on how to use BetterBred to conserve genetic diversity in your breed.

Upon completion of the course you will receive:

  • a certificate of completion (full and non-members)

To take our advanced course on breed management, please first login to your account or create one here! 

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Premium Membership (Monthly Subscription) or Premium Membership (Yearly Subscription), or log in if you are a member.



Worried about the genetic diversity in your breed? Want proof that you are preserving what you have? 

Want to know if your linebreeding is too close or if your outcross is really an outcross?

We’ve all heard over the last decade or so about loss of genetic diversity in purebred dogs. Whether your breed has lots of diversity or not so much, there are things you can do right now – without sacrificing your other goals – that will help conserve existing diversity in your breed. This course is rolling admission, start it when you like and complete it at your leisure!

Upon completion of the course you will receive:

  • a certificate of completion (full and non-members)
  • a full month membership (non-members)

Learn to look at genetic relatedness to help you assess whether dogs are closely related to your dogs, even if their pedigree is alike or different from your dog

Learn what all the terms and measurements really mean, how to assess your dogs for yourself, how to evaluate a breeding.

With easy short lessons (around 5 minutes each), we will:

  • Explain what genetic diversity really means and why it matters
  • Discuss how the unique history of your breed impacts your dogs
  • Discuss inbreeding and ways to measure it.
  • Tell you what makes a dog a genetic outlier and why that’s important
  • Talk about DLA haplotypes and what they can and cannot tell us
  • Compare the genetic relatedness of dogs in your breed, both directly related and genetically similar
  • Demonstrate how to assess a potential breeding from a genetic diversity standpoint

Module 1:  Genetics

  • What is DNA?
  • Terms and Phrases explained
  • Punnett Squares
  • STRs

Module 2: Breed History

  • What is a Breed?
  • Origins of breeds and breeding practices
  • Breed splits and breed specific diseases
  • Bottlenecks and their impact on a breed

Module 3: Introduction to Genetic diversity 

  • Why does genetic diversity matter?
  • What concepts are the UC Davis canine diversity test based on?
  • What is inbred vs outbred, and atypical vs typical?
  • What is DLA and how do you use it?

Module 4: The Testing Explained

  • Why is COI no longer our best tool?
  • What comes on the UC Davis certificate?
  • Assessing where a breed is – balanced or depleted?
  • OI and IR explained

Module 5: Conclusions

  • Average Genetic Relatedness and what it means
  • Genetic relatedness and the categories for breedings
  • Selection in your breed, what should our goals be?
  • How to use the measurements on BetterBred
  • Walkthrough of the website’s tools