COI % - what?

Mutts are so much healthier; how many times have I heard this? A mutt or mongrel dog is by definition a dog of mixed or indeterminate breed. On the other end of the spectrum is the purebred dog produced through years of genetic picking and choosing. Some breeders produce purebred cookie cutter puppies, trying time and time again to produce not only a perfect puppy but also a perfect litter. These breeders like to keep everything in the family. A breeder once told me that if they did not line breed how would they know what they were producing?

Years ago it became common practice to inbreed dogs in the attempt to achieve a carbon copy result. This did and still does lead to lower life span, genetic mutations and lower litter numbers. The effects of inbreeding are caused by a lack of genetic diversity in the quest for the perfect specimen. This type of inbreeding does not happen with animals in the wild; nor does it happen in the great zoos around the world.

Are mutts healthier? No, the blanket statement that mutts are healthier than purebreds is incorrect. The proper statement would be that a mutt has a more varied genetic make up, but this in no way creates a dog of greater health. As with purebreds; there are mutts that are produced by genetically inferior parents, which turn out to be very sick and diseased. Having unrelated parents does not ensure good health alone.

So what makes a healthy dog? COI% is the most widely discussed factor these days. Coefficient; explained in physics terms is a number that is constant for a given substance, body, or process under certain specified conditions. This essentially means the number of related ancestors in an individual dogs pedigree. The lower the COI% rate the fewer related animals in the dogs makeup.

Outcross breeding, which is the breeding of two unrelated dogs; keeps a line genetically healthy and varied. Having both Sire and Dam of the prospective puppies tested for genetic health disorders and going back several generations for the same testing is essential. Whether or not the dogs are purebred or mixed dogs should have no factor in the genetic health testing and temperament testing before any breeding occurs. This gives all dogs; purebred and mutts a fair and fighting chance at being as healthy as they can possibly be.


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