Is Inbreeding Necessary?
Many breeders still cling to the idea that inbreeding is the only route to success, and that they can use it as a tool to identify and weed out genetic problems in their line. They will cite the success of certain breeders who inbred extensively, unaware (or conveniently ignoring) that the most successful litters from these kennels were often the least inbred. They also seem to be unaware that many studies on a wide variety of species have demonstrated that highly inbred individuals frequently live shorter lives and have fewer progeny. This is called inbreeding depression. Inbreeding depression results, in part, from the bringing together of deleterious recessive alleles inherited via both parents from a common ancestor. In humans, where genetic diseases of this type are relatively rare, the frequency of affected individuals is often higher in small populations that are culturally or geographically isolated. In dogs, man has created similar isolated populations by restricting genetic e