- Many domesticated animals, especially dogs, are selectively bred within a small population to select for and “fix” certain traits. This leads to decreasing genetic diversity and the potential for inherited health issues over time. The Saluki is a relatively rare breed of dog in the U.S. The Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis records information about Salukis imported into the U.S. from the Middle East (desert-bred) for breeding purposes. We hypothesized that desert-bred Salukis add diversity to the gene pool which is demonstrated by decreasing the coefficient of inbreeding (COI). Popular parents are more likely to be bred outside their line; they have a large number of desirable traits that other kennels want to work into their own lines. Therefore, we also hypothesized that the progeny of popular parents (at least four mating partners) will have a lower COI than the progeny of less popular parents (three or fewer mating partners). Data was collected from the online breed archive for Salukis born from 1986 to 2016. The coefficient of inbreeding was calculated using the tabular method. The coefficient of inbreeding for Salukis with desert bred ancestors that had six full generations available was significantly higher than for Salukis with desert bred ancestors that had only two generations. The coefficient of inbreeding Salukis with desert bred ancestors that had 2-6 full generations was significantly lower compared to Salukis with no desert-bred ancestors in ≥7 full generations. In addition, there was a trend for the coefficient of inbreeding in the all of the offspring of popular parents to be lower than the coefficient of inbreeding for Salukis who were not from popular parents. The average COI levels seen in all subsets analyzed were at low levels that would lead to modest to nonexistent detriments.
Key Words: American Kennel Club, Breed archive, Coefficient of inbreeding, Desert-bred Salukis, Inbreeding, Popular parents, Society for the Perpetuation of Desert Bred Salukis