Genetics Studies

The health and well being of the Shiloh Shepherd is very important to the ISSDC. 

The ISSDC Genetics Study is currently underway. We are partnering with Genoscoper (Opitmal Selection/Wisdom Panel) here in North America and MyDogDNA overseas to begin the DNA Genetics Studies for Shiloh Shepherds focusing on Diversity, Outcrosses, and Health.

Part 1 Diversity
  • Diversity of the individual dog tested.
  • Diversity of the overall breed population.
  • Diversity of the overall breed population compared to the diversity of other related breed populations.

Genoscoper has suggested the initial study group to be at least 30 of our most diverse dogs so we can have a clear picture of where our diversity stands. To find the most diverse dogs we will be using a calculation similar to COI called Mean Kinship. While COI shows how related a dogs parents are to each other, Mean Kinship shows how related the dog is to the rest of the population. By using this scale we can take the dogs with the lowest scores, who are either breeding now, or tested and ready to be bred, to paint the best picture of what diversity there is in our gene pool today.

Each dog tested will receive information from Optimal Selection Breeder Analysis which will include 

  • Results for 180+ genetic diseases, reported in terms of known relevance to the specific breed evaluated. Included, but not limited to, DM (Degenerative Myelopathy), MDRI (Multi Drug Resistance), vWD (von Willebrand’s Disease), and DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy).
  • Testing for more than 20 traits including coat colors, coat types and morphology.
  • Genetic diversity information for each dog, the overall breed population and compared to related breed groups. (i.e. how we would compare to the German Shepherd Dog)

Pricing. Big bang for our buck with testing. The DM test alone through OFA is $65 US. When the blood testing through a vet for vWD was priced out it was around a $100. There are various different prices to choose from when it comes to coat color testing and those are usually per allele. This is exciting to be able to package all of this into one test for as low as $117 US!! With each dog that is tested we also increase the chances of finding new markers for diseases that are not yet mapped. As this generation of dog breeders, not just in our breed but as a whole, do more and more
testing the unknown becomes closer to being the known. It is truly an exciting time for dog breeders!

  • $70 per ISSDC member
  • $110 per non-member, for first 100 dogs
Part 2 Outcross Study

Once we have some DNA with Genoscoper they will be able to help direct us to breeds that have the most different DNA from our dogs.We will need to submit a list of traits that we as a breed wish to keep, such as straight tails and prick ears. Or traits/disorders we wish to avoid bringing into the breed, such as more eye issues. We will then set parameters for Genoscoper to use as guidelines in helping us find appropriate breeds to use as outcrosses providing us with wanted traits and diversity.

To view our breeds results Optimal Selection offers a free online breeding tool that enable breeders to look at all the dogs tested who are marked public or shared. Each breeder has the ability to make their dogs results/profile public (to other people using the online tool, which is password protected) or private. SO if a breeder prefers to keep their results private until after they receive them, they can. They can also make them public at any time. The great thing about this is that the dogs suggested for outcross will also all have their breeds testing and results shown in the online breeding tool software. Each breeder can then view all the results for themselves and we can also discuss them as a group.

  • includes a measure of diversity of our breed
  • custom DNA genetic marker/disorder panel testing
  • custom list of goals we want to achieve by bringing in outcross and what we don’t want to sacrifice (for example we can tell them we hope to add diversity, reduce the risk of EPI and not sacrifice height. They will give us outcross suggestions to best achieve the goals we give them. Will suggest more then one option so we can choose.
  • online breeding tool for breeders with mate recommendations
Part 3 Health Study

There is one more part to this study! A health study is also going to be done by this company for us. The issues that we have asked their help with are GSDIVA/IVT, EPI and SAS. At this time Genoscoper has reached out to a partner research facility, the  University of Helsinki, that is currently already doing a study on arhythmias. We havebeen invited to join their research!

Together with Genoscoper we would provide as much clinical test results to that study in the hopes to get some answers for our breed. Alba medical had previously also agreed to co-operate with us and a university type study which is even more great news. Hopefully with breeders and owners co-operation they can perhaps shed some new light on this problem. We are excited to start communicating with them on this study!! Details will be shared as we get them.

The other health issues mentioned are still on the table and Genoscoper is looking for another research partner to pair up with to make the most of the information we can provide them. We will keep everyone posted about that news as it develops. The genetic pedigree database will also be provided to them so they will have the relationship status of the dogs within the study groups.

We are told that in most cases it does take usually at least a year to get any results for health studies of this kind. A study group of about 100 dogs (tested clear and affected) will be needed for these kinds of health studies.

The panel testing that they do will look for all the known genetic disorders they already test for in GSD as well as other markers since there may be others present in Shilohs. Some of these include, but are not limited to, 

  • Degenerative Myelopathy, (DM)
  • Multi Drug Resistance (MDR1)
  • von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
  • Cone Degeneration, (CD) or Achromatopsia; mutation originally found in German Shepherd Dog
  • full results for coat loci (Locus' E-Extensions, K-Dominant Black, A- Agouti, I-Intensity, S-white spotting, M-merle, B-Brown, D-Dilution, H-Harliquin)
  • Hair length (there are 5 known mutations in dogs) and Curly coat gene
  • Morphology: Prick ear gene and snout/skull length markers

Keep checking back as we will post more information as it becomes available.