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What is the Popular Sire Effect in Dog Breeding?

What is the Popular Sire Effect in Dog Breeding?

The popular sire effect is becoming one of the most common problems amongst breeders and for new litters of pups. Some sought-after breeds have been burdened with this syndrome which leads to quite serious health problems. So what is it and how to we stop it from happening?




What is the sire effect in dog breeding?



The popular sire effect is where a male dog is bred repeatedly, which can lead to any undesirable genetic traits of the stud being spread through the gene pool really quickly. Studs are bred repeatedly when they have particularly desirable attributes i.e. distinctive colouring or features. Highly sought after studs are often also winners of prestigious competitions, purebred and therefore a popular candidate for breeders.



What problems arise because of it?



There are several different problems that arise from using the same sire over and over again. Any undesirable genes that the sire may have will be quickly spread to however many litters of puppies they father – and these bad traits will not become apparent until it is too late. As well as the spread of bad genes, using the same sire over again excludes other perfectly good candidates and can result in inbreeding. When you drastically narrow the diversity of the gene pool, certain health problems can arise. The most common health issues that arise are respiratory problems, often found in pugs, joint problems and weak immune systems.



How do we prevent it?

There are always going to be prize winning dogs that would be a perfect candidate to sire purebred litters, which means that the sire effect in dog breeding is going to be prevalent in the foreseeable future. As a dog breeder, it is important to explore the option of having multiple sires, which will broaden the gene pool; and for potential dog owners, it is important to do your research and ensure that both parents of the puppies have been cleared of any genetic mutation – or look beyond getting a purebred puppy, which could have a long term impact on the purebred demand and the problems that arise with it.  

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