Beekeeper by Andrzej Kuhn
by Andrzej Kihn

“Having once been an avid beekeeper,
I had always found the life of the colonies
to be both a source of fascination
and one of enduring wonder.
Until you have spent a tranquil day
in the spring sitting next to a hive of bees
and watching their comings and goings,
you have not truly experienced
the grandeur of the natural world.

Simply because the survival and welfare
of the colony demands it,
older bees revert to a more juvenile character,
adult lives are extended from 6 weeks
to as long as 3 or 4 months,
older hive bees revert to tasks that
were the province of their younger sisters.

Obviously, in the bee we are seeing an exquistie interplay
of gene expression, environment, and social dynamics
that are primarily orchestrated
by the pheromonal secrations of the queen.
There is an intelligence in this,
but one that speaks to us softly and in an alien tongue.”

Jim Selzer

 Genetics load the gun. Chemicals pull the trigger.

Beekeeping, written by Jim Selzer, Willowind Dalmations, posted October 11, 2003 on CANGEN,  is a beautiful example of the continual dance performed by Mother Nature. An avid student of genetics, in the past years Debby has been exploring population genetics, diversity principals, management of small populations and ways the modern dog breeder can utilize this knowledge in a breeding program. Historically, linebreeding, inbreeding, outcrossing, recessive and dominant inheritance have been the main lessons taught to dog breeders. It is time to explore beyond these basic lessons. In this spirit the following musings, articles, essays, editorials are offered for contemplation.

As purebred dog breeders, we have chosen to intervene in Mother Nature’s intricate dance. Our responsibility, the future welfare of our breed, depends on our knowledge and our choices. Ir. E. J. Gubbels expands on this in his essay, Genetic Management of Dog Breed Populations:
“Our breeding has now come to the point that we have to make choices.
1.    We must attune the use (the contribution to the next generation) of breeding animals to the size of the population. No single dog should have an impact on the genetic composition of subsequent generations such that ‘genetic disasters’ can arise.
2.    If we do this we can once again make effective use of the old method of ‘individual selection’, and take first steps towards genuine improvement of the health and well-being condition of the breeds.
3.    We will have to provide breeders with instruments that allow them to give steering to the level of inbreeding in their lines. The use of inbreeding can be advantageous in breeding, but it must remain an instrument rather than turn into an irreversible and unavoidable force.
4.    Over and above the individual selection that has been applied since 1900 we must make modern methods of selection available for dog breeding (breeding value estimates, genetic risk assessments).
In short, this means that we must first make sure that we do not add to our problems (1), that we next use currently available methods to work on improvement (2), that we must make haste to provide breeders with modern instruments to guide breeding with and to combat problems in our dogs (3 and 4). It is only then that we can justifiable talk about responsible genetic management of our pure-bred dog populations.”
Roger Hild, in a cross posted message to the apsolist, dated October 1, 2003, presents an alternative view to our traditional thinking. I encourage you to read it.


A Conservation Breeding Handbook by D. Phillip Sponenberg and Carolyn J. Christman

A New Kind of Breeder by Dr. Carmen Battaglia

All Dogs Are Carriers  (of multiple mutations) by Mary H. Whiteley, Ph.D

Basic Genetic Concepts by Dr. John Armstrong

Breadth of Pedigree by Dr. Carmen Battaglia

Breeding Better Dogs by Carmen L. Battaglia, Ph.D.

Color Genes  by Dr. John Armstrong

Control of Canine Genetic Diseases by George A. Padgett, DVM

Creating A New Breed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia

Dog DNA study reveals new role for protein by Julie Steenhuysen


Dominant with incomplete penetrance Definition by Dr. Mary Whiteley

Eliminating Mutation The Impossible Dream by Dr. John Armstrong

Evolution caught in the Act by Jim Selzer

Gene Expression by Scripps Research Institute

Genes affecting coat colour and pattern in domestic dogs
by S. M. Schmutz and T. G. Berryere

Genetic Evidence for an East Asian Origin of Domestic Dogs by Peter Savolainen

Genetic Management of Dog Populations by Ir. Ed. J. Gubbels

Genetic Structure of the Purebred Domestic Dog by Heidi G. Parker

Genetics 101 – lecture 1

Genetics 101 – lecture 2

Genetics 101 – lecture 3

Genetics 101 – lecture 4

Genetics and Evolution 101 adapted from the University of Cal-Berkeley’s webpage

Genetics of the Dog by Malcolm B. Willis

Genetics and the Shape of Dogs by Elaine A. Ostrander

Incest in Nature by William Saletan

Lamarck Revisited

Landraces posted on CANGEN

Molecular Biology of the Gene by Watson, Hopkins, Roberts, Steitz, Weiner

Nature vs. Nuture by Pat Rock

Removing the Stigma of Genetic Disease by Jerold S. Bell, DVM

The Effect of Inbreeding on the Immune System by Sue Thatcher

The Ins and Outs of Pedigree Analysis Genetic Diversity and Genetic Disease Control
 by Dr. Jerold Bell

Multifarious Forms by Dr. Gareth Morgan-Jones

Popular Sires and Population Genetics by C.A. Sharp

Population Management for Survival and Recovery
by Jonathan D. Ballou (Editor), Michael Gilpin (Editor) Thomas J. Foose (Editor)

The Dog and Its Genome by Elaine A. Ostrander and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh

The Downside of Inbreeding: It’s Time for A New Approach by C.A. Sharp

The Immune System by Debra M. Eldredge, DVM

The Importance of Beauty by Catherine McMillan

The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs by Clarence C. Little, Sc.D.

The Ins and Outs of Pedigree Analysis Genetic Diversity and Genetic Disease Control
 by Dr. Jerold Bell

The Poodle And The Chocolate Cake by Dr. John Armstrong

The Rising Storm: What Breeders Need to Know
About the Immune System by by C.A. Sharp

The Shallow End of the Gene Pool
by D. Caroline Coile Ph.D.,Susan Thorpe-Vargas Ph.D.,& John Cargill M.S.

The Tragic Loss of Bloodlines and Mentoring in America by Carol D. Hawke