Breeder Directory update 05 JuneStud Dogs update 06 July Anniversary update 1 February

Hurrah, Weimaranerpedigrees.com 10 years!

Already 10 years a project in the making. And we have achieved a lot! We launched the pedigree database with just over 20,000 Weimaraners on February 1, 2006.
We still are not done and certainly do not have the breed history complete.
But we still hope that there are people out there who can help us further.
To celebrate our 10th Anniversary I have created some statistics which are not available online.
This is to hopefully let people have an idea how the breed is doing.
These statistics cannot be done online in the database in real time.
The data was taken on January 31, 2016 over 302,916 dogs and 2384 orphans.

There are already several statistics online which give some info about our breed, like the Breeding Statistics, which gives:
-The Most prolific Sires and Dams and their 2nd generation offspring.
-How many dogs were born and how many have given offspring.
-Average amount of offspring per dam/sire
Often it is that sons of a popular sire become popular as well.
Of course a prolific sire does not necessarily mean he will have a great influence on the future of the breed but in most cases it is; the 2nd generation offspring show how many of his offspring were bred from.
Popular sires are THE problem in virtually all animal breeding!

Let's start with some general information about the breed population.
The oldest Weimaraner we know of is from 1879. My guesstimate is that around 750,000 weimaraners (with pedigree) have been bred around the globe since.
This is based on the known registrations, and then guessing the countries I do not have complete records for and then estimating the popularity there.
For the population 2000-2015 the dogs are on average (mean) 49 generations after the foundation.
The maximum amount of generations after foundation that I have seen is 61 generations, this is for some dogs in the United States.
The lowest I have seen is 43 generations, this is with not counting the dogs with missing info and thus not going back to foundation.
Fewer generations are often seen in dogs in Germany. This is because the age that dogs are first bred from is generally higher than in other countries.
On average a German dog produces their first offspring after 3 years of age.
In the US many dogs produce their first offspring at around 2 years of age, if not earlier -- in the backyard breeding we see females bred aged 1 1/2 and males can be under a year of age.
On a side note, someone I know works on a West Highland White Terrier (Westie) database. The breeding started around the same time as Weimaraners, but they are already over 100 generations after foundation!
This shows that the Westie are usually bred for the first time at a younger age than our breed.
So knowing that on average we have 49 generations of pedigree, how many dogs are we actually talking about?

Below an overview how many we talk about.

Unfortunately Excel rounds off the numbers when they are over a quadrillion.

So, looking at the amount of dogs possible in 50 generations of a pedigree and knowing there are +/- 750,000 Weims bred since the start of the breed, it is needless to say that some dogs can appear a lot of times in a pedigree.
The dog most often seen in our dogs is Treff von Sandersleben. Depending upon how many generations after foundation and the completeness of the pedigree, he can appear from millions of times to over 2 billion times in a pedigree!
Although the generations after foundation might be 49, this is the furthest a foundation dog was found. However, the same foundation dog may appear as close as 21 generations.
This all depends on the ages that dogs were bred. The use of semen from a dog from decades ago can bring the foundation a lot closer as well

On average in the database we have only 9 generations completely full. The most complete generations seen is 16. Currently only 846 dogs have 16 generations complete.
For some important dogs through which many dogs are descended it has been impossible to complete their pedigrees back to the foundation.
Not having all generations complete does not necessarily mean we miss a lot percentage wise.

Now we have an idea of the completeness of pedigrees and how many dogs we are speaking about we can go on to looking at the COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding).
COI can be under estimated when data is missing, so I also will show the completeness in pedigrees.
An explanation of the terms used, just in case people are not familiar with them.
-Mean is the average, adding up the values and then dividing by the number of values.
-Mode is the value seen the most.

COI over the complete database over 20 generations:
COI (mean): 20.60%
COI (mode): 16%
Pedigree completeness (mean): 67.42%
Pedigree completeness (mode): 98%
Highest COI seen: 76.36%
Highest pedigree completeness: 99.93%
Ancestors seen (mean): 1,408,558
Ancestors unique (mean): 1,895
Ancestor loss (mean): 99.87%
Highest ancestors unique: 17,749
From the table above we know that for 20 generations there are 2,097,151 possible ancestors. The data here shows that on average, only 1,408,558 ancestors are seen, leaving almost 690,000 dogs missing in the 20 generations.
So for the Ancestor loss I therefore did not calculate it over the amount of possible ancestors but took the 1,408,558 ancestors

Now I have given those numbers over the complete database it might be interesting to see in a graphic what the mean COI is per year compared to the pedigree completeness.
The blue bars are the COI (F) and the red line is the pedigree completeness.

This shows that the pedigree completeness is under 5% till +/- 1955, after that you see it going up fast.
So we might be better off to look at the population 2000-2015 over 20 generations, there the pedigree completeness is higher.

COI over the complete database over 10 generations:
COI (mean): 12.06%
COI (mode): 12%
Pedigree completeness (mean): 95.35%
Pedigree completeness (mode): 100%
Highest COI seen: 74.23%
Highest pedigree completeness: 100%
Ancestors seen (mean): 1,950
Ancestors unique (mean): 454
Ancestor loss (mean): 76.71% (again calculated over Ancestors seen)
Highest ancestors unique: 1,440
So with 10 generations we can show more accurate calculations with a pedigree completeness of 95.35%.
Although the average mean COI is 8% lower than over 20 generations the mode COI is only 4% lower.
The highest COI seen is of course the same dog as on 20 generations and that COI difference is only 2% over those extra generations.

With 10 generations the COI compared to pedigree completeness shows a very different graphic as the one over 20 generations.

Till +/- 1960 it shows about the same COI as it did for 20 generations, but after then it is a completely different picture over 10 generations.
The pedigree completeness seems to become very complete since 1960 as well.

Now lets concentrate on the population 2000-2015. This is mostly our current population.
Again we'll look at data from 20 and 10 generations, and then look at COI over this timeframe for different countries.

COI population 2000-2015 over 20 generations:
COI (mean): 21.00%
COI (mode): 17%
Pedigree completeness (mean): 89.16%
Pedigree completeness (mode): 98%
Highest COI seen: 67.00%
Highest pedigree completeness: 99.93%
Ancestors seen (mean): 1,865,340
Ancestors unique (mean): 3,227
Ancestor loss (mean): 99.83% (again calculated over ancestors seen)
Highest ancestors unique: 17,749

COI population 2000-2015 over 10 generations:
COI (mean): 9.50%
COI (mode): 6%
Pedigree completeness (mean): 95.63%
Pedigree completeness (mode): 100%
Highest COI seen: 61.43%
Highest pedigree completeness: 100%
Ancestors seen (mean): 1,956
Ancestors unique (mean): 534
Ancestor loss (mean): 72.70% (again calculated over ancestors seen)
Highest ancestors unique: 1,440

Now lets look at some COI values per country over the years 2000-2015. For this I will only show you the mean COI and the pedigree completeness.
I will only show information on some countries where the data is relatively complete.

Over 10 generations:
Australia: 15.78% Completeness: 99.93%
Canada: 15.30% Completeness: 98.25%
United Kingdom: 11.12% Completeness: 99.95%
Italy: 9.71% Completeness: 95.96%
Netherlands: 8.47% Completeness: 97.02%
United States: 7.28% Completeness: 96.07%
Germany: 7.13% Completeness: 96.65%
Denmark: 6.59% Completeness: 96.65%
Czech Republic: 6.58% Completeness: 96.94%
Sweden: 5.28% Completeness: 96.21%

Now it might look that the United States has a relatively low COI, this low COI is mainly due to the 'backyard' breeding in the US. I think that over 80% of the breeding in the US is Backyard breeding.
Most people who just want a litter of puppies because it is cute look mostly for a dog not related to theirs, for all they know it is not good to breed close relatives to each other, because in their culture they grew up not to have children with your close relatives.
As a comparison, Champion titled Weims in the US have an average COI of 17.46% with a Completeness of: 99.91%

Below are a few Pedigree Charts to illustrate how the pedigrees of dogs from different backgrounds look.
Each ancestor is only shown once, which then gives you a comparison to see how many different ancestors there are in different dogs.
Each chart is for a particular dog in the database, but the dogs are not named -- the important thing is to see what the 'average' pedigrees look like for countries/bloodlines.
Although Germany has a mean COI of 7.13%, Weims there usually have fewer unique ancestors than dogs from some other countries.
And if you compare those again to a US backyard dog then you see how many unique ancestors they have.

Pedigree chart of a German Dog

Pedigree chart of a US Champion.

Pedigree of a US dog bred outside the club

Do you see the differences with how many different dogs make up the pedigrees?
Did any of you notice the thing all those dogs have the same?
All the dogs have the same end of the pedigree, all dogs from prior to WW-II are the same, this is for every Weimaraner in the world!

This is because the breed was not popular outside of Germany and Austria prior to WW-II, yes I know they were also in Czech, however those prior to WW-II did not survive the war.
US was the first country who started breeding in 1939, after the war a lot of dogs from Germany and Austria went to the US and dogs from the US came back to Europe which makes that everything was merged together

Maybe to give a better idea how much difference there is in unique ancestors we maybe should look at the charts put over each other.
Red is the Germany dog, blue is the US Champion and yellow is the dog bred outside the club.

It might be interesting to look at why it is that the breeding outside the clubs or mainstream ('backyard breeding') has happened so much in the US.
And the many Unique ancestors and low COI goes with it. Well the breed was advertised a lot in the 50's in the US, which of course attracted people to own that special Silver Pointer.
The registrations of the breed were at its peak that time, it is nearly 60 years later and they have not been surpassed. Not even after Best in Show (the movie) and William Wegman.
In 1957 there were 10,011 new Weim registrations. In recent years the highest were 9,126 in 2000.
The people who bred by the guidelines of the club did not want to give their dogs for breeding to those who were outside the club, leading to different populations, with here and there some mixed lines.

Earlier I said that popular sires were the biggest problem in animal breeding.
To visualize this I made a chart which shows the registrations and how a popular sire can take over a population within a couple of generations.

You see clearly that in this population a popular sire at his time has taken over the population within 6 generations.

Finally, I show you the 10 most influential ancestors for 3 to 10 generations over the 2000-2015 population evidencing the most influential dogs.
Marg. Cont. stands for Marginal Contribution.

On generation 3 to 9 we see Colsidex Standing Ovation or Doug's Dauntless Von Dor on top, Doug's Dauntless Von Dor is the grandsire of Colsidex Standing Ovation.
On 10 generations we suddenly jump to a dog from before WW-II.

To wrap up the most important information that this analysis shows;
- We should not concentrate on a few popular dogs, but try to breed many different Weims.
When we concentrate on popular dogs we allow certain dogs to take over the population (see chart with the popular sire).
The pedigree chart of the dog bred outside the club scene shows us the effects when we do not concentrate on all the titles a dog has - or which popular ancestral dogs they have in the pedigree.
- We have to keep in mind that it is the effort and money of the owner that a dog might have a lot of titles.
Not everybody has the privilege to do it all, either because they might not be that experienced yet or are not able to afford it, but that does not mean that dog is bad.
- We should not eliminate the local populations from breeding, the influential ancestors show that worldwide there is a popularity trend which is on the long run not healthy for our population.
We already deal with several health issues in our breed and keep on breeding close relatives or dogs from the same bloodlines. Eventually one ends up with more health issues.
The Coefficient of Inbreeding shows just that, the COI is the probability of inheriting the same allele from both parents because they share an ancestor. This is not only the desired traits, but also the undesired traits and health issues!
- Mating closely related dogs can cause diseases never heard of in our breed.
At first people might think they were unlucky till those diseases pop up more often; only thereafter people start to realize that we might have a problem. When this gets realized it might already be too late to save the breed from this disease due the small population.

I hope all this info is helpful for you, and hope you learned some about the breed!

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