The mission of the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America is to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the Maremma Sheepdog breed, now and into the future. One way the MSCA actively protects the breed is by establishing and enforcing rules which govern registration.
To protect the future genetic diversity and health of the Maremma Sheepdog breed, the MSCA will no longer issue full registration status to any puppies born after October 1st, 2017, out of litters of direct inbreeding, defined as that of father/daughter, mother/son or sister/brother pairings. Puppies produced out of direct inbreeding, as defined above, may still be registered on “limited registration” status. Registration Guidelines
However, continued blatant inbreeding will be considered prejudicial to the best interest of the breed and may result in an individual being suspended from all privileges of the club for up to 1 year; up to 5 years; or a life-time expulsion.
Avoiding high levels of inbreeding is more desirable than trying to fix issues after inbreeding has become a problem. The Maremma Sheepdog breed already has too high of an inbreeding average. The MSCA and Breeders should strive to work together to closely monitor the inbreeding level of the Maremma Sheepdog breed towards the goal of healthier puppies now and in the future. If you have any questions, please email the MSCA.
What is inbreeding?
Inbreeding is mating of related individuals who have common ancestors. Direct inbreeding, as defined here, is the mating of father/daughter, mother/son or sister/brother.
How does inbreeding impact a breed?
High levels of inbreeding can impact the breed by the reduction of litter size, viability, vitality, fertility, and health.
The health of individual dogs can be affected by direct inbreeding, and a high Coefficient of Inbreeding, known as COI, increases the chances of the dog inheriting two or more copies of the same gene, both for known and unknown genetic disorders.
While is it impossible to make a precise prediction about the exact impact inbreeding may have on an individual dog, we know that as the degree of inbreeding increases, the risk of having a serious and harmful impact on the breed rises as well.
How do you measure inbreeding?
The degree of inbreeding is measured using the Coefficient of Inbreeding, or COI. This is the probability that two copies of the same gene have been inherited from a common ancestor. The higher the degree of inbreeding, the higher the COI.
It is the future goal of the MSCA to have an online pedigree database with the ability to measure COI of any proposed breeding. At that time, a more scientific formula will be utilized for inbreeding calculation and breeding recommendations.
For now, the MSCA is hoping to keep breeding recommendations and rules as simple and easily understood as possible by simply barring from full registration those puppies produced from direct inbreeding of father/daughter, mother/son, or sister/brother pairings.
What is "Direct Inbreeding"?
For MSCA registration purposes, direct inbreeding is defined as that of father/daughter, mother/son or sister/brother mating.
What is the COI of “Direct Inbreeding”?
The COI calculator provides you with a percentage score; the higher the percentage, the higher the degree of inbreeding.
An inbreeding coefficient of:
0% indicates a dog that comes from two apparently unrelated parents, based on all available pedigree information
12.5% would be the genetic equivalent of a dog produced from a grandfather to granddaughter mating, or the mating of a half-brother/sister
25% would be the genetic equivalent of a dog produced from a father/daughter, mother/son, or sister/brother mating
Inbreeding is accumulative, so if it has occurred to a significant degree over several generations, the inbreeding coefficient may exceed 25%.
At this time, the MSCA will still register puppies from a mating which results in an inbreeding coefficient of 12.5% or higher, but it is highly recommended that you consider a different pairing, all other considerations being balanced. If you go ahead with the mating and plan to let any of the puppies be used for breeding in the future, it is strongly suggested that you take, or that you have advised the new owner to take, extra care to choose a highly unrelated mate that will result in puppies with a lower inbreeding level.
Can COI/Genetic Diversity and Health Testing guarantee healthy puppies?
Breeders and potential buyers should be aware that inbreeding coefficient is a measurement of risk, and does not guarantee that puppies produced will, or will not, have any inherited health conditions. The higher the inbreeding level, the higher the level of risk of health issues because of the increased probability that the puppy inherited more than one copy of a given gene.
The most common genetic disorders, like hip and elbow dysplasia, are complex inherited disorders with multi-factored genes. Health certifications give the breeder knowledge of an individual dog’s health status before making breeding decisions, which is the best that a breeder can do to lower the percentage of affected puppies; and while the health certification of the sire and dam does not guarantee that a puppy will not develop a genetic disorder – it does lower the chances. Breeding proven healthy dogs produces more healthy puppies. This information should be transparent and readily available to future buyers.
Will the MSCA register puppies from a direct-inbreeding pairing? To help reduce the highest degrees of inbreeding in the Maremma Sheepdog breed, as of October 1st, 2017, the MSCA will register puppies of a mating from a direct-inbreeding (father/daughter, mother/son, sister/brother) only on “limited registration” status, which means that none of their offspring are eligible for registration. Continued blatant inbreeding will be considered prejudicial to the best interest of the breed and may result in an individual being suspended from all privileges of the club for up to 1 year; up to 5 years; or a life-time expulsion.