What is Optimal Selection™?
For centuries, dedicated breeders have worked to improve the temperament, conformation, and health of their purebred dogs. In doing so, the breeding community has unfortunately had to contend with the concerns of smaller litter size, puppy mortality, and health issues. Optimal Selection™ is here to help.
Optimal Selection™ is a tool to help breeders choose more optimal pairings by using cutting edge genetic technology to look beyond pedigrees, examine the chromosomes of potential breeding matches, and make more educated selections. Mars Veterinary’s Optimal Selection™ gives breeders "peace of mind" while taking away the guess work in pairing their potential breedings. This service helps breeders maintain their individual breed standards and desired traits while helping to improve their breeding programs and produce healthier dogs.
How can Optimal Selection™ help my breeding program?
The primary objective of Optimal Selection™ is to help breeders make better breeding decisions based on science. Mars Veterinary recommends that breeders initially select the potential mates through the processes they have used in the past. Once that is completed, Optimal Selection™ should be used to further screen for the ultimate pairings. With this process breeders will maximize the potential genetic heterozygosity (aligning different haplotypes on each chromosome) from the dogs selected. Studies have shown that limited heterozygosity can cause decreased litter size and lead to greater health risks, thus increasing individual heterozygosity can help with these issues.
How does Optimal Selection™ work?
Optimal Selection™ uses a small blood sample to analyze a dog`s DNA on many key chromosomes. The objective is to compare the chromosomes of potential breeding pairs. By comparing the potential sire’s and dam’s chromosomal similarities and differences, the breeder is given the opportunity to diversify the genetic makeup of their puppies and reduce the risk of recessive medical conditions while still selecting for the physical and behavioral traits that are important to them.
How is Optimal Selection™ completed?
3 Easy Steps:
1. Select mates based on their family lines, temperament, conformation, and working ability.
2. Perform the Optimal Selection™ service for all dogs being considered for pairing. This requires a veterinarian supervised blood draw be taken for each dog and submitted using kits provided by Mars Veterinary.
3. Within 2-3 weeks, the Individual Report is returned. Breeders can request Match Reports, compare the breeding scores for each potential mating, and consider any particular chromosomes of interest (e.g. chromosome 12 for the immune system) to make their breeding selection.
How should the Optimal Selection™ results be used?
The analysis provided by Mars Veterinary through Optimal Selection™ utilizes a scoring system based on the dog’s DNA that can be compared to multiple potential mates. Each potential mating will be given a breeding score based on the compatibility of the chromosomes analyzed. Lower scores are preferred since they show that these dogs are more likely to produce puppies with less risk of haplotype overlap in areas you are not selecting for while maintaining the traits that you are selecting for.
Endorsed by Breeders & Geneticists!
"Optimal Selection™ helps breeders dedicated to selecting the best for both their program and their breed. We already select for best possible type, temperament, health, and soundness. Now, using Optimal Selection™, we have a brilliant means for choosing genetic diversity as well. This is thrilling especially for breeders passionate about numerically endangered breeds."
Clossongrey Dandie Dinmont Terriers
"It is extremely exciting to have Optimal Selection™ offered as another tool for the breeders’ arsenal when evaluating potential breeding pairs. Added to phenotype consideration and pedigree analysis, individual dog’s genetic diversity is one more piece of the puzzle."
Pennywise Dandie Dinmonts
"The opportunity to maximize genetic diversity within a breed while retaining desirable physical characteristics is a significant step forward. Actually reducing homozygosity, rather than basing choices on probability means that genetic diversity can be more successfully maintained and inbreeding depression can be reduced. The Optimal Selection™ tool is one that all breeders should consider implementing in their breeding programs."
Anita Oberbauer PhD
Canine Geneticist & Belgian Tervuren breeder
Terms and Conditions:
Optimal Selection™ Genetic Breeding Analysis, proprietary analysis provides guidance in decision making when choosing prospective canine breeding pairs. Optimal Selection™ is designed and intended to be used on purebred dogs solely to help identify the genetic compatibility of potential breeding pairs and no other purpose is authorized or permitted. It is not intended to diagnose diseases or predict behavior in any particular dog.
Upon receipt of your dog’s blood sample, Mars Veterinary will analyze your dog’s DNA to determine chromosomal similarities and differences of a potential sire and dam with a reasonable degree of certainty. Mars Veterinary’s testing procedures are designed to provide reliable and accurate results. By submitting samples for Optimal Selection™ it is understood that you agree they may be used confidentially by Mars in conjunction with all other samples from the breed to increase the understanding of the breed’s genetic structure. It is understood that future releases of the Optimal Selection™ test may refine results as more information is obtained regarding the breed structure and/or if new genetic markers are included.
Optimal Selection™ genetic assessment reports for individual dogs will only be available to the person(s) who submitted and registered the sample. Match reports may be requested using the Sample ID codes for the dogs and will be provided only to the owners of the dogs matched.
In the unlikely event that it is not possible to provide breeding scores, for example due to an insufficient DNA sample, or that an error in the analysis occurs, liability by Mars Veterinary or related companies and individuals is disclaimed and damages in any event are limited to the payment actually received by Mars Veterinary for the specified analysis at issue. Mars Veterinary continues to study the complexities of the canine genome with the goal of continuing to provide the most advanced analysis possible.