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 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.
Optimal Selection™ in the media
Optimal Selection™ was recently featured in the April, 2011 edition of The Canine Chronicle magazine – click here to download a copy