Thank you for taking the time to sign the petition!
Monday, April 25, 2022
Saturday, February 5, 2022
Myth #1: The Mudi was created by crossing Pumi, Puli, Spitz and almost any other breed or breed type together.
Other Mudi breed folklore that makes the rounds:
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Good Grief, where the heck did they get the photo of a 'black Mudi" for this article?
Monday, December 27, 2021
From time to time, there are science studies published that cover areas of concern or interest to Mudi breed people, I will list them here on Mudi Directions for anyone looking for some science input to topics of discussion occurring within Mudi groups, between friends, or just for your own illumination.
Additionally, when the incidence of a health, temperament or other issue is evident in the Mudi breed, I will give a list of science studies that can be used for further information and support, to owners and breeders of affected Mudis.
The following two studies involve feeding of dogs and puppies:
#1 Puppyhood diet as a factor in the development of owner-reported allergy/atopy skin signs in adult dogs in Finland (July 2021)
For a brief summary: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211118203742.htm
There is known incidence of allergy/intolerance/sensitivity in the Mudi breed. The sources range from food (for example chicken, wheat and corn), vaccine allergy, bee sting allergy, drug or chemical allergy (such as top spot flea products) and others.
#2 Once-daily feeding is associated with better cognitive function and health in companion dogs: Results from the Dog Aging Project (Nov 2021)
(This study is a Pre-Print, it has not been peer reviewed, however the peer review process may be underway.)
For a brief summary:
Many Mudis suffer from cognitive decline as they age, some even experience dementia. I hope this study will go through the peer review process as it could prove to be a very important finding towards the betterment of the golden years for all dogs.
This study investigates the possible stress on companion dogs from everyday noises:
Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners' Interpretations of Their Dogs' Behaviors (Nov 2021)
For a brief summary:
Hookworms are developing resistance to treatment:
Multiple drug resistance in hookworms infecting greyhound dogs in the USA (Dec 2021)
For a brief summary:
Canine hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention share similar demographic risk factors and behavioural comorbidities with human ADHD (Oct 2021)
For a brief summary:
Articles regarding separation related behavior in dogs (commonly known as separation anxiety):
#1 Separation-related behavior of dogs shows association with their reactions to everyday situations that may elicit frustration or fear (Sept 2021)
#2 Canine separation anxiety: strategies for treatment and management (Oct 2014)
#3 Developing Diagnostic Frameworks in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine: Disambiguating Separation Related Problems in Dogs (Jan 2020)
A brief summary of the above study only:
#4 Prevalence, comorbidity, and breed differences in canine anxiety in 13,700 Finnish pet dogs (March 2020)
A brief summary of the above study only:
#5 A descriptive study of 215 dogs diagnosed with separation anxiety (Oct 2014)
#6 Separation anxiety in dogs: What progress has been made in our understanding of the most common behavioral problems in dogs? (Nov-Dec 2016)
#7 Pet dogs home alone: A video-based study (Nov 2021)
#8 Influence of Owners’ Attachment Style and Personality on Their Dogs’ (Canis familiaris) Separation-Related Disorder (Feb 2015)
#9 Should I whine or should I bark? Qualitative and quantitative differences between the vocalizations of dogs with and without separation-related symptoms (Nov 2017)
#10 Separation anxiety in dogs: What progress has been made in our understanding of the most common behavioral problems in dogs? (Nov-Dec 2016)
I hope you can find some time in the days ahead to
read these valuable scientific studies!
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Number of Mudi used in the study = 141
Heterozygosity minimum = 27.6
Heterozygosity median = 40.4
Heterozygosity maximum = 47.6
Adjusted inbreeding level = 0.096 (9.6%)
Mid range body weight was calculated using AKC breed standards: 10.66 kilos (FCI = 10.5 kilos)
Breeds were sorted into groups based on FCI grouping = No group was listed for the Mudi (although it is listed as belonging to Group 1 in FCI)
Health Insurance Count = none listed
Morbidity = none listed
Brachycephaly yes or no = not listed (the Mudi is not brachycephalic)
The Mudi did not have any health insurance data listed in the data sets, which leaves one to assume they did not have any health data. The missing health data is not due to the low sample size of Mudis as there were 85 other breeds with a lower count that did have health data (85 breeds have 141 or less dogs and have insurance, morbidity, brachy designation and FCI group information). As a comparison, 222 Pumis and 36 Pulis, were also included in this study and they had insurance, morbidity, brachy data and FCI group listed.
They write that the Mudi is a landrace breed and I agree with that, but so are the Pumi and the Puli. But the Pumi/Puli inbreeding levels are not below 10%, they are: Puli = 13.6% and the Pumi = 12.1%, according to their DNA sampling.
They infer that the low inbreeding level in the Mudi is due to the stud book being kept open or from having a high number of founders. I disagree with the high number of founders existing in the Mudi, it is simply not the case and several of the original founder lines have already been lost, while others were in critical danger of extinction the last time I did a Mudi founder study.
Yes the stud book is still open in Hungary and therefore other FCI countries, but this is not the case already in Canada (CKC stud book has been closed since 2015) and eventually the USA as the stud book closing clock will start to tick January 1, 2022, as that is when the Mudi will become a fully recognized breed with AKC, which means only 3 full generation pedigree Mudis can be registered. The AKC will leave a window open until 12/2026 for some further registration of less than 3 full generation pedigreed Mudis, via a domestic registry solution, but the details of which domestic registry they will allow are still undetermined, which is quite worrisome. It is also unknown if they can extend this window after 2026. This means the Mudi breed will eventually experience an interesting trial between USA/Canada and the rest of the world in terms of inbreeding levels.
Having an open stud book is only valuable if the dogs that are being brought in are truly representative of new or lost lines and the July 23, 2021 Mudi Directions post, The Neglected Hungarian Treasure, already explained how that has not been the case for quite a long time now.
So how has the Mudi kept inbreeding levels low? Are they actually low? Good questions I will research answers to when I have a chance. I used to publish periodic reports about the levels of inbreeding, but no one seemed to care, so I stopped wasting my time.
I do not disagree that inbreeding levels are connected to health, reproduction and longevity in animals, as many studies have shown it. As for the other breed data used in the study, I have no quarrel as I am not familiar with their status.
However, inferring the Mudi is healthy because it has a lower level of inbreeding, is not a correct assumption. The lack of supporting health insurance data is also not an indicator of the health status of the Mudi. The Mudi data used in this study is not relevant to the purpose of the study.
Regardless of my opinion, I urge you to read the entire study and make your own conclusions.
INBREEDING VALUES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
I have been recording the Embark GCOI Mudi data for quite a while. I also tracked the Wisdom/MyDog/Optimal Select GCOI, but there was a problem with the information they provided. Wisdom does not give a usable GCOI, they give a percentage of heterozygosity (photo example below). Therefore, it is not comparable to my pedigree COI, nor the GCOI that Embark gives which is based on homozygosity. I can compare the GCOI of Embark to my pedigree database, and my pedigree COI is surprisingly close to Embarks GCOI in most cases I have compared thus far (50+).
Why do I do this? It’s more than just curiosity or data collecting, I want to check the reliability of the pedigree COI I give. In many cases Embarks GCOI and my pedigree COI are often within 1-4%. The difference can be due to rounding (I don’t round the COI’s I calculate) and the number of empty spaces on the pedigree. In a few cases it can be from less common things such as parents being incorrectly reported on pedigrees, accidental breeding with multiple sires, and other breeder/pedigree record mismanagement.
It should be noted that Embark uses the rounding principle with their GCOI’s, for example, if the GCOI is 5.7, they round it up to 6%. I assume they also round down.
Embark has DNA tested more than 100 Mudis, possibly more than 150. And these are not just Mudis in the USA or Scandinavia, but Mudis from many parts of the world. I have just now asked Embark if they can tell me how many Mudis they have tested, if I get a response, I will update this post.
As indicated on a recent Embark results report (see photo at the top of this post), the range of GCOI in the Mudis tested with Embark is between 1% and 30%. What the Mudi breed average is, I cannot tell from the graph. It appears that the bulk of Mudis tested are in the 6-10% range, if the bars indicate that by their height.
Of course, much depends on the gene set each DNA lab is using as a baseline indicator of homo-heterozygosity for a breed and most likely Wisdom and Embark are not using the same gene set for comparison. Several Mudis have been tested by both labs, with the test results sometimes showing differences, which further indicates testing parameters are not the same.
LET’S HERD SOME DUCKS TO ROWS
Even with all the data both labs offer, it is still unknown how representative it is of the Mudi breed in actuality, as a whole. That is, does their GCOI average speak for the whole breed? Or due to the number and relationship of Mudis tested, is the GCOI average actually much higher or lower?
I had an idea today to see what kinds of statistics I can make using the data I constantly collect. I decided to compare the GCOI of Embark, to my pedigree COI, to health issues affecting the tested dogs. I also used the rounding function on my pedigree COI to be more in line with the Embark GCOI.
Number of Mudis in my database with Embark GCOI = 50
Embark GCOI range and average of these 50 Mudis: 2-29%; Average GCOI: 11%
USA living Mudis (40) GCOI = 11%; Canada + Europe living Mudis (10) GCOI = 11%
Pedigree COI range and average of these 50 Mudis: 0-21%; Average COI: 8%
Year of Birth/Age range of these 50 Mudis: 2008 to 2021; Aged 13 to less than 1 year
28 Mudis are aged 2 or younger, this means health data is likely not available for these Mudis yet
Country these 50 tested Mudis live in: USA = 40; Canada, UK, Austria, Hungary, Poland = 10
How many of the 50 Mudis produced a litter: 12, between 1 and 4 times
LITTERMATE SPREAD IS NOT FOR BREAD
What was also interesting in this GCOI data, is the effect of littermate spread.
Among this set of 50 GCOI tested Mudis, there are 8 litters containing two or more tested littermates. The range of the littermates GCOI’s I call littermate spread, the gap is the difference between highest and lowest GCOI of the tested littermates. For example, the largest set of littermates in this group of 50 is 6 puppies. Their GCOI’s were 6, 8, 10, 11, 12 (two puppies had 6% each). The spread is 6-12%, with a gap of 6%, which is equal to a 50% difference between the 6% and 12% littermates. That is a significant difference. However, it is not unexpected for a gap this large to occur in lower GCOI litters. As the GCOI level increases, it is expected the gap between littermates will decrease. That is, when the GCOI for a litter reaches the 12.5% and higher range, the gap between littermates GCOI’s should narrow. Why? Because as the GCOI level rises, the genes shared between puppies in a litter become more and more similarly shared, that is, they have less variation between them, which allows a more similar GCOI. Less variation in genes creates both good and bad points for a breed, but that is a topic for another post.
In case you are still not sure what littermate spread is and why it is important to understand, think of it this way: the lower the GCOI for a litter, the greater the chance the GCOI for each puppy in the litter to have a very different GCOI from the other puppies in the litter – there can be a big range of GCOI’s among the littermates, this is not unexpected.
As the GCOI level increases, the diversity decreases among the littermates making the differences between puppies smaller – thereby equalizing the GCOI more closely among littermates.
GCOI level is low = higher gap between GCOI’s in littermates
GCOI level is high = lower gap between GCOI’s in littermates
The gap for the 8 groups of littermates found in this group of 50 Mudis, ranges from 0% to 12%, with 5 litters having a 1-4% difference in their GCOI. The other 3 litters had a gap of 6, 7 and 12%.
As time goes on, it will be interesting to see more of these littermate spreads and if they can be correlated to health issues or longevity between littermates.
HEALTH ISSUES AND GCOI
Now for the list you’ve probably been waiting for most. The following health issues affect these 50 Embark tested Mudis / how many are affected / and the GCOI. Order is alphabetical.
Allergy / 2 / 13%, 15%
Anal Gland Issue / 1 / 7%
Bite: 1 over, 1 under / 2 / 9%, 14%
Distichiasis / 1 / 7%
Elbow Dysplasia / 1 / 7%
Epilepsy / 1 / 9%
Hip Dysplasia / 1 / 14%
Patella Luxation / 2 / 9%, 23%
Teeth Issue / 1 / 9%
Testicles, Missing / 1 / 9%
Thyroid / 1 / 13%
Trichiasis / 1 / 23%
12 health issues in 15 Mudis, GCOI range: 7 – 23%
Percentage of 50 Mudis affected: 30% (15 affected from 50)
Number of affecteds with 10% GCOI or above: 7
Number of affecteds with 9% GCOI or lower: 8
Of course, this is a very small study using only 50 Mudis. However, a 30% rate of health issues is not small. It does not appear to be biased towards high or low levels of inbreeding as 7 vs 8 affecteds is not a significant difference. Perhaps with more Mudis a difference might be seen.
I do hope to expand this study, however I will need cooperation from the Mudi owners that have done Embark DNA testing. Please consider sharing your Embarked Mudis results with me. I will not give subject names to the data, it is anonymous as you can see, and it will always be that way.
If you would like to see the comparison chart between the Embark GCOI and my pedigree COI for these 50 Mudis, I can add it to this post, send me a message that you would like to see it included.
I would like to thank the 49 Mudi owners and breeders that shared their Embark data with me as they made this small starter study possible. The 50th Mudi is mine.
If you have any questions, or other statistics or data you would like to see, just ask!
Embark report notes, in reference to the chart at the top of this post:
Genetic Diversity and Inbreeding
Inbreeding is a measure of how closely related your dog's parents were. Dogs that are less inbred tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI)
Genetic COI measures the proportion of your dog's genes that are identical on the mother's and father's side. The higher the number, the more inbred your dog is.
Wisdom DNA Inbreeding Level Report, photo below:
The effect of inbreeding, body size and morphology on health in dog breeds