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Breeding Seppalas


Breeding Seppalas has always been something of a tricky art, and never more so than in the twenty-first century, after seventy years of genetic suffocation in the closed stud books of the Canadian Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. The Siberian sleddogs originally imported from eastern Siberia were unbelievably hardy, genetically diverse, well adapted to hard work under the harshest of conditions. But the perverse restrictions of the big umbrella show-dog registries have taken a severe toll on hardiness and diversity. Today the task is to conserve the remaining genetic resource, much of which has been wantonly squandered by Siberian Husky breeders of the past, and to try to take intelligent measures to restore some of what has been lost.

To achieve those ends, a working knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of population genetics will be indispensable. In particular, a good appreciation of the significance of Wright's Coefficient of Inbreeding or "COI", an understanding of founder effect, random genetic drift, and assortative mating will be needed by the aspiring breeder of Seppalas.


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