Genetic diversity of Shepherd dog using pedigree analysis
ABSTRACT: The German Shepherd dog breed is the most popular breed globally and in Brazil. The study of the population structure through pedigree information is an essential tool to understand the history of the Brazilian German Shepherd dog breed. This study evaluated the status of genetic diversity and population structure of the Brazilian German Shepherd dog breed. The pedigree included a total of 77,938 animals born between 1970 and 2014. The average generation interval in this population was 3.91 years. Considering the reference population, 2,183 founders were identified. Approximately 3% of the genetic diversity of the current population (2010-2014) was lost, most of which was due to genetic drift. The effective population size was relatively small, and the pedigree showed bottlenecks indicating a loss of genetic diversity in this breed. These results indicated the need to adopt measures against the excessive increase in inbreeding and monitor effective population size to minimize genetic diversity loss.