Assessing a potential mate? Start with a COI request.

August 4, 2020

Responsible breeders know the value of genetic COI (coefficient of inbreeding) in making breeding decisions: Not only is it correlated to overall canine health and lifespan, it can be extremely useful in assessing potential breeding mates for your dog. In fact, it’s one of the reasons so many breeders choose Embark for their DNA testing: Only Embark provides the predicted average litter COI for any 2 Embarked dogs—free—when you Embark-test your dog.

Evaluating a mate: What you can learn at a glance

The ability to predict average litter COI makes it easy to include genetic inbreeding as a factor in your breeding program planning. With each COI assessment from Embark, you’ll learn:

  • The degree of inbreeding present in each potential sire and dam
  • How the inbreeding score for each dog compares to the average for your breed 
  • The expected average genetic COI of a litter from the two dogs

By comparing the predicted genetic COI of the puppies in the litter against the COI of each adult dog, breeders can identify if the degree of inbreeding present in their lines will improve or deteriorate based upon the proposed mating. This information can be highly impactful not only to the individual breeders, but to breed clubs and other organizations working to preserve genetic diversity in their purebred populations. 

How to submit a COI or COR request

As a reminder, genetic COI information is included in every Embark for Breeders DNA Test. And, obtaining the predicted average genetic COI of a litter for any given breeding pair is just as easy. If your breed is one of the 40+ breeds available on Matchmaker (Embark’s global database of breeding dogs), you can select any listed to view the predicted results of a hypothetical mating. This includes the predicted average litter COI, as well as expected occurrence of genetic health conditions and certain physical traits in the offspring.

If your breed is not available on Matchmaker, simply submit your request to Embark’s Customer Service team, and you can expect the results in just 3-5 business days (larger requests for numerous dogs may take up to 10 business days). 

Simply email breeders@embarkvet.com and include the following information: 

  • If you own both dogs, please provide:
    • Your full name
    • Email address used on your Embark account that includes the dogs
    • Registered name of each dog to test (not the “call name”)
    • Swab code or activation code of each dog (preferred but not required)
  • If someone else owns one of the dogs, you must also include in your email:
    • Include the other owner on the email via the “CC” field
    • Full name of the other owner
    • Email address used on the Embark account containing the other dog
    • Brief statement asking the other owner to reply-all to confirm the request and provide the registered name and swab or activation code if not already provided.

Getting the most from your results

Predicted average litter COI is just that—an average—and individual puppies will vary slightly above and below that average number. So once your chosen breeding pair has produced a litter, we advise testing each puppy with our Litter Package, specially priced for breeders at just $99 per puppy. This will not only help inform ideal puppy candidates for future breeding, it will provide lasting peace of mind to puppy buyers.

Ready to submit a COI or COR request? Click here.

For more information about genetic COI, contact us.