Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) is a calculation which gives a breeder an indication of how inbred a sire/dam or litter will be. Knowing the percentage of the COI will enable a breeder to make the best choices toward reducing inbreeding in a litter. Coefficient of Inbreeding is the calculation of the level of inbreeding in a sire/dam with common ancestors.
In an article written by J. Armstrong (1998) for NetPets.org, his findings impact the breeding world and states, "The inbreeding coefficient is a function of the number and location of the common ancestors in a pedigree. It is not a function, except indirectly. of the inbreeding of the parents. A breeder can mate two highly inbred dogs who share little common ancestry and produce a litter with a very low IC" (Increeding Coefficient). Because the potential number of ancestors doubles every generation, eventually a point is rached where the number of ancestors exceeds the number of individuals alive at that time. A breeder is therefore bound to find some common ancestors if he/she goes back far enough, preferably 7-10 generations. It is also possible to mate two closely related dogs, both of which have low IC, and boost the IC substantially.
Calculating inbreeding for only the first few generations is not particularly useful. If there are more than one or two common ancestors in a four or five generation pedigree, the inbreeding is probably already higher than desirable. Unfortunately, having none is no guarantee that common ancestors will not occur in abundance further back, and some pedigrees of this type still achieve moderately high inbreeding coefficients (Armstrong, 1998)
High COI percentages increase the probability that genetic defects will be carried from common ancestors on both sides of a pedigree and will match up to cause a disease or defect in an animal. Many other problems of a high COI also affect offspring such as an Autoimmune disease and inbreeding depression symptoms, which result in reproductive and longevity issues. (Pongracz, 2008).
Inbreeding depression symptoms are seen as the loss of viability or function resulting from excess inbreeding. At times these symptoms are very suble, can sometimes be gradual. and are often blamed on diet, pollution, and other environmental factors. While these factors may also contribute, it is the sire/dam genes that make it more susceptible. The most frequently inbreeding depression signs are: 1) Chronic poor health 2) Higher incidence of disease in a line or breed of one or more diseases than is seen in the breed. 3) Higher incidence of immune system disease. 4) Difficulty in getting and keeping a female pregant. 5) Females that abandon a litter or are poor mothers. 6) Studs that are indifferent to a female in standing heat. 7) Studs cannot breed without help. 8) Low sperm count. 9) Earler age of death in a line. 10) Retained testicles. 11) Bad bites and missing teeth. 12) Temperment problems. 13) Stillborn and deformed offspring..(Pongracz)
A COI of 15 % is ideal but most AKK are in the 20% or higher range
25.00 % = Parent/Offspring or Full Brother / Sister Cross
12.50 % = Half Brother / Sister, Grandparent / Grandpup or Double
First Cousins Crosses
9.75 % = Great Uncle or Great Aunt / Great Niece or Great Nephew Cross
6.25 % = First Cousins
All of these factors make it incredibly important for breeders to do a COI calculation on any planned litter. Conducting a COI calculation will keep the Alaskan Klee Kai breed healthy for the future generations.