We have announced the planned breeding between Ginger and Boone Bubbins of Shepherds Way....both on this website and, in several groups on FB. However, I wanted to elaborate a little more on the path which brought us here.
I have had my eye on Boone since he was just a puppy in Oregon, the only boy in a litter of six. He was striking then, as now, because of his playful nature, the look in his eye and the contrast between the black, tan and white of his tricolor coat. His litter name was Rune (he was born on the Summer Solstice - the whole litter had names related to Midsummer) referring to special magical markings. Young Rune was also quite an escape artist!
Rune became Boone and came east to live and work on a large dairy farm in upper state New York. When he was young, I reached out to his owner, Charlie, to see if he would be open to breeding Boone in the future and his answer was that, if Boone proved to be a good cow dog, he would consider breeding him.
Fast forward to a year ago, when I checked in to see if this was the case. It was....Boone had become a true working partner....and Charlie was willing to breed him. A few boxes to check off....hip screens, health status and a drive from Maine over to NY to meet the both of them...and we are good to go. I'm hoping to breed around the first or second week in June....we'll see if Ginger agrees.
Boone and Ginger are not closely related....one of the factors I considered before deciding on this match. The Coefficient of Inbreeding on this litter is 2.2....certainly under the recommended limit of 5....and, in addition, I did an extended pedigree analysis to see what how much diversity there will be in these pups' lineage. (For more on this process, see the post of July 10, 2016 "Pedigree Diversity")
In the first seven generations, (litter counts as Gen 1) there are 254 possible ancestors. In this case, however, 16 of those "slots" are empty as the farmer/owners did not keep track of their dogs' parentage. Or maybe they knew but that information isn't available to us now.
So, of the 238 possible names in the first seven generations of the litter pedigree there are 176 individual names. Of these names, only 21 (12%) are common to both Ginger and Boone. Two (Anderson's Max and Anderson's Sophie II) appear five times, two (Butcher's Augie and Johnson's Duke) appear four times, seven (Dersam's Ted, Shininger's Brandy, Wilson's Humma Buddy Allen, Owen's Ginger of Jericho, Anderson's Shep, Partlow's Pupper, and Partlow's Tippy) appear three times, thirty five (too many to name!!!) appear twice and there are 130 dogs who only appear in this pedigree once.
So, as far as genetic diversity goes, this litter should be pretty well rounded.
If you're interested, you can read more about two of the above dogs here for Anderson's Max........and here for Shininger's Brandy.