Yesterday was the big “show down” at Madison Gardens, and like most dog enthusiasts, I was glued to the TV for a few hours. While I was rooting for the Doberman or Dalmatian to win, Pekingese Gardenpalace Malachy took top honours.
I’m not a small dog fan, and especially not a Pekingese fan. I suppose if you want a dog that you can’t even take for a simple stroll around the block, a Peke might be for you. Malachy’s handler says “No other dog moves like this,” Fitzpatrick said. It’s true, as a Pekingese is supposed to move with a “slow and dignified” gait. That dog couldn’t run if his life depended on it. Malachy cannot WALK without starting to pant from exertion. He was so exhausted by his brief jaunt in the show ring that he was “reclining on a blue ice pack after his victory”
What Happened To The Pekingese Breed?
This is Looty, one of the original Pekingese dogs “looted” from the 1860 British raid of the Chinese Summer Palaces in Beijing. Looty was given to Queen Victoria as a gift. Notice that Looty has a suitable muzzle for proper breathing, appropriate legs for a dog his size and an acceptable hair coat.
Over the last 150+ years, show fanciers have turned Pekingese into a dog that has almost no discernible muzzle and cannot walk at a reasonable pace. Forget about the outrageous hair coat, how is that useful to any dog? For the list of possible health concerns that plague this breed, read this.
Keeping It In The Family
This is Gardenpalace Malachy’s Pedigree. If you want a better look at it, you can see it here. You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Before I start discussing the pedigree of this dog, let’s talk about line breeding and inbreeding coefficients.
Line breeding is a form of inbreeding. There is no clear distinction between the two terms, but line breeding may encompass crosses between individuals and their descendants or two cousins. This method can be used to increase a particular animal’s contribution to the population. While line breeding is less likely to cause problems in the first generation than does inbreeding, over time, line breeding can reduce the genetic diversity of a population and cause problems related to a too-small gene pool that may include an increased prevalence of genetic disorders and inbreeding depression.
The inbreeding coefficient of an individual is the probability that two copies of the same gene have been inherited from a common founder, that is an ancestor shared by both parents. An inbreeding coefficient of 12.5% means that there is a 1 in 8 chance that a dog will inherit the same version of gene from the same dog that appears in both the sire’s and dam’s pedigree.
Doing a hand calculation of Malachy’s COI would have been impossible. I’m not very good at math and the formula is very complex. However, since Malachy and his ancestors are UK bred, The Kennel Club of the UK has a handy online COI calculator called Mate Select that anyone can use.
I’m only going as far back as the third generation, but if you look at the fifth generation, Livanda Micklee Mataho is greatly over represented as a sire. In the fourth generation Livanda Micklee Ginola makes quite a few appearances.
If you look at the third generation, or the Great Grandparents of Malachy, he only has FIVE. A normal dog should have EIGHT. According to Mate Select, the average COI of Pekingese dogs registered by the KC is 7.4%
The Coefficients of Inbreeding of Malachy’s Ancestors
Delwin’s Touch of Blarney – represented twice COI 3.6%
Palacegarden Idle Fancy – represented twice COI 1.4%
Livanda Santana – represented twice COI 19.5%
Shantallah Leading Lady – represented once COI 8.6%
Livanda Gi-Gi of Palacegarden – represented once COI 16.8%
Palacegarden Donovan – COI 4.7%
Livanda Gucci of Palacegarden – COI 3.3%
Palacegarden Sullivan – COI 4.7%
Palacegarden Saffron – COI 27.8%
Palacegarden Mccafferty – COI 4.2%
Palacegarden Tansy – COI 3.5%
Palacegarden Malachy – COI 14.9%
What Does This mean?
Palacegarden Malachy has DOUBLE the average inbreeding coefficient of a Pekingese registered with the Kennel Club. It also means that he has a GREATER that 1 in 8 chance of inheriting the same version of genes from the same dog that appears in both the sire’s and dam’s pedigree.
Malachy is currently ranked the number two all breed dog in the US and has won 115 Best In Shows. After reading this, still think he’s a winner?