Finnish Spitz Dogs

Finnish Spitz Health

Finnish Spitz Pedigrees


Spitz Dog Breeds

The webscripts used for the pedigrees on this website include a variety of features. Initially, you will have the option of generating pedigrees for one to ten generations, although no more than five generations is recommended to maximize printing and screen display. You also have two search options for locating the Finnish Spitz you’re looking for. A “fast” search will return only those dogs with a name (or part of a name) exactly like the one word entered. A “slow” search will return all dogs with the name in any part of the registered name. The slow search option will also pick up minor differences in spelling. For example, with slow search if you enter the words “red hot” it will return dogs with both the words “red hot” in their names as well as those dogs with the one word “redhot”. You will then be given a list of dogs to select from for generating the pedigree.

Once the Finnish Spitz pedigree is generated, you will have additional options. By clicking on the links you may access littermates of the particular dog, offspring, breedings, reverse pedigrees (descendants), half siblings, and of course photos! One of the nicer features of this program is the ability to run test matings and generate a pedigree. Simply enter the names of the sire and dam, select the Finnish Spitz from the dropdown boxes on each and click on Create and a test mating pedigree will be generated. As the number of Finnish Spitz grows, this feature should become increasingly useful. Of course, it also requires that the data be updated with new offspring and breedings so please provide us with that information as it becomes available.

Wright’s Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) The COI for each dog in the database has been calculated for ten generations with BreedMate’s Pedigree Explorer software. The number immediately under each Finnish Spitz name is the COI based on 10 generations. The software now will automatically display the COI for 5 generations as well and in the trial breedings.

Inbreeding can be defined as follows:
1. The probability that both genes of a pair in an individual are identical by descent, ie homozygous.
2. The probable proportion of an individual’s loci containing genes that are identical by descent.
3. The Inbreeding Coefficient is expressed as a percentage. The more common ancestors there are in a pedigree, and the closer they are in terms of generations to their descendant, the higher the COI of that descendant.

The Finnish Kennel Club strongly recommends avoiding breedings where the COI in a five generation pedigree is over 10%. (NOTE: The COI in a five generation pedigree generally is lower than in a ten generation pedigree if there are linebreedings in the furthest five generations.) The Finnish Kennel Club recommends that breedings result in a COI of 6.25% or lower, which would be the COI between breeding of second cousins. The Finnish Finnish Spitz Club strives to keep the COI of the whole population under 3%. A low COI lessens the risk of homozygous genes that may create problems in the breed. At the same time, it also decreases the probability of “setting” the desirable traits.

The COI does not reflect the cumulative effect of the probability that genes are passed down from generation to generation with successive line breeding or inbreeding. For this task, Wright developed the Coefficient of Relationship (COR). For example, a great-great-great grandparent may be operating as a grandparent due to numerous line breedings on that particular dog in the pedigree. Or a grandparent or great-grandparent may be operating as a parent in the probability of genes appearing from that dog because of repeated line breeding. One can also calculate the Percent Contribution (Percent of Blood) of an ancestor. In a sire-daughter breeding the contribution of the sire is in fact 75% instead of 50%. Normally the relationship between siblings is 50%, when there is inbreeding the COR of inbred siblings may be quite high. The probability of genes passing from a particular dog increases the more times that dog is listed in the pedigree. The COR now is displayed in the trial breedings. In addition, the dogs that appear multiple times in the pedigree will stand out with a gray background so it is easy to locate these Finnish Spitz.

A related coefficient percentage is known as the Ancestor Loss Coefficient (ALC). It describes the degree to which recessive traits from ancestor generations are lost. Another way to think of it is as how many unique ancestors an animal has. If there are no duplicate ancestors, then no unique ancestors are “lost”, and the ALC = 0%. When there are duplicate ancestors, more and more unique ancestors are “lost”, and the ALC percentage goes up. A lower number is preferable. Sometimes in the literature, you may see ALC abbreviated as AVK, which stands for the German word AhnenVerlustKoeffizient.

If you are concerned about numerous line breedings in a pedigree, we suggest you examine a ten generation pedigree for the dog and keep in mind that the probability of genes passing from a particular dog increases the more times that dog is listed in the pedigree. For further information on the COI or COR you may wish to review the following articles and visit the following websites. An excellent online mini-course on the basics of animal genetics is offered by Cornell University and may be found here: For numerous articles on canine genetics and diversity, visit The Canine Diversity Project. Additional links are below and on our Links page.
Professor Brian Kinghorn’s Genetics Site
Inbreeding Lecture Notes with Diagrams
U of MO Extension Service Info on Inbreeding
Demystifying Inbreeding Coefficients

If you experience problems with any of the features, please let us know so that we may correct them. Just drop an email to Diane Helland.

Finally, Joan Grant has shared her many years of experience in the Health Watch page. She provides excellent advice for all breeders to consider.
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