I submitted Nami to My Dog DNA several weeks ago. Yesterday, the results came back. Her profile is public if anyone is interested and has an account. The company does not tell me how many Kishu have been tested, but it is not enough to have a breed-specific profile, yet, so some things on her profile may change as more Kishu samples are collected.
She cleared all the genetic health tests that they perform. Currently, it lists her "genetic health index" as 71. (100 is 'average dog', but may not be 'average Kishu'.) This may change as more Kishu are tested.
What I found interesting was some of the physical traits.
I used this test because I felt it would be a good start in the right direction to quantify how large or small the Kishu Ken genepool is - but it also tests the alleles on some loci that are responsible for coat color and physical traits. Here's how hers came back:
A Locus - Ay/aw (one copy of "sable" and one copy of "agouti/wild type") - this locus determines the pattern of black hair
B Locus - B/B (non-brown/chocolate - does not carry brown/chocolate)
E Locus - E/e (one copy of "wild type" and one copy of "recessive red" - recessive red is white in the Kishu Ken)
H Locus - h/h (non-harlequin; this applies to merle dogs - Nami is not merle)
K Locus - ky/ky (two copies of wild-type - Nami is not brindle or black, so this was not a surprise)
Furnishings - GG/CC (unfurnished)
Coat Length - G/G (two copies of an allele associated with short coats)
Curly Coat - C/C (two copies of an allele associated with non-curly coats)
That was all kind of unsurprising to me. Where it got a little "huh!" was in the last section...
IGF1 Body Mass - A/A (associated with small/toy breed dogs)*
Ear Erectness - C/C (associated with floppy ears in dogs)*
Natural Bobtail - C/C (non-bobtailed)
Skull Length - C/C (elongated skull)
IGF1R Body Size - G/G (associated with large breed dogs)
I referenced Shikoku first (as they are fairly similar to the Kishu Ken) and all other Japanese dogs tested afterward. The majority of Shikoku had this "C" allele associated with floppy ears in dogs... yet the Kishu and the Shikoku both have erect ears! The My Dog DNA write up said something interesting about this allele, too: it's the one commonly found in wolves... and obviously, wolves have erect ears... so I wonder if there's a modifier present that we have not located in Kishu and Shikoku causing the ears to be erect instead of dropped (like the wolf).
The next thing was the body mass. Also interesting, since all of the Japanese dogs - even the Shibas - tested for the same allele that was associated with large dogs, not small dogs (as Nami was). I wonder if that's contributing to her small size compared to other Kishu Ken.
Anyway, those are just thoughts. It's nothing solid yet. This is my brain drool. I honestly don't feel any closer to my original goal... but this is just one dog tested. Many more need to follow. I think there may be some other Kishu Ken in the system that are not public, so hopefully we're closer than I feel we are.
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