Estimated breeding values
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are a resource that has been commonly used in livestock breeding for many years. An EBV is a calculation (normally based on phenotypic or clinical data) that estimates the genetic risk of complex inherited diseases. Recently, EBVs have been developed for a number of conditions in the dog, particularly for hip and elbow dysplasia. Using EBVs to make mating decisions is more accurate than using the observed clinical data, or “score”, and will lead to faster progress in reducing the prevalence of disease.
Within the UK, The Kennel Club has developed Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for hip and elbow dysplasia across a number of breeds. These EBVs utilise the data generated from the BVA/KC hip and elbow scheme, and are freely available for Kennel Club registered dogs (where an EBV is in place). These EBVs indicate the genetic risk of hip/elbow dysplasia for individual dogs relative to the entire breed. Owners can use the EBVs to determine which breeding animals have a higher or lower genetic risk than breed average, and more accurately indicate any genetic risks to offspring/progeny.