Breeding regulations of the association “Amerikanische Collies Europa e.V.“ (“American Collies Europe”)
I. Purpose of breeding
Purpose of the association “American Collies Europe" is the preservation and promotion of the American Collie in Europe, according to the American breed standard, with its specific appearance, nature, properties, and in particular its variety of colors and sizes, while promoting health values and genetic diversity at the same time.
II. Organization of the breeding system (breeding register)
1. Studbook office
The studbook office of "American Collies Europe" is led by the breed manager (main breed warden / studbook responsible). The breed manager shall be elected by the General Assembly. The breed manager belongs to the board of the association "American Collies Europe". He maintains the studbook.
The studbook office centrally records all relevant breeding data of "American Collies Europe", such as all kennels, breeders, stud dogs, bitches and litters. The individual dogs are registered with all relevant data, such as full name, studbook number, microchip number, date of birth, gender, coat length (smooth or rough), color, DNA profile number, health values, titles, championships, name and address of the breeder and the name and address of the owner including contact data. Dates of mating, birth dates of litters and ancestors are recorded as well as size of litters - including all living or stillborn puppies as well as puppies that died later. Additionally any peculiarities and abnormalities of individual puppies or the mother dog as well as caesarean sections (including reason). The studbook office creates the pedigrees, records and checks breeding applications, notifications of mating, remains emptyand litters. It conducts the litter acceptance and cares for international protection of kennel names at the association.
2. Breeding commission
The breeding commission is constituted during the foundation assembly. It consists of the breed manager, the breed warden and the breed warden candidates as well as the first and second chairman plus one stud dog representative and one breeder representative. Each of these commits himself to regular further education. Regular meetings are scheduled and information is exchanged on a frequent basis. This can also be done by electronic means.
Members interested in becoming a breed warden candidate can apply for that anytime with the breeding manager. The breeding commission will appoint breed warden candidates after having checked their application and will conduct training courses for them. The breeding commission prepares a special examination procedure for the breed warden candidates. Breed warden candidates who passed that examination are nominated as breed wardens by the breed manager.
The breeding commission analyzes the data maintained by the studbook office and develops breeding strategies. Criteria for dog breeding license and litter control are checked and if necessary altered or complemented. The breeding commission suggests changes to the breeding regulations which are subsequently presented at the General Assembly. The General Assembly decides about acceptance or refusal of these changes by the majority. The breeding commission is authorized to carry out short-term changes to the breeding regulations, which are then put to the vote at the next regular general meeting.
The breeding commission organizes continuing education, seminars and conferences on the subject of breeding, gives advice to breeders and certifies kennels. It also checks whether participation in current research studies is reasonable and issues appropriate recommendations.
The breeding commission checks whether all requirements for a dog breeding license are met by breeding candidates and decides on their acceptance by the majority. The breeding commission can decide on certain restrictions in breeding by the majority, e.g. if defects occur that would actually exclude from breeding or if serious genetic defects occur in the offspring of a bitch or a stud dog.
The breeding commission creates and revises a list that contains recognized experts on HD- and ED, special ophthalmologists and laboratories and central dog registers for each European country relevant for breading on a frequent basis.
The breeding commission creates and revises all forms, templates and sheets relevant for application, acceptance, notification, control, certification and examination according to the breeding regulations.
3. Breed warden
The breed manager assigns the breed warden with the tasks of kennel and litter control according to the breeding regulations. These inspections are documented on specific templates and forwarded immediately to the studbook office. Every peculiarity and anomaly is documented.
III. Breeders and stud dog owners
Certified breeders of our association "American Collies Europe" have the reputation of high quality breeding, following the motto "quality matters more than quantity." Therefore breeder applicants have to pass a breeder qualifying examination. The breeding commission develops an association specific internal breeding exam, which is implemented promptly and mandatory for new breeder applicants. All breeders are expected to improve their skills and to increase and update their knowledge on a regular basis. This of course applies to owners of stud dogs as well. For that reason, the club offers internal and external possibilities for further education.
Everybody who wants to breed in "American Collies Europe" has to register with the studbook office. New breeder applicants and stud dog owners have to be at least 18 years old and have to be a member of the "American Collies Europe."
Every breeder and stud dog owner is obliged to maintain his own studbook. Templates for these are also available at the studbook office of "American Collies Europe." They have to be kept up to date and complete. All information has to be forwarded to the studbook office immediately. Breeders and stud dog owners are obliged to meet all requirements of the breeding regulations in due time. Applications and announcements can be sent by electronic means if breeders and stud dog owners have the ability to print, fill in, sign and rescan documents to send them back to the studbook office. They will receive a receipt confirmation in turn. In case no receipt confirmation is sent, the sender has to check the issue. Should sending by electronic means not be possible, mail has to be used instead. This also applies for anybody that does not have the technical prerequisites to print, scan and send emails.
Breeding kennels that breed according to the guidelines of the association “American Collies Europe” receive the title: “Certified Kennel of the Association of American Collies Europe.” The association has developed a special badge that breeders can use on their web sites. All dogs in the house must live appropriate to the breed together with their owners in the living area, with sufficient daily walks, time outside in the yard or garden etc. Keeping dogs purely in kennels is not acceptable. Of course, the dogs must have water available at any time and must be fed regularly and sufficiently with food of high quality.
At the end of pregnancy the bitch has to be provided with a quiet area indoors, which is sunlit during the day and has a maintainable well-regulated temperature (at least 18°C). The whelping box in this area must have a size of 2-3m². A heating lamp has to be provided to be used when necessary. While growing up, the puppies increase their activity radius and the size of their area has to be increased step by step according to their needs. By the age of four weeks their area inside must be at least 7,5m².
With five weeks of age at latest, the puppies need to be able to access an outdoor enclosure at least once a day. This area must not to be smaller than 12m² and with six weeks of age it must not be smaller than 24m². The older the puppies get the more time they should spend outdoors, up to several hours a day if weather conditions permit. During this time, the puppies have to be able to protect themselves against too much sun, rain or moisture and must have the possibility to remain in the shade. For this, a protected area is needed, which should be at least 2,5m² to offer sufficient space for the bitch as well as for the puppies. The whole place has to be set up safely, so no dog gets injured. The ground should offer different surfaces (i.e.: bedding, grass, flagstone, sand and maybe also tiles, linoleum… etc.). Indoors and outdoors, a good level of hygiene must be maintained at all times, e.g. floor and ground spaces must be cleaned very regularly.
Well-balanced nutrition with several meals a day and constantly available water are self-evident as soon as the puppies are able to eat and drink by themselves. 24-hour care is a basic requirement during the first weeks. The puppies should be raised in close contact with the breeder’s family, to become familiar with everyday life in a normal household without exposing them to too much stress.
Breeding kennels adhering to these guidelines can apply for a kennel name at the studbook office. The association "American Herding Dogs Europe" will protect this name internationally. The name has to be clearly distinct to already existing names. A kennel name protection will only become final with the recognition of a breeding bitch in our club.
On the breeder homepage the logo of our association must be led. If the breeder ends his breeding under our club, it must be removed immediately. When changing to another club, it must also be noted that the breed is managed under the new club and no longer under the AC e.V ..
On the associations website you can list active breeding sites of the AC e.V. can be listed together with their breeding bitches recognized by the AC e.V. The same applies to stud dog owners and their stud dogs. This requires that breeders such as stud dog owners are members of our association AC e.V.. Listed website links to the respective breeder or stud dog homepages must refer to the kennel or stud dog. If this is not the case, the association reserves the right to remove the link. Listed mail addresses must also be edited accordingly and not be ignored for weeks.If this is not the case, the association reserves the right to remove the breeder or stud dog owner and his dogs from the homepage. The same applies to late payments and not up to date kept homepages or neglected mail addresses. The breeding committee decides by a majority. A resumption of the associations homepage is subject to a charge. In this regard we are striving to keep our associations homepage up to date. Delays are possible. There is no legal claim. Likewise the exchange of photos from time to time is possible only in the context of the reasonableness and feasibility of the honorary activities of the commissioned person. If a dog is removed of the breed, even temporarily, then the stud book office has to be informed immediately.
A new breeding kennel will then be administrated as "Preliminary Kennel of the Association of American Collies Europe." While breeding, latest during litter check, all prerequisites will be controlled by a representative of the association „American Collies Europe“. Only then the title “Certified Kennel of the Association of American Collies Europe” will be granted as a special predicate. The breeding kennels will be controlled on a regular basis whether they comply with all requirements to continue carrying this title. The studbook office has to be notified about any changes to the breeding kennel immediately, e.g. regarding accommodation or supply. Slight breaches of the breeding guidelines can be reworked. Larger breaches will result in an entry to the pedigree “Not according to the studbook”. Serious breaches will result in an exclusion from breeding. Only certified kennels will receive documents for their puppies. On site reviews by a representative of the association “American Collies Europe“ can occur at any time and the representative must be granted immediate access.
V. Breeding dogs
To receive a breeding license, the breeding candidates have to comply with several quality and health specifications. All results have to be made available for the studbook office in copy.
They have to conform to the original breed standard for American Collies in accordance with the guidelines of the AKC (American Kennel Club).
The dogs must have a flawless character that is typical for the breed. The character is checked by representatives of the breeding commission headed by the breeding director.
They must have a pedigree accepted by "American Collies Europe".
Not only the breeding candidates, but also all other dogs living in the same home must be in excellent grooming, nutrition, and health condition.
For the breeding candidate an up-to-date veterinary health certification is required (special form).
Each breeding candidate must be identifiable through an implanted microchip.
Each breeding dog should have a complete scissor bite. This is proven through the above mentioned health certificate (special form).
All breeding candidates have to be X-rayed for HD at the age of at least 15 months. An American Collies Europe-approved examination authority must judge the x-rays. Only Collies that are HD unaffected with the result HD A or HD B can receive a breeding license.
All breeding candidates have to be X-rayed for ED at the age of at least 15 months. An American Collies Europe-approved examination authority must judge the x-rays. Only Collies that are ED unaffected, with the results 0 or ED-border liner can receive a breeding license. Dogs originating from another association that have already been X-rayed for HD can be excluded from the examination obligation for ED, if the ED examination has not been mandatory at this time in the other association
An Ophthalmologist (eye-specialist) for hereditary eye-diseases, like CEA, PRA and KAT, must have examined all breeding candidates. The Ophthalmologist must be one that is explicitly accepted by the “American Collies Europe”. Only dogs that are free from inherited eye disease will receive a breeding license. An exception applies to CEA-CH (Chorioretinal hypoplasia) or MPP (PPM) affected dogs who can receive a breeding license if their vision is not impaired. Nevertheless, they must not be mated with other dogs that are CEA-CH affected.
The exact genetic status must be determined. This means that the breeding candidate must have been genetically tested for MDR1 or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. At least one mating partner must be genetically free (non-carrier): MDR1 +/+ or N/N.
The exact genetic status must be determined. This means that the breeding candidate must have been genetically tested for the risk factor, the mutation "Exon 2" in the SOD1-gene or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. At least one mating partner must be genetically free (non-carrier): DM (Exon2) +/+ or N/N.
The exact genetic status must be determined. This means the breeding candidate must have been genetically tested for CEA or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. CEA-affected dogs can only receive a breeding license if their vision is not impaired. Nevertheless, they must not be mated with other dogs that are CEA affected.
This is a voluntary test. At least one mating partner must be genetically free (non-carrier): rcd2-PRA +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for rcd2-PRA, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood.
This is a voluntary test. At least one mating partner must be genetically free (non-carrier): GCS +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for GCS, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood.
This test is voluntary, if one mating partner can prove a genetically low risk of DMS aa bb. Otherwise, both matinging partners must have been genetically tested for DMS, to ensure that no high-risk puppies may be born (AA Bb, Aa BB, AA BB). These mating partner must have been genetically tested for DMS, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood.
This test is currently voluntary, as the defect has only occurred in British lines so far, but there is always the risk of introducing through cross-breeding and the residual risks from British ancestors. One mating partner should be, ideally, genetically free (non-carrier): IPD +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for IPD, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. If the risk situation worsens, the next stage is immediately initiated, at which one mating partner must be genetically free (non-carrier): IPD +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for IPD, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. In general, efforts are made to ensure that Collies are tested with a possibly increased risk.
This is a voluntary test, because the defect it is very rare. One mating partner should be, ideally, genetically free (non-carrier): MH +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for MH, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood.
This is avoluntary test, because the defect is very rare. One mating partner should be, ideally, genetically free (non-carrier): HUU +/+ or N/N. This mating partner must have been genetically tested for HUU, or the genetic status must be clearly detectable through the parenthood. In the past, HUU was listed under the name SLC.
In addition, a genetic profile of each breeding candidate must be created to enable clear evidence of parenthood later on.
All genetic examinations - whether of the breeding candidate itself or through parenthood - must have been performed by an examination authority explicitly accepted by the association “American Collies Europe”.
The breeding license must be requested at the studbook office accompanied by all requested documents, together with the completed application Request - Breeding License (special form). The latter must be completed in the Word program by the club member and E-mailed to the studbook office as a Word file. Additionally every breeding candidate has to be presented to a representative of the association “American Collies Europe” and will be checked for breeding ability. Finally, the breeding commission will decide on the breeding license by the majority.
Defects leading to breeding disqualification:
Chronic diseases, hereditary defects, heart defects, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, kinky tails, monorchism, cryptorchidism, hereditary skeletal deformations, lip-, jaw- and palate-cleft, hereditary eye diseases like Cataract and PRA (except CEA-CH and MPP/PPM, each without vision impairment), blindness, deafness, albinism, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, considerable dental flaws, considerable jaw anomalies (e.g. considerable overshot and undershot), considerable aggressiveness and overanxious nature. Should such defects become evident later, the breeding license will be denied.
Acceptation of breeding dogs from other associations
Collies that have been accepted as breeding dogs by other reputable associations can also be accepted by the association “American Collies Europe”, provided they conform to the breed standard and have an immaculate character. Furthermore they have to comply with the same quality and health requirements as the associations own breeding dogs. These include:
- Identification by microchip
- should have a complete scissor bite
- Radiological examination on HD and ED. Dogs originating from another association that have already been X-rayed for HD can be excluded from the examination obligation for ED, if the ED examination has not been mandatory at this time in the other association.
- Eye examination by a specialized ophthalmologist that has been accredited by the association “American Collies Europe”
- MDR1 status
- DM (Exon2) status
- DMS status (if the breeding partner does not have the status aa bb)
- CEA status
- Genetic profile
Voluntary, but nevertheless useful, because otherwise there may be some breeding restrictions by the matings:
All results must be clearly provable and presented upon request. The dogs must have a complete pedigree that at least reaches back for three generations. The health values must be proved by particular certificates. The Breeding License has to be applied by the studbook office, together with all required documents and the completed application Request - Breeding License (special form). The latter must be completed in the Word program by the club member and E-mailed to the studbook office as a Word file. Concluding, the breeding commission decides by a majority decision on the acceptance.
VI. Breed Steering Programs
HD (hip dysplasia):
Hip dysplasia is a malformation of one or both hips. Fortunately the American Collie is not a breed that is largely affected by HD. To maintain this situation, only dogs that are not affected by HD and have been radiologically examined as being HD A or HD B are accepted for breeding. At least one mating partner must have achieved the result HD A.
ED (elbow dysplasia):
ED summarizes several malformations of the elbow. Here again, the American Collie is not a breed that is largely affected by ED. Only dogs that have radiologically been examined as being not affected by ED – with the results ED 0 or ED border liner – are accepted for breeding. At least one mating partner must have achieved the result ED 0, if the dogs have been radiologically examined. ED examination is not mandatory for accepted dogs originating from another association, if they already were X-rayed for HD and the ED examination has not been mandatory at that time in the other association. This is because they should not be exposed to the risk of anesthesia for X-raying, as low as this risk may be. New breeding candidates though should have the ED examination ideally together with the X-raying for HD.
This intolerance for multiple drugs is very common amongst herding dogs and thus this is also the case for collies. For the American Collie we fortunately have a large genetic pool of healthy genes in Europe. For that reason at least one mating partner must have a status of being genetically unaffected of MDR (MDR1+/+). By this, the birth of MDR1 affected puppies can completely be prevented within the association “American Collies Europe”!
DM (Canine degenerative myelopathy):
DM is an incurable disease of the nerve tracts with progressive signs of paralysis starting at the hind legs and the dogs being fully conscious. Unfortunately it is yet unknown which genes are responsible for this in particular. However, the risk factor Exon2-mutation in the SOD1-gene has been detected by all tested collies suffering from DM. Due to the large genetic pool of healthy genes we decided that at least one mating partner must be genetically unaffected of DM (DM (Exon2) +/+, respectively N/N). By this, the birth of DM (Exon2) affected puppies can completely be prevented within the association “American Collies Europe”!
CEA (collie eye anomaly):
This comprises several stagnating genetic changes of the retina in the eye. This is very common amongst herding dogs, especially collies. It is assumed that approximately 67% of the collies are affected by a mild form of CEA (chorioretinal hypoplasia or CEA-1) which does not mean a restriction to visual capacity for most collies because the changes of the retina are comparably slight. These changes can often be verified best at the age of 6 – 8 weeks by an ophthalmologist. After this age the changes are often superimposed by pigments. Such dogs are also called “go normal”. Evidence can be achieved by CEA-CH genetic examination because all affected dogs are also genetically affected (CEA-/- respectively CEA/CEA). Approximately 13% of the affected collies have a coloboma with a key-hole shaped bulge at the visual nerve. Usually these changes are minor and restrictions to visual capacity are rare. Nevertheless these dogs are excluded from breeding as well as the in the end only 3% of the collies that suffer from the most severe form of CEA that is accompanied by internal bleedings sometimes as far as retinal detachment which inevitably results in blindness.
Because nobody wants this to happen, there is need for action. As so many dogs are affected, not all of them can be excluded from breeding as it would mean that only the remaining 33% would be available. If we additionally would only breed with MDR1 non-affected dogs, the available gene pool would drop to merely 2%. If additional factors would be included, we would end up at nearly 0%. This way we would not get very far. This is the reason why collies with a mild form of CEA are accepted for breeding if they do not have any restrictions to their visual capacity. Nevertheless, the mating of two of such dogs is not allowed as it unnecessarily increases the probability that the puppies come down with the severe form. As we have a rather good gene pool of singular healthy genes amongst the American Collies in the meantime, we can go as far as demanding that at least one partner be genetically unaffected (CEA+/+, respectively N/N) or at least be carrier (CEA+/-, respectively N/CEA). With this measure we could achieve to lower the risk for visual inabilities – depending on the particular mating partners – to a probability that lies between 0% and 1.5%!!!
rcd2-PRA (progressive retinal atrophy):
This widespread incurable heritable eye disease that affects many breeds gets increasingly worse and finally leads to blindness. The gene pool in Europe is sufficiently large in regards to the American Collie. Consequently one mating partner must be genetically unaffected (rcd2-PRA+/+, respectively N/N). By this, the birth of rcd2-PRA affected puppies can completely be prevented within the association “American Collies Europe”!
MPP (Membrana Pupillaris Persistens):
During the embryonic phase the eye is covered with a fine membrane. This recedes until the eyes open up. But sometimes small tissue remnants remain. These are called MPP (or PPM = persistent pupillary membrane) and can be found among many breeds. Usually they are rather marginal among collies and do not lead to a restriction of visual capacity. These dogs can be accepted for breeding, but it is recommended to mate them only to MPP unaffected dogs. A consequent and reasonable implementation will only be possible in several years from now as the MPP cases only have been consequently recorded in the examination forms since few years.
GCS (Gray Collie Syndrome):
This leads to a cyclical decrease of neutrophil granulocytes which are of very high importance for the immune defense. Affected dogs usually die early because of infections. Due to the large genetic pool of healthy genes, at least one mating partner must be genetically unaffected (GCS+/+, respectively N/N). By this, the birth of GCS affected puppies can completely be prevented within the association “American Collies Europe”!
DMS is an autoimmune disease, similar to JDM (Juvenile Dermatomyositis) among humans. DMS primarily appears among Shelties and Collies every now and then. Crusty lesions evolve on protruding bones that are sparsely covered with muscles, especially in the face, on the tip of the tail and on the legs. The skin is sometimes flaky, reddens and the fur falls out. It is typical that the affected regions do not itch, especially in the early stages before a secondary infection appears. Wounds heal in mild cases, although most of the times spots remain changed for a long period of time, shaped by dark or stained pigmentation and ongoing loss of hair. In serious cases, muscles are affected to such an extent that e.g. drinking or eating (chewing and swallowing) becomes increasingly harder as well as walking (muscles of the feet and the legs). Humans experience a pain that reminds of sore muscles. Dogs are often susceptible to infections (fungal, bacterial, viral), especially during an immunosuppressive therapy. Treatment is very often difficult, despite the fact that they are caused by germs that would not even harm a healthy dog. Sensitivities of the gastrointestinal tract may occur too. In later stages, dogs may lose single claws that usually grow again later.
Genetic modifications and environmental factors play an essential role. The skin lesions seem to be triggered by stress factors like virus diseases, vaccinations or traumatic experiences. Hormone changes can have an intensifying effect (bitches: heat, pregnancy, false pregnancy / male dogs: hormonal boosts), vaccinations (overly extensive vaccinations, leptospirosis, rabies), increased stress, likelihood of infection and intolerances (food, medication, allergens). DMS can break out at any age, but the most common breakout is during the first year of age. Good treatment success (but not complete cure) can be achieved by using Trental (Pentoxiphyllin), Vitamin E and in serious cases also steroids. Castration often helps if the dog reacts strongly to hormone changes. Preventive measure in cases of increased risk, is to avoid possibly amplifying triggers. Healthy nutrition without much chemical ingredients but with optimal composition can surely be supportive. Extensive vaccination (too often or too much in one go) can be prevented by testing the titer for the respective antibodies and only vaccinate when really necessary. Same is true for worm treatment where fecal samples can be tested.
Genetic screening performed by Leigh Anne Clark and Jacquely Evans from the Clemson University in the USA showed that three risk factores are associated with the disease.
The first is the MHC gene class, the immune system variant. This could be related to JDM among humans, besides environmental triggers. Among dogs it is the MHC-II class leucocytes antigens, to be more specific the DLA genes (DLA-DRB1/-DQA1/-DQB1). They are coded in number combinations. Unfortunately, variations are very sparse among Collies. In the study, Collies almost without exception showed the combinations 002:01/009:01/001:01, rarely the combination 015:01/009:01/001:01. This probably indicates an inherent bread dependent affinity for DMS, at a level of 3% according to the current state of the study (01/2017). A further very rare DLA variant with the combination 006:01/050:11/007:01does exist, but it cannot be stated yet that the risk is lower, because of the small quantity. But even if this was the case, a choice for breeding would hardly be feasible because of the sparseness.
The research team discovered two further risk factors. These are two gene alterations that are directly correlated with the risk for the dog to develop DMS. This is why they are referred to as high-risk genes, called “A” (PAN2) and “B” (MAP3K7CL). The impacted genes are important concerning the regulation of inflammations. This is why DMS could as well be described as the inability to regulate inflammatory reactions.
As the genes are always present in pairs (alleles), they can be compensated by the non-affected genes “a” and “b” (“Aa” or “Bb”) which lowers the risk for developing the disease. If the second half is genetically free (“aa” or “bb”), the risk for "Aa bb" oder "aa Bb" is 4% according to the current status of the study (01/2017).
If both are genetically non-affected, the risk for "aa bb" is 3% on the basis of the above described DLA genes according to the current status of the study (01/2017).
But as soon as “A” or “B” are present homozygous (“AA” or "BB"), a moderate risk of 39% for "AA bb" or "aa BB" exists according to the current status of the study (01/2017).
The situation changes immediately when an additional “A” or “B” appears, no matter whether homozygous or not. In this case, also the risk for "Aa BB" and "AA Bb" increases to 90 - 92% according to the current state of the study (01/2017).
Are both affected, the risk increases to almost 100% for "AA BB", according to the current state of the study (01/2017).
“B” occurs among Collies less frequently than “A”. The reason for this is presumably the fact that DMS affected collies were discarded for breeding since the 1980s when the first more intensive research started. It is an interesting fact that the merle gene only exists in combination with an unaffected "a"! This means that a merle can only have an “aa” or at the worst “Aa”, but is never homozygous ("AA").
The research studies of Leigh Anne Clark and her team are not only interesting for further JDM research for humans, but are also very valuable for us as Collie breeders. In 2016, the working group succeeded to develop a test for showing the risk for each collie. The test is not a proof for the disease itself. This is only possible through biopsies on the affected spots. The test alone is merely a risk evaluation. It neither means that every genetically affected dog will automatically develop the disease, it merely bears a moderate or high risk to develop the disease. Vice versa, the possibility exists that a dog with the lowest possible risk will develop the disease, as according to the current scientific status the stage “no risk” does not exist at all.
As the consequences of an outbreak can be very unpleasant, it nevertheless makes sense to integrate the test into the breeding program to minimize the danger of DMS. We would like to start by promoting an appropriate recommendation to test all breeding dogs, for logical reasons before mating. The data is collected at the stud book office and will influence our breeding program. We already recommend at present to consider all three genes during breeding selection and to prefer mating partners that will not give birth to puppies with a high risk to develop DMS.
Even if - according to current knowledge - no puppy was born in our association “American Collies Europe” that developed DMS, it nevertheless is our particular concern that just Collie will be born with a risk for this disease as low as possible in the future. This is why ideally at least one mating partner should be unaffected by the particular risk genes “A“ and “B“, i.e. DMS “aa” and “bb”. This can as well be mutually alternating, i.e. one mating partner is unaffected by the risk gene “A” (“aa” - non-carrier) and the other one is unaffected by the risk gene “B” (“bb” - non-carrier). Thus, the risk for newborn puppies can be reduced to the lowest possible level of 3%, respectively 4%.
Unfortunatly, the problem cannot be eliminated overnight as there are too few collies worldwide that are genetically free of the risk genes “A” and “B”. If only birth of genetically unaffected puppies would be allowed, the collie breed would disappear soon. Besides, the DMS risk was even caused by very selective breeding and the whole breed is based on very few collies worldwide. The fact that comparatively few collies were brought from Europe to America and only few of these were used for breeding did not improve this situation. This is why heterozygosity remains the primary goal to compensate each affected gene with an unaffected and lower the overall risk among the breed. We cannot completely exclude the mating of two carriers in the years to come for the sake of the gene pool. But in the worst case 25% of collies with moderate risk will be born and none with a high risk. The number of genetically unaffected collies is 22% according to the study and to only rely on them for further breeding is impossible given the fact that not even all of these are even used for breeding.
From 01.01.2019, after two years transitional period, the next stage comes into force. At each mating, at least one mating partner must have a proven genetically risk for DMS, like DMS aa bb, aa Bb, Aa bb or Aa Bb (according to the Clemson University DMS-study of 01/2017).
IPD (Inflammatory pulmonary disease)
IPD is a recurrent inflammatory lung disease with an inherited background. It usually breaks out at the breeder's home a few days after birth. The dogs suffer from repeated foamy vomiting, nasal discharge, fever, only breathe shallowly, have increased breathing noises and cough. Medications, such as antibiotics and secretolytics, only help for a short time, after which there are rapid relapses. Two long-haired collies described in one study were still alive after three years with frequent yellowish nasal discharge. The rare disease appears to occur predominantly in British Rough Collie lines. Usually only homozygous affected animals show symptoms. So, it seems to be inherited recessively and both parents must carry an affected gene. There was also found that an inheritance must be involved, since an accumulation of this disease occurred after mating with a certain male (the name is not published publicly). This shows how important it is to deal with problems openly and pass them on, so that such clusters are noticed at all. Ultimately, it's about the health of our breed. On the initiative of some breeders, in collaboration with Laboklin and Prof. Leeb from the University of Bern, a corresponding mutation for IPD in the so-called AKNA gene (which regulates inflammation) was identified and a genetic test developed for this purpose, which has recently (2019) on the Market is (Laboklin). The study is available here: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/10/8/567/htm. Ideally, at least one breeding partner should be genetically free (noncarrier), i.e. IPD + / + or N / N, so that the birth of affected puppies can be completely ruled out. If the risk situation worsens, at least one mating partner must be genetically unaffected (IPD +/+, respectively N/N). By this, the birth of homozygous IPD affected puppies can completely be prevented within the association “American Collies Europe”! In general, efforts are made to ensure that Collies are tested with a possibly increased risk.
MH (Maligne Hyperthermie):
This genetical defect can occur among all breeds, but fortunately is rather scarce among collies. It is a drug intolerance that affects specifically the striated muscles. Massive cramp attacks, cardiac arrhythmia as well as rise of body temperature (hyperthermia) culminating in disintegration of the muscle cells (rhabdomyolysis) can be caused by administration of particular medicine for inhalation anesthesia or muscle relaxation. The metabolic products can cause massive kidney problems right up to organ failure and death, if not treated immediately in a competent manner. The test is voluntary as the disease rarely occurs among collies. Here again one mating partner should ideally be genetically unaffected (non-carrier), i.e. MH+/+ resp. N/N to avoid the possibility of affected puppies.
HUU (Hyperurikosurie / Hyperurikämie):
This is a genetical defect of the urea metabolism (purine). In contrast to humans and if the dog is healthy, the end product uric acid is further degraded to allantoin that is better water soluble. This process is impaired if the dog is HUU affected by a mutation of the SLC2A9 gene. This can lead to gout and formation of urinary calculi by subsequent crystalline residues. The test is voluntary as the disease rarely occurs among collies. Here again one mating partner should ideally be genetically unaffected (non-carrier), i.e. HUU +/+ resp. N/N to avoid the possibility of affected puppies. In the past, HUU was listed under the name SLC.
AVK (Ahnenverlustkoeffizient = ancestor-loss coefficient for preservation of the genetic diversity of the individual):
To preserve the genetic diversity of each individual dog to a high degree, the AVK of the puppies must not fall below 86% over 4 generations. This implies the prohibition of inbreeding or tight line breeding. Only with as many diverse genes as possible (heterozygosity) the individuals of a breed can remain as healthy as possible in the long run. It is possible to obtain an exemption for an AVK of at least 80% for the mating with imported dogs from America - that are often bread very tightly - or their descendants in the first or where appropriate second generation. In these cases it must be ensured that there will be no further deprivation of the ancestors. Finally, the breeding commission decides by the majority.
IK (Inzuchtkoeffizient = inbreeding coefficient):
The IK – in contrast to the AVK – also incorporates the closeness of relatives. Thus, double ancestors that are more distant (like great-great grandparents) have less severe influence than if e.g. the father would appear several times. It is recommended that the IK of puppies should not exceed approximately 6%. Furthermore, the circumstance of double ancestors should generally be avoided during the first three generations to preserve and promote the diversity and variety of genes.
No Popular Sire Syndrome (preservation of a large gene pool for the whole breed):
The excessive use of an individual stud dog should be avoided to preserve the genetic diversity of the breed. The more dogs are related the smaller the gene pool of the breed will get. Some diseases and other defects only develop at a higher age. Should affected dogs have produced abundant offspring, there is the danger that these defects have spread unintentionally.
The aspired goal is to have at least 50% (good if more) of American bloodlines (collies bred in the U.S. or Canada over several generations). More important for preserving the breed however is in the long run the conservation of the genetic diversity (of the individual) as well as the large gene pool (of the breed). Especially important is appearance (according to the original American breed standard), besides character etc. of mating partners particularly with regard to the expected puppies.
It is very important that character and temper are taken into consideration when choosing mating partners. It should especially be looked at how already existing offspring developed. It should be considered whether I want to breed rather calm dogs or very active ones. Do I have enough interested parties being able to meet the particular challenges? Or should I rather aim at breeding dogs of medium temper.
The goal of breeding always is to breed for a dog that resembles the ideal picture of the American Collie most closely. To achieve this, one has to deal with the potential of available mating partners. Good judges and breed wardens can surely support with this. While choosing mating partners it must never be forgotten that it is not a question of breeding the dog with the optimal health values, but rather the overall package has to be right.
Color variants like double merles (genetically homozygous carriers of merle, originating from a mating of two dogs carrying the merle factor) are excluded from breeding according to animal protection laws. Even an envisaged mating that might result in such puppies is not allowed! Only one mating partner may carry the merle factor at maximum. Should the merle status of a dog not be ensured, especially if there is risk for cryptic merle (genetically heterozygous carriers for merle that is not visible), the dog must be genetically tested before the breeding application to be able to exclude later mating of two merles.
Bitches must be at least 22 months of age for breeding, stud dogs must be at least 18 months of age.
Quality before quantity:
Besides complying with above mentioned values that ensure and enhance the quality, it must also be considered that a dog should not be used for breeding excessively. For the stud dogs this was described under the point “Popular Sire Syndrome”. Bitches should be used for breeding in a way that there is at least a period of one year between successful mating. One should also aim at a recovery period of at least on year between litters; our bitches are no birthing machines! An overuse will inevitably result in a decrease in quality of the puppies and this must never happen! This is the reason why only four litters are allowed for a bitch throughout her lifetime.
The breeding permission for a bitch expires when the 7th birthday is reached. A one year extension can be acquired if a health certificate together with a clearance certification for further breeding issued by a veterinarian is presented. Concluding, the breeding commission decides by the majority.
The breeding permission for stud dogs expires when the 8th birthday is reached. An extension can be acquired, especially if the sperm of the dog is very valuable for the breed. Concluding, the breeding commission decides by the majority.
To be able to keep high-quality standards long-term and to optimize them further, it is essential that irregularities (anomalies, diseases, etc.) are reported to the stud book office. The data is collected and interpreted. According to the cause, frequency, etc. further appropriate measures can be applied to optimize future breeding further.
VII. Breeding Provision
Shortly before the mating, stud dog and bitch should be examined by a veterinarian for possible germs in the genital area. Only dogs that are completely healthy are allowed to mate. The examination results must be brought to the mating and mutually be inspected by the owner of the bitch as well as the owner of the stud dog.
Hormone treatment to accelerate the ovulation of the bitch is strictly forbidden.
Only puppies originating from an accepted mating will receive a pedigree.
Artificial insemination is allowed, but should only be performed by expert personnel; preferably in a specialized clinic. Physical anomalies that could prevent natural mating and natural birth should be excluded either by means of a medical examination or by the fact that the bitch already has given natural birth to puppies after a natural mating. The first mating of a bitch must have occurred before her 5th birthday. Should a bitch have had two caesarean sections, she must be excluded from breeding. Several litters in parallel should not be brought up in the same kennel. In general, not more than four litters per year should be brought up within one kennel.
It is allowed to use bitches for breeding that are not owned by the breeder, as well as bitches that are owned by the breeder but live in another household. The same requirements do apply as for any other bitch used for breeding. Furthermore, the breeder has to care for the bitch being kept appropriate to the species at all times and being in excellent care and health condition. The breeder should personally be present at any mating. Moreover, it must be taken care that the bitch has the necessary peace after the mating and receives all precautionary measures and especially a nutrition that is appropriate for each state of pregnancy. Should any of this not be possible in another household, the bitch has to be moved to the breeder. Two weeks before the expected date of birth at the latest, the bitch has to be moved to the breeder’s household. There as well, everything has to be stress-free to enable the bitch to give birth to the puppies and bring them up in a peaceful environment. This also includes the necessity that the bitch gets along well with other dogs that may live in the same household. A good integration into the environment is very important and should in any case have been taken care of before the mating.
Collies recognized by the association Amerikanische Collies Europa e.V. (AC e.V.) may only be bred in this association, otherwise a further breeding license expires.
Breeders that are accepted by the association “American Collies Europe” and either have a preliminary acceptance of their kennel from “American Collies Europe” or are accepted kennel “American Collies Europe” can place a breeding application at the studbook office. Both intended mating partners must be accepted by “American Collies Europe”. Specific templates are available for the breeding application and the application must be placed at the studbook office. This can also be done electronically and should be submitted four weeks before the planned mating date at the latest. It must be completed in the Word program and E-mailed tot he studbook office as a Word file. Up to three accepted stud dogs can be listed. As health values are very important to us, we work with special breed steering programs. Only a mating that fulfills all requirements of the breeding regulations will be approved. Only dogs originating from an approved mating receive pedigrees of the association “American Collies Europe”.
Within a week after the last mating of an approved connection, the mating must be reported to the studbook office by sending the mating notification (specific template). This can also be done electronically. All mating dates must be registered on this template and it must be signed by the owner of the bitch as well as the owner of the stud dog.
Remain empty of a bitch must be reported in writing to the owner of a stud dog as well as to the studbook office, within one week after acknowledgement. This can also be done electronically.
The birth of puppies must be reported to the studbook office as well as to the owner of the stud dog within one week by sending the Litter Notification (specific template). This can also be done electronically. The course of birth as well as possible stillbirths or puppies that died later or had to be euthanized must be reported; same applies to all peculiarities or abnormalities in relation to the birth, the puppies or the bitch. Should these occur at a later stage, this has to be reported immediately. Caesarean sections must be reported as well, including the reasons for this measure.
In addition to the kennel name that has been registered with and approved by the association “American Herding Dogs Europe”, all puppies must receive a name that starts with A (first litter), B (second litter), etc. – to be continued in alphabetical order. The names must be unique and most not be used twice.
Certain health requirements and quality feature have to be met when rearing the offspring. Only then, puppies receive a pedigree paper. A copy of all results has to be handed in at the studbook office.
The puppies shall be in a perfect grooming, nutrition and health condition while being brought up.
Each individual on earth possesses a unique DNA profile and so does each puppy. As soon as the puppies are at least one week of age, a buccal swab (specific template) is gathered and sent to an accepted laboratory (specific template) where the genetic profiles of the parents are deposited as well. The examination also is a prerequisite for proving the evidence of parenthood. Each buyer of a puppy receives the original DNA profile of his puppy!
The genetic profile of each puppy is compared with the genetic profiles of both parents. The parenthood is ensured if they can be assigned unambiguously. Each buyer of a puppy receives the original parentage test of his puppy!
The MDR1 status must be ascertained unambiguously. If at least one parent is carrier (MDR1+/-), several MDR1 results are possible for the puppy. In this case, it is mandatory to determine the MDR1 status. As soon as the puppies are a half week of age, a buccal swab (specific template) is gathered and sent to an accepted laboratory. Thus each buyer of a puppy receives the exact MDR1 status of his puppy registered on the pedigree paper. If a separate examination was performed, each buyer of a puppy receives the original examination result document of his puppy!
Further genetic examinations:
Further genetic examinations are of course possible (specific templates). Each breeder decides for himself, which of these are important for him or maybe for the buyers. All examination results from accepted laboratories that have been sent to the stood book office before the pedigree paper is issued will be registered on the pedigree of the association “American Collies Europe”! Each buyer of a puppy receives the original examination result documents of his puppy!
All puppies must be dewormed between two and four times, before the vaccination as they subject to an increased susceptibility for infections in the first weeks of life. It is reasonable to alter the medication. The names and where appropriate the ingredients of the drugs must be registered together with the dates when they were applied on the certificate of litter that are given to the puppy buyers. Each puppy buyer should take this protocol with him at the first visit to a veterinarian, so that further dispensations can be carefully selected.
A microchip has to be implanted by a veterinarian before the eye examination with 6 – 8 weeks of age. At the same time the puppies receive an EU pet passport and the number of the microchip is also registered into this document (see below). Thus, each puppy is identifiable by using a particular chip reading device.
EU Pet Passport:
Each puppy must receive its individual passport. The EU pet passport is an important document. All vaccinations are registered in it and it must be carried along and possibly presented when travelling abroad. It is also required for attending exhibitions, fairs, etc. It verifies the protection against rabies three weeks after the primary vaccination if the dog has regularly been vaccinated (sometimes 30 days or even a titer determination are demanded). In some federal states (e.g. North Rhine-Westphalia) the passport is mandatory for bigger dogs. It also is a prerequisite for the registration with TASSO. Each buyer of a puppy receives the original EU pet passport for his puppy!
With 6 – 7 weeks of age, all puppies must be examined by an ophthalmologist for hereditary eye diseases. Each buyer of a puppy receives the original examination document of his puppy!
With 8 weeks until latest 12 weeks of age, all puppies must be vaccinated according to the specifications of the Standing Vaccination Committee. If a National Standing Vaccination Committee does not exist, the specifications of the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) do apply. The puppies must not be handed over before they are vaccinated! Vaccination against distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis i demanded for example in Germany. In special cases of exposure particular vaccinations, like against parvovirus, can be moved up in time on the basis of veterinarian consultation. Apart from that, the basic immunization is only allowed upon the day the puppies are 8 weeks of age. The vaccinations must be registered into the EU Pet Passport that every puppy buyer receives.
Each litter must be accepted by a representative of the association “American Collies Europe”. The Original of the litter Certificate must be sent immediately to the studbook office. Normally the litter control takes place immediately after vaccination. In this process all above mentioned examinations must have been performed and requirements been met. All the important examination results must be verifiable. If everything is complete, the pedigree papers are handed over by the studbook office. Each buyer of a puppy receives a copy of the Litter Certificate.
Each puppy receives its own pedigree paper from the association “American Collies Europe” if the breeder has met all requirements with his dogs. It contains the exact complete ancestry for four generations with all verifiable health values of the puppy or otherwise appropriate reference to the deposited health values of the parents. It proves the purchase of a puppy from a reputable breeder with a kennel that is certified by the association “American Collies Europe”. Each buyer of a puppy receives the original pedigree paper of his puppy from “American Collies Europe”, after his consent, including completely filling out and signing the form "Consent to the data transfer to the stud book office of the association "American Collies Europe". The breeder forwards the original to this stud book office at short notice, which is fundamentally obliged by the veterinary office to collect such data, in the context of epidemic protection etc..
Current Health Certificate:
Each buyer of a puppy receives the current veterinarian health certificate for his puppy in the original! The health certificate should not be older than three days.
Registration at a Central Dog Register:
The breeder registers each puppy, latest immediately after pickup in the name of the buyer at a central dog register that is accepted by the association “American Collies Europe”. This makes it easier to get the dog back to its owner in case it got lost.
According tot he veterinary regulations, the studbook office is obliged to store the names, addresses and contact datas oft he dog owners. There are special forms to fill in by the new owner, which also regulate the right of data transfer from the breeder to the studbook office. The breeder must submit the completed and signed forms in the original to the studbook office. Only then can the Pedigrees be delivered to the new owners. Also by later change of ownership the datas must be forwarded to the studbook office.
Puppies may be handed over earliest with eight weeks of age. It is imperative that they have been vaccinated and the litter acceptance has been performed prior to handover. In addition, all required examination results must have been previously received by the studbook office. Only then can the pedigrees be issued. If the litter control has been carried out by a veterinarian, in agreement with the studbook office, the litter certificate must be presented immediately to the studbook office (in advance via E-Mail). If all requirements are met, the studbook office gives the approval. Only then can puppies and pedigrees be handed over.
To keep an eye on the quality of the offspring, the studbook office periodically sends a questionnaire to all puppy buyers. For this purpose the studbook office needs the contact data of all puppy buyers. All breeders are prompted to send the buyer’s contact data and mail address to the studbook office latest four weeks after selling a puppy. Of course this must be agreed upon by the buyer and the information is kept confidential and is not forwarded to anybody. It is desirable that as many offspring as possible is presented at the exhibitions of the association “American Collies Europe” or its umbrella association “American Herding Dogs Europe” to keep track of the breeding developments.
Consultation and Support after the purchase:
It should be self-evident that consultation and support for the puppy buyer does not end with the handover of the dog. Each breeder should be dedicated to support puppies as well as puppy buyers and counsel in a friendly manner!
Recognition of titles:
The only recognised Championships are Junior Championship, the National Championship and the International Championship. Titles such as BOB, BIS (S), European(junior)winner etc. will be only recognized, if they are from our (umbrella)association, as well as by other Collies Special Breed Clubs, AKC, CKC, FCI, KC and other equivalent clubs. That means only these titles are noted in the stud book and kept at the respective dogs. Even these only come on the club website.
The current fees are documented in the scale of fees.
Changes to the breeding regulations require the approval of the General Assembly. The breeding commission is authorized to carry out short-term changes to the breeding regulations, which are then put to the vote at the next regular general meeting.
The order was approved on 14/11/2021 by the general meeting in Neulußheim and enters into force immediately.