Genetic Diversity in Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and Kerry Blue Terrier

A comprehensive genetic analysis enables simultaneous assessment of genetic disorders, genetic traits and genetic diversity, on both individual and breed level. The gathered information can be utilized concretely in breeding, alongside pedigree information. Here we give a brief introduction to genetic diversity assessment results in Irish Soft Coated Wheaten and Kerry Blue Terriers with MyDogDNA.

The blue line represents genome-wide measured genetic diversity status in tested Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. For reference, the orange line depicts the current distribution in all tested dogs in the MyDogDNA database.

In the graph we can monitor real-time genetic diversity status in Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, based on the current sample in the MyDogDNA database. The figure indicates that the level of heterozygosity in Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers is somewhat lower compared to all analyzed dogs in the database. The median heterozygosity in the breed is 25.1 % as the median heterozygosity across all breeds is 28.8 %. This result confirms that genetic diversity should be continuously monitored in this breed. It is also important to emphasize breeding selections that aim to maintain or increase genetic diversity. The best means to increase genetic diversity in a breed is to mate as genetically diverse individuals as possible. For this purpose, more dogs should be tested, in order to get a more detailed view on the diversity status in the breed. A bigger sample would also help recognize genetically different individuals. The graph gets updated with each tested dog (dynamic graph can be seen on the breed page at

The genetic differences in Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier given in the graph do not yet show clear genetic lineages. However, such lineages may appear as the sample size expands and includes, for example, dogs from different countries.

For Kerry Blue Terriers, the sample size is still too small to form a breed level graph. The graph above describes genetic diversity in breed group of Terriers of Irish and Scottish origin. The heterozygosity median of Kerry Blue Terrier is 27.6 %, with a range of 19.4 % - 30.4 %. If the breed would have its own graph, the peak would be located at the position of the dot on the green line. It would be beneficial to have more individuals tested: this would enable utilizing genetic information to support the work of breeders.

Genetic relationships among Terriers of Irish and Scottish origin.