SCPS OutCross Program

SCPS Outcross Program

(Adding Genetic Diversity)


Scottish Collie Preservation Society Outcross Program Q & A
Q: What does it mean to outcross?
A: To outcross is to breed one animal to another animal that is not closely related. In a closed registry, an outcross typically involves breeding a purebred dog from one tightly inbred line to a dog from another, less related purebred line. In an open registry, to outcross often means to breed a registered dog to a dog from another breed in order to bring genetic diversity and/or certain traits .
Q: Why does the SCPS need an Outcross Program?
A: The Scottish Collie Preservation Society has partnered with UC Davis and Better Bred in order to assess the genetic diversity of our registered breeding dogs. Genetic testing has revealed that while the Scottish Collie has much better diversity than the typical modern Rough/Smooth Collie, we run the risk of hitting a genetic bottleneck if we do not branch out from the dual-registered AKC and Scotch Collies within our registry.
Q: Why can’t I just breed my two AKC Collies together? They appear to be unrelated according to their pedigrees.
A: The AKC Collie is in tough shape, with very low genetic diversity. To continue to breed AKC Collies together runs the risk of further reducing genetic diversity, which could potentially lead to compromised immune systems and a shorter lifespan. In addition, even though the dogs appear to be unrelated according to their pedigrees, only the testing through UC Davis/Better Bred can determine whether the dogs are truly heterozygous enough to be a good match.
Q: I have been told that my dog is not eligible for full registration, but that s/he may be a good fit for the Outcross Program. What is the difference?
A: In order to receive full SCPS registration, a dog must be at least 75% Collie. This is determined by a breed identification test that breaks down the breed percentages, by study of the dog’s pedigree, by the consensus of our team of evaluators, or by some combination of the preceding factors. If an ineligible dog appears to be between 50-74% Collie, however, s/he may be able to bring valuable genetic diversity into the SCPS by signing up with the Outcross Program and being bred to a purebred Scottish Collie.
Q: Are Outcross Collies able to be registered as a breeding-certified male/female?
A: No, because by definition an Outcross Collie is less than 75% Collie, which is the required percentage for a dog to receive breeding certification with the SCPS. However, when an Outcross Collie participates in an approved breeding with a purebred Scottish Collie through the Outcross Program, the offspring will receive standard puppy registration, and may be eligible to receive breeding certification at 9 months of age.
Q: What health testing does my Outcross Collie need in order to participate in the Outcross Program?
A: Before the first litter, we require testing for CEA and MDR1. If the dog will be used for a second litter, s/he must first be tested for DM (degenerative myelopathy) and CN (cyclic neutropenia).
Q: Can I breed my Scottish Collie to an Outcross Collie if the owner of the Outcross Collie isn’t a member of the SCPS?
A: Yes. You will need a signed note from the owner of the Outcross Collie that declares ownership and gives permission for the use of the dog in the SCPS Outcross Program.
Q: Can I make my Outcross Collie available for use by Scottish Collie breeders in the Outcross Program?
A: Yes. You may submit your Outcross Collie using a protocol similar to our registration procedure. While your Outcross Collie will not receive SCPS registration, the SCPS will make your dog’s information available to those interested in pursuing an outcross breeding.
Q: If I own an Outcross Collie, have enrolled the dog in the Outcross Program, and the owner of a purebred Scottish Collie approaches me about doing an outcross breeding, can we just go ahead and breed the dogs?
A: No. Every outcross breeding must be approved by the Outcross Committee. The breeder should fill out an Outcross Litter Pre-Approval Form, ideally before the breeding has taken place.
Q: What type of dogs would be a good fit for the Outcross Program?
A: Ideally, an Outcross Collie should have a temperament and structure that is complementary to the Scottish Collie. A dog that is overly hard-headed, “gritty,” or that lacks any sort of nurturing instinct may not be the best fit. The Outcross Collie ideally should be intelligent, confident, eager to please, and have good working drive but not excessively high energy. He or she should NEVER be aggressive or timid.