Diversity Study

Help us learn more about the Diversity of our Shiloh Shepherds. 

Participate in the Genetic Diversity Testing Study for All Shiloh Shepherds

  • UCDavis Direct [HERE] 
    • $50 per Shiloh (research phase < 100 dogs)
    • $80 per Shiloh once research phase is complete
  • ALL Shilohs are encourage to participate, regardless of club or registry affiliation.
  • TSSR – Special Rate to use existing samples on file [HERE]
    • $32 per Shiloh (research phase < 100 dogs)
    • $63 per Shiloh once research phase is complete
    • available to all dogs with existing DNA numbers beginning TSSxxx
  • Contact your original DNA kit provider for more information. DNA numbers beginning with…
    • NSBxx (contact NSBR)
    • NCDxxx (login to your personal account and add the test)
    • Make sure to specify that the add-on test is to be part of this study.
  • ADD Diversity Panel to existing UC Davis case file. This test may be added on to an existing sample if the stored sample is large enough.
    • VGL Case File numbers = DNA number
    • Cost – see rates above
  • ADD Parentage Verification to Diversity Panel.
    • Cost – No charge
No problem. We can help walk you through the process to potentially add the Diversity Panel to your existing collection.

Diversity Study Help



having trouble with the form? email us at genetics@shilohshepherdpedigrees.com

  • New to the Study? Reports will be issued by UCD once they have received and processed at least 30 dogs (18 additional to the 12 Shilohs already on file as of 8/19/2022)
  • Already Tested? Submit your reports today.
  • SHARE your report with us. The dbS project will then record the data from the reports that you submit.
SHARE your report with us HERE

Diversity Report Submission




having trouble with the form? email us at genetics@shilohshepherdpedigrees.com

What is a Genetic Diversity Study?

The Diversity Study is a way for breeders to see how genetically diverse our breed is and will eventually help them discover the steps to help improve the genetic health of our breed. The results will help discover :

  • Diversity of the individual dog tested.
  • Diversity of the overall breed population.
  • Diversity of the overall breed population compared to the diversity of other related breed populations.

During this initial Phase 1, we need to test 100 or more dogs to provide baseline genetic data necessary to provide breeders with an accurate preliminary assessment of genetic diversity for Shiloh Shepherds. This is another tool for breeders to look at when making their breeding decisions. 

How TSSR is Assisting in DNA Collections?

Since 2003 the TSSR has worked with UC Davis maintaining the largest collection of Shiloh Shepherd DNA samples. Over the course of almost 20 years, over 600 samples are stored at UC Davis. 

TSSR’s long-standing relationship with UC Davis has allowed them to obtain special pricing to ADD the Diversity Panel to existing DNA sample already on file that begin with TSSxx (both during the research phase and beyond). TSSR is offering this service AT COST to assist with this study.

Who is UC Davis VGL?

The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) (UCD) is a non-profit, self-supporting unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. They provide genetic testing results and animal forensic services while also contributing to the educational and research mission of the school. VGL is internationally recognized as a pioneer and expert in animal genetic testing since the 1960s and is especially known for the timely and accurate results we provide our clients. 

Their Diversity Project: “The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), in collaboration with Dr. Niels C. Pedersen and staff, has developed a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) markers that will determine genetic diversity across the genome and in the Dog Leukocyte Antigen (DLA) class I and II regions. This test panel is useful to breeders who wish to track and increase genetic diversity of their breed as a long term goal. Please note, this test will not identify breed.“

  • Canine Genetic Diversity (overview) [HERE]
What is Phase 1 - Research?

At this point we are gathering data. We need at least 30 Shiloh Shepherds tested prior to reports being issued. Once 100 samples have been collected, the research phase will be concluded. Join Us and order your kit today.

Difference between Shiloh Shepherds, non-ISSA and Shiloh Shepherds, ISSA studies
  • The Shiloh Shepherds, non-ISSA study began in 2022 and is available to ALL Shiloh Shepherds regardless of registry or club. All Shiloh Shepherds are welcome to participate, even those registered ISSA.
  • The Shiloh Shepherds, ISSA study began in 2019 and specifically targets those dogs registered with the ISSA. This study has completed Phase 1.
  • Both studies are represented on the UCD Statistics page [HERE]
The Science

What criteria does UCD use to select the particular 33 STR loci and the 7 DLA Haplotypes that were chosen?

The loci we use for diversity studies were selected because they were shown to be highly variable in the dog population in general. The selection was done by a team of experts who looked at a very large database of genetic information from various dog breeds, and these loci were selected as most informative to assess how genetically diverse a breed is compared to other dog breeds, and how diverse an individual is compared to other individuals of that same breed. In addition, seven DLA markers were selected in the DLA class I and II region. These DLA genes, also called major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, play an important role in immune response and diversity in these genes is generally correlated with better fitness in any species. There are several dozen different DLA haplotypes in the overall dog population, but each breed typically carries 5-12 different haplotypes, where 3-6 of them are common and the rest rare. Again, the greater the number of haplotypes in a breed, the more diverse it is considered to be (and more fit).”

How does this study help the future health of the breed?

Once a robust set of data is collected, breeders can better understand several keys things, including, but not limited to:

  • The overall level of diversity of the breed.
  • Which genetic lines are associated with more health problems?
  • Will continued outcross support be needed in our near future? if so, what kind?
What are the different kinds of DNA Tests?
  • DNA for parentage (genetic markers) is required by most of the Shiloh Shepherd registries
    • UCD is used for this test. Parent’s DNA numbers are used to match to the parent(s)
  • DNA testing, general as provided by companies such as Embark, Wisdom Panel, etc. screen for a variety of genetic diseases, however, they DO NOT
    • match to parentage
    • participate in the UCD Diversity Study
What happened to previous study?

Due to the inability of the previous vendor to complete the agreed upon project, it was decided to move the efforts over to UCD. UCD has been a long-term partner the Shiloh Shepherd.

How to do the DNA Collection.

UCD website provided a detail step-by-step instruction with video on how to collect your sample [HERE]

A project such as this cannot be done with the help of a team.

  • Team Leader, Avril Williams
  • Assisting Partner, TSSR (The Shiloh Shepherd Registry)
  • Supported by the ISSDC
  • Participating breeders and owners, breed-wide, regardless of club or registry
  • Our Testing Lab, UC Davis VGL

A tool for breeders. “In order to evaluate a potential mating, the VGL case numbers of two diversity tested dogs can be input to a mating tool that calculates the genetic relatedness of the potential parents and simulates the offspring to give the expected and min/max internal relatedness (IR) values.”

>> VGL Mating Tool at UCD [HERE] requires UCD MyVGL login



Embark’s Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) Genetic Result:

Our genetic COI measures the proportion of your dog’s genome (her genes) where the genes on the mother’s side are identical by descent to those on the father’s side. The higher your dog’s coefficient of inbreeding (the percentage), the more inbred your dog is.”