Bringing the NUA Gene to Europe

Our Challenge

The healthy NUA gene needs to be dispersed within European Dalmatians in a way that only enhances the health of our dogs.

  • First, we must do our best to ensure that the Dalmatians used, the NUAs and our native HUAs, are of good health, temperament and conformation.

  • Secondly, we must promote genetic diversity among the dogs carrying the NUA gene. Meeting both criteria is easily done.

    Health Checks

    The primary reason for breeders to use NUA dogs and bitches is to promote the health of their stock

    American breeders involved in the Backcross Project have done their best to ensure that the NUAs they have produced are as free as possible from genetic problems. No screening system is perfect, but these dogs are more thoroughly tested than most. In addition, they have avoided using blue-eyed Dals when breeding NUA stock because of the correlation between blue eyes and higher levels of deafness. We should continue to do the same.

    Like the other dogs used in the Backcross Project, the imported NUA dogs will all be BAER tested bilateral, hip scored with good results, and DNA-tested for the presence of the NUA gene.

    We strongly encourage all breeders of NUAs to run the same tests on their own stock before breeding to a NUA Dal and to require that any bitches brought to a NUA stud have also been screened.

    This will help ensure that the integration of the NUA gene promotes the general health and well being of our Dalmatians.

    Promoting Genetic Diversity

    Genetic diversity among the NUA Dalmatians in Europe is highly desirable; it will ensure that future NUA Dalmatians need not be inbred. It will also mean that NUA Dalmatians will reflect the various types of Dalmatians individual breeders prefer; this will encourage the spread of the NUA gene into new lines.

    Those who import NUA Dalmatians will breed them to European HUA Dalmatians. The NUA offspring of these litters, after passing their screening tests, will then be crossed with other, preferably unrelated, HUA Dalmatians, as will the offspring of such matings. This will spread the healthy uric acid gene throughout many different lines of European Dalmatians.

    After several generations it will be possible to start to cross European NUA x NUA. Some of the Dalmatians produced by such a cross would have two of the healthy uric acid genes and would therefore only produce NUA offspring.

    However, for the foreseeable future, it is important to continue to focus on spreading the NUA gene throughout Europe by breeding NUA x HUA. Repeated crossing of NUA Dalmatians with each other should be avoided in the early stages as this could lead to a population of NUA Dalmatians with very little genetic diversity.

    Further Imports

    We will also welcome the importation of additional NUA Dalmatian lines into Europe. This will again increase genetic diversity among the available NUAs. In time, we hope that imported semen can be used as well.

    Tools for Breeders

    As NUA breeding in Europe continues, this website will be upgraded with a facility to allow breeders to look up the Coefficients of Inbreeding (a measure of how related two dogs are) for a potential mating in order to make it easier for breeders to find good mating pairs which will not run the inherent risks of inbreeding.In the meantime The UKC website has a similar facility 'here'