Standard Poodle Genetic Bottleneck


In fairly recent research, scientists have discovered that Standard Poodles have genetic components to SA (Sebaceous Adenitis) and AD (Addison's disease). Both of these diseases and a variety of other immune related conditions are common is the Standard Poodle breed. This is due to the shallow gene pool common in any pure bred animal.

There is evidence suggesting that SA and AD are as recent as this century, and the direct result of breeding in Europe, Canada, and across American. This is the direct result of reusing sires multiple times without countering the genetic defects related to inbreeding.

As breeders and science alike became more informed on inbreeding, and realizing the malformations and health conditions were a direct cause of close relations--breeding protocols changed.

In addition to better breeding protocols, the first genetic panels specific to breeding were also born(Wisdom panel, EmbarkDNA, Optimal Selection, etc). This is relatively still new science, as it of course does not receive the same funding and pushes forward as human sciences do. Which is great and has reduce the cases of SA and AD along with other immune related conditions in Standard Poodles by more than HALF.

There is a downside though. Even with the new and ever evolving information and protocols to help breeders/buyers, there is a sneaky component of these specific diseases. Remember how they found genetic support for Standard Poodles having AD and SA? Well, they know that, but the genetic marker remains UNKOWN. Meaning that there is still no way of testing who has it or who is likely to get either or all of these conditions.

Symptoms are tricky for both conditions and often mirror multiple common conditions for any canine; sensitive stomach, allergies, blockage, and infection. As a Standard Poodle owner or Future Poodle Owner you can arm yourself with knowledge and ask for appropriate testing, early. Dogs with both of these conditions can live long and productive lives--- key is early diagnosis.

RJ Standard Poodles cannot guarantee a Standard Poodle free from these conditions, as it completely untestable at this time, and does not onset till poodle reaches maturity. We do encourage you fully investigate any breed prior to adoption, and feel free to reach out with any questions.

Below are further references for more information:

  1. 1.Pedersen NC. A review of immunologic diseases of the dog. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1999;69(2–4):251–3422. CAS Article PubMed Google Scholar

  2. 2.Selmi C, Lu Q, Humble MC. Heritability versus the role of the environment in autoimmunity. J Autoimmun. 2012;39(4):249–52. Article PubMed Google Scholar

  3. 3.Greer KA, Schatzberg SJ, Porter BF, Jones KA, Famula TR, Murphy KE. Heritability and transmissionanalysis of necrotizing meningoencephalitis in the Pug. Res Vet Sci. 2009;86(3):438–42. Article PubMed Google Scholar


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This is the information that was sent home with you and your new puppy. We'll try to add posts on our blog that will go more into depth on these topics. Feel free to leave a comment below with a topic