Formation of a new dog population observed by pedigree and mtDNA analyses of the Polish Hovawart
The aim of the study was to evaluate changes in the gene pool of a dog population during the period of its formation. Pedigree and mtDNA analyses were performed on the Polish population of Hovawart dogs. A total of 192 litters of 93 dams and 115 sires were born between 1988 and 2008. Breeding began using Hovawarts imported mainly from the Czech Republic and Slovakia; however, the role of Western European dogs increased continually throughout the period analysed. No unfavourable effects caused by the limited size of the population were identified because of the constant inflow of new genes from abroad. The continual increase in the gene pool was indicated by all of the pedigree parameters analysed. Two different mtDNA haplotypes were found, and complete agreement between pedigree and molecular data was noted. The results of the analyses permit concluding that the process of formation of the new Hovawart population was also impacted by non-genetic factors that directly influenced the composition of gene pool.