Using EBVs allows us to distinguish between higher and lower risk dogs in the grading categories A-C. EBVs can be calculated for most dogs even if they have not been MRI scanned, as long as they are related to dogs that have been scanned.
All dogs will have an EBV at birth but the EBV may be modified by the dog’s subsequent clinical record or MRI scan and by information coming from other relatives. The EBV becomes more accurate as information on offspring becomes available
, because we start to gain insight into which half of the sire and dam genes were actually inherited when we see transmission of the genes to offspring. The accuracy of the EBV increases with numbers of offspring and this may take some time to achieve. In contrast, genomic breeding values (geBVs) provide a high accuracy from birth.
By looking directly at the DNA genotypes we can see which genes were inherited from the sire and from the dam, without having to wait for offspring. Genomic breeding values can be used for accurate evaluation at an early stage, before the disease phenotype may be apparent and before a dog is used for breeding.