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Implementation of the Linear Appraisal System

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 Implementation of the Linear Appraisal System

26 January 2017

SABBS is proud to announce the implementation of the long-awaited Linear Appraisal and Best Linear Unbiased Prediction (BLUP) classification system. This development heralds the beginning of an exciting new era of ennoblement of the Boerboel breed.

For the first time, we will be able to make informed selection decisions – based on objectively collected scientific data for each trait – in our Boerboel breeding programmes. The BLUP classification system allows us to calculate breeding values for each dog. These values describe identifiable heritable characteristics that can be specifically identified and selected in breeding decision-making.
To achieve the smooth roll-out of the system, SABBS will embark on an extensive training and data collection programme over the coming months. Starting on 28 January 2017 in Cape Town, appraisers from the region will gather with SABBS trainers at scheduled appraisals for standardisation sessions. During these sessions, standardisation of scoring will take place in an open and transparent process through group appraisals of several dogs.

Gathering baseline data

One of the prerequisites for the calculation of breeding values is the establishment of baseline data. To kick off this process, we need to gather linear appraisal data of 4000 dogs. To achieve this, and as part of the extensive training programme, SABBS will embark on the re-appraisal of dogs that have already been appraised.
The re-appraisal of these dogs will be free of charge and the existing appraisal score will remain in force. The linear appraisal score will therefore be used exclusively for data collection purposes and no dog’s status will be affected by this process.
We appeal to breeders and owners of previously appraised dogs to bring their dogs, to appraisals in the coming months to assist us in reaching our baseline as soon as possible.
The sooner we reach this point, the sooner we can reap the rewards of the implementation of the BLUP.

Member education

The transition to the linear appraisal system is expected to be relatively smooth as the appraisal process and chart follow a similar flow to the system our members are used to. Our appraisers will endeavour to provide a brief explanation or the process to every owner on commencement of the appraisal.
The BLUP classification system, on the other hand, is quite complex and will require some detailed explanation. A brief overview by Kenny van der Merwe – who has been instrumental in getting the systems in place – follows this newsflash. The concepts an principles underpinning the system will be explored in a series of articles in the coming weeks, followed by a series of articles on the interpretation and application of breeding values in your breeding programme.

Further Information

Further details on the linear appraisal system is published under the Services: Appraisal heading.