American Belgian Tervuren Club

Epilepsy Study

  • Idiopathic Epilepsy +

    Ideopathic Epilepsy is one of the genetic problems that plagues the well-being of the Belgian Tervuren. It affects nearly 30 Read More
  • Developing a Genetic Marker +

    History of the Study The following article was written by Anita M. Oberbauer, Ph.D. and originally published in the American Read More
  • Analogy for a Polygenic Trait +

    A simple poker game will be used as an analogy for the polygenic trait with a single locus of large Read More
  • Clinical and Genetic Advances +

    Inherited canine epilepsy is a major health problem in many breeds because of its high frequency and it potentially serious Read More
  • AKC Grant Information +

    Grant: Development of a Genetic Marker for Idiopathic Epilepsy in the Belgian Tervuren Principal InvestigatorCo-Principal InvestigatorsCo-Principal Investigators A.M. Oberbauer, PhD. Read More
  • Be Part of the Solution +

    Have we piqued your interest? Do you want to help us eradicate this disease from the Belgian gene pool? Well Read More
  • Glossary of Terms +

    Unfamiliar with terminology?  Check out the glossary to learn more. Read More
  • 1

A simple poker game will be used as an analogy for the polygenic trait with a single locus of large effect in an effort to simplify the picture. Let's say that the minimum ante into a poker game is $10.00. This $10.00 will be analogous to a threshold.

A man has money in three different pockets. These pockets will represent three different genes. These three different genes will be represented by different colors (red does pass the threshold, purple does not pass the threshhold, teal represents a single gene of large effect).

The man's wife puts different denominations of money, representing the genotype, in each pocket:

  • Pocket one has either a $5.00 bill or a single penny
  • Pocket two has either a $10.00 bill or a $5.00 bill or a $1.00 bill
  • Pocket three has either a $5.00 bill or a $2.00 bill

So there are many different combinations the man might have. Some combinations would allow him entrance into a poker game and other combinations would not.

A combination that does let the man into a poker game, is if he has $20.00 in the following denominations in his pockets:

  • pocket one, a $5.00 bill
  • pocket two, a $10.00 bill
  • pocket three, another $5.00 bill

This combination exceeds the minimum ante (threshold) of $10.00.

On the other hand, a combination that does not let the man into a poker game, is the combination of these denominations:

This combination gives the man only a total of $3.01. This combination does not reach the minimum ante (threshold) of $10.00, therefore excluding him from a poker game.

ALL possibilities can be listed:

Combination Pocket
# 1 # 2 # 3


$20.00 $5.00 $10.00 $5.00


$17.00 $5.00 $10.00 $2.00


$15.00 $5.00 $ 5.00 $5.00


$12.00 $5.00 $5.00 $2.00


$11.00 $5.00 $ 1.00 $5.00


$ 8.00 $5.00 $ 1.00 $2.00


$15.01 $0.01 $10.00 $5.00


$12.01 $0.01 $10.00 $2.00


$10.01 $0.01 $ 5.00 $5.00


$ 7.01 $0.01 $ 5.00 $2.00


$ 6.01 $0.01 $ 1.00 $5.00


$ 3.01 $0.01 $ 1.00 $2.00


  • pocket one, one penny
  • pocket two, a $1.00 bill
  • pocket three, a $2.00 bill

Lets say that pocket one has a large effect on the man's financial situation. Notice that if the man has a $5.00 bill in pocket one, in all instances except one (combination F), the man can get into a poker game. BUT if the man has only a penny in pocket one, then in three out of the six combinations (combinations J,K,L) the man cannot get into the game.

This is analogous to whatever alleles are at a single gene of large effect influencing the outcome of a trait governed by many genes.

The combinations that did pass the threshold are A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I. These are shown in red.

The combinations that did not surpass the threshold are F, J, K, L. These are shown in purple.

NOTE: The combination in F does not surpass the threshold, even though the man has the $5.00 bill (allele) in pocket one. Because of the combination of the other pockets, he still does not have enough money (does not surpass the threshold) for the minimum ante into a poker game. It is the total combination that determines the threshold, even though pocket one has a large effect on the man's financial situation.

Health Learn More

  • Reading CERF & OFA #'s
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Anesthetic Primer
  • Thyroid and the Tervuren
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hematologic Analyses

IF a dog has an OFA number this means that the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has reviewed x-rays of the dogs hips and has found them to be clear of hip dysplasia, and assigned them a rating. OFA numbers are good for the lifetime of the dog.

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PRA is a progressive disease of the retinas that leads to blindness. It is inherited, and has been diagnosed in Tervuren of a number of litters over the course of the past ten years and more, with new diagnoses made within this past year. Without a blood test, our breed faces a likelihood of increasing numbers of new cases of PRA. We are pleased to announce that we now have a wonderful opportunity before us

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Having your beloved Belgian go under anesthesia can be a nerve-wracking experience. Understanding exactly what will take place and what questions to ask may help ensure your dog’s safety and your peace of mind.
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The thyroid is considered a "master gland" as it is involved in so many metabolic processes in our dogs. While it may not be obvious when things are going well, if your dog becomes hypo or low thyroid, you can see a number of clinical signs.

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Why is the elbow an important joint?

The dog carries about 65% of his weight on his front end. Not only do the front legs bear most of the concussion when a jumping dog lands, they also provide a good deal of the propulsion necessary to launch him into the air. The shoulder and elbow joints absorb most of the impact during movement. Those "turn on a dime" movements our Belgians are so fond of

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*Objective*—To determine reference ranges for results of hematologic analyses of healthy Belgian Tervuren, to compare results of hematologic analyses for healthy Belgian Tervuren with results for healthy dogs of other breeds, and to determine prevalence of physiologic leukopenia in Belgian Tervuren.

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