How Many "Breeders" Understand Breeding Programmes?
How many times have you heard:
- I must use that partcular dog because look at what it has won.
- I am going to use a particular sire because my bitch lacks bone, has a poor head, etc., and he has plenty of bone, has a good head etc.
Both of these breeding patterns are destined to fail. The owner of the bitch has taken no time or very little interest in studying the relative pedigrees of the proposd sire and dam, to ascertain if they are compatible.
In fact, most present day breeders have little chance of success. This may be the reason for the dropping off in quality in the dogs of some breeds currently being shown.
One of the unfortunate happenings that influence new breeders is that in a litter of 10 to 12 puppies, there is generally only one or at the most two "respectable" ones. the fact that they are most unlikely to produce anything worthwhile is not apparent unless athorough study is made of the background, relatives, etc.
To establish yourself and your kennels as a breeder, you must develop a breed type you can consistantly reproduce. There is no alternative. To have any chance of establishing a successful breeding programme, a lot of work and research must be completed long before you intend mating your bitch.
- Obtain pedigrees of all the different sires you might like to use, even those owned by your opposition. These pedigrees should be at least 8 generations or longer if possible. Not just the three or four we see today.
- If possible examine the sire's parents and grand-parents. If you are unable to physically examine the parents etc., obtain photographs and study them.
- If the proposed sires have ben used before, examine the quality and type of the progeny, to see if they are siring the type of dogs that you wish to breed.
- If you arereasonably happy with what you find with one of the proposed sire's parents, grand-parents and progeny, you can now start studying the pedigrees of your bitch and the selected proposed sire.
- First you must check to see what, if any, relationship there is between them. It must be remembered the complete out-cross is not the successful mating that a lot of people believe, even though in any long-term breeding programme, it is required every now and then.
- Check the common dogs in both pedigrees.
- Then check if these common dogs are of the type, balance, structure and soundness that you wish to breed. If not, discard the sire and start again.Be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time and patience on your research. Too many owners mate their bitch:
- To the dog down the street, because it is close.
- To the latest import.
- To the dog that has just won the Breed Speciality Show or the Royal Show.
- To the dog that has won the last 6 challenges or so.
None of these prove in the long term to be successful for the betterment of the breed.
It is important to remember that it is better not to have that litter, than to produce puppies for the sake of the bitch having a litter.
We as bitch owners, have a responsibility to future generations of Pure Breed Dog lovers, to not just produce puppies, but to try and improve our particular breed....ED.
I crept upstairs, my shoes in hand,
Just as the night took wing.
And saw my wife, four steps above,
Doing the same darned thing.