Starting Your Own Breeding Program

Some cardinal factors for the novice.

Anyone wishing to start a successful breeding program is foolish to consider doing so with the purchase of a male. For about the price of a single puppy, the best males in most lines are available at stud. A new breeder is better to concentrate on bitches until he or she has gained considerable experience.

The future of the kennel depends on the choice of its founder, so before buying,close enquiry's as to temperament, mothering capabilities, regularity of seasons, numbers in the litters and the best age to sell, should be made.

It is best to have two bitches to start with - provided they get on with one another. Two youngsters together, grow on better than a loner. They keep each other exercised and entertained and benefit from each other's company in many ways. It is important to select breeding stock which is well-bred on both the sire's and the dam's side. Bitches very often set the type in their progeny and it is vital to have very good females as well as outstanding males in the pedigree of an animal if it is to breed on well.

Type, substance, balance, correct conformation and movement, and good temperament are the cardinal factors which go to make up a good dog. If all these can be found in a couple of bitches, grab them!! When looking for a bitch puppy to breed good stock, choose one good enough to show, from a line which is successful and reasonably accessible. Also it is best to go for type plus normality, as exaggerations can be impressive, but, for breeding, correctness is far more valuable and much easier to breed successfully. It is wiseat to start with a good, middle of the road type, with good points but no bad faults or unduly exaggerated points. such a bitch will usually suit several different sires, whereas the flashy, exaggerated type, or the pretty but weedy one may be almost impossible to match with a suitable sire.

Novice breeders should be wary of pedigrees that show very close breeding - brother to sister, father to daughter, mother to son etc. Such close breeding should be left to breeders who have extensive knowledge of their breeding stock and what lies behind it. Mismanaged close breeding (inbreeding) can be disastrous. it is useful, indeed, very desirable to have plenty of champions in the breeding stock, but even more desirable that those pedigrees contain some line breeding to known good dogs. line breeding, when carried out properly, consolidates the good points of the forebears, and so very often produces improved stock. Champions from different lines are not always compatible for breeding. It is very unlikely that first rate breeding material will be found in a litter that does not have first rate forebears in the pedigree. Occasionally, very good stock appears from rather ordinary ancestors - but such youngsters seldom breed on.

A point to bear in mind is that the ultimate "best of the litter", which no breeder will sell you, often turns out to be not the one originally chosen by the breeder. Today's 'swan' may be tomorrows 'goose', and vice versa. The most carefully bred strains with their well balanced pedigrees can produce their surprises and their disappointments of which you hear very little. One other point is that if you buy from the south (Brisbane or further south) try to ensure that there is a compatible dog available within your local area. it can be quite expensive to pay return air freight on the bitch, as well as the stud fee. there are now some quite good, type dogs from well known lines available here in the north.

Even if the advice offered is taken up, the novice breeder will also need lots of LUCK.

Submitted by John Chandler

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