Comment to 'Breeding - The Big Picture'
  • This is a great article. I agree with culling and line breeding. Every dog that has a litter can and will produce dogs that will not meet the standard for the breed whether that is the conformation and or function for the breed. That does not take away from that pup being a great dog or great companion. It can be the best working specimen you have, but it should not reproduce as it can and will reproduce other dogs that has the same or similar issues that it has.

    I met an AKC judge at a dog show. He was showing his Black Russian Terriers. It was a rare breed show. He said something to me that day that shocked me because he is an AKC judge. He said if the mother rejects a pup he will do the same. He will not bottle feed and or try to save it. There is a reason why the mother has rejected it. It need to be cut off from the gene pool. I had never considered that. While I can't say definitively that he is right or wrong, but it gave me something to think about.


    I know breeders that have bred dogs with known genetic faults. Some of the faults were major. Then tell me that the pups turned out fine. My concern is not just for the pups from that dog but now all of those pups carry the traits to reproduce these faults in future litters. In my opinion those dogs should have been removed from the breeding program. I also have a friend that is a breeder. He had this dog that is a champion of record. She was a beautiful dog. She died not too long ago at the age of 16 or 17. There were many people that had requested a pup from her. There were number of other breeders that want to breed to her. Many told him that he should breed her. But he refuse to breed her. She lived her life as a pet on is place. He didn't like something about her rear end. So he did not not her reproduce this in future generations.


    I don't believe you can have a breeding program with consistency without line breeding. Since it was mentioned regarding inbreeding I will say this. Line breeding is inbreeding. I don't say it for an argument. But the reality is it is still inbreeding It just sounds nicer when we say line breeding. While I agree there are some benefits to inbreeding a mother back to a son and brother to a sister, etc. It is not my persona preference to do this.


    I try to look at the whole picture when breeding. I am trying to get away from saying my interest is in improving the breed. I know that sounds awesome that you want to improve the breed. To this this that would mean to change the breed. Personally I want to maintain the standards that were already created. I want to produce dogs that have the correct conformation as well as the correct temperament for the breed. I want to produce healthy dogs. I want to achieve the consistency in my litters. I love hearing from the vet that there are no runts in my litters and they are all consistent with each other.


    Pedigree indicates what the animal should be

    Conformation indicates what the animal can be

    But performance indicates what the animal actual is

    As stated in the article that we should consider the COI when breeding. But it is still probability.


    The article also mentioned wolves. We all know wolves are not dogs. Yes they share some genes. They are closely related. One other reason that I didn't notice being mentioned in regards to why wolves to have all of the same genetic issues that we have in dog breeding. There were things we once believe were true concerning wolves that have later been found to be incorrect. We have used this misinformation and have applied them to dogs and their behaviors as we claim wolves are dogs ancestors. Wolves for the most part do not have humans determining who, what or when to breed. The gen pool is limited. But in a wolf pack much of these problem do not become issues is because in a wolf pack there is not an alpha male as once believed. There is a breeding male and breeding female. There may be other males in the pack and they have a role in the pack that helps the pack survive. But there is only one male breeding. Therefore that male is the only male passing on it's genetic traits.


    The term alpha wolf male and alpha female was made popular because of what was written by wildlife biologist L. David Mech's 1970 book The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. The book has been reproduced and is on paperback. He has since changed his stance after further research. Initially his finding were based upon wolves in captivity. But later after studying wolves in the wild he discovered that there was no alpha male and alpha female. It was parents and their children that made up a pack. He has since rewritten the book to contain more updated information but the publishers were not willing to reprint it. Most of what we know about wolves were based upon his misinformation. There is a lot of research on this. Below is just one link on the topic. I won't go too far into this as that can be a completely new topic.

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