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Giving Dog Kennels a Bad Name

  Puppies which are wetters can give a kennel a bad name among those who are looking for pets and also those who wish to purchase either breeding or show stock. I have frequently heard it said: "Oh, so-and-so has lovely puppies, but they wet on the floor as soon as he puts them down."

  First impressions are usually lasting, and a trick like this is one of the first things your prospective buyer will notice.

  His next impression will be the pup's coat. This is just as hereditary as the bone structure, the disposition, or the occlusion of the teeth. Some blood lines produce better coats than others. Since it is hereditary, a poor natural coat cannot be improved, and all the attention in the world will not change it into a glistening, luxuriant growth. The best that can be done for a poor-coated dog is to keep what he has in as good condition as possible and breed for better coats in the next generation.

  When breeding, the most important thing to remember is to keep to the correct type unless you know that you can improve it. A cross-breed from some back alley may be sound in body. He may even move well, but he lacks type—that blending of the characteristics of his breed which marks the thoroughbred. We all hope some day to breed the perfect specimen, but there are other things to consider than skeletons and the coats which cover them. It would not be much satisfaction to breed a beautiful specimen with a nervous or ugly disposition.

  Dogs have to be useful as well as ornamental in order to survive. From the smallest toy to the largest working dog, they should not know the meaning of fear but should always be ready to stand up for their rights. Nervous, high-strung dogs whose only redeeming feature is their adherence to good type, are often refused recognition in the ring because of these faults.

  If either the dog or the bitch is only a fair specimen, inbreeding should not be attempted. The object of inbreeding is not to reproduce all the family characteristics, but just the outstanding good points which the dog or bitch possesses. The brother-sister, mother-son, or father-daughter cross should be carefully thought out, and in each case, both dogs should be of exceptionally high quality.
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