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Inbreeding Risks

  If some good stock results from breeding a bitch to a half-brother with the ability to pass on his good traits, a male from this litter might be bred back to the mother, but it must be kept in mind that quality in inbreeding is limited by the quality of the parents. Inbreeding intensifies the qualities already possessed by the dog or bitch; i it does not add new ones. This form of breeding is being practiced more and more, but that is something which should be left for the experienced breeder. In many; cases it has proved successful, but when carried past a certain point it will produce a line of nervous, excitable dogs.

  Never breed shy, weak, or nervous bitches, and do not breed any bitch until she has attained her full development. Unless she is exceptionally late in coming into her first heat, it is better to give her the extra time for development rather than to breed her. A bitch bred too young, before she herself has fully developed, will be ruined for life, and her offspring will show the effects of that early breeding in every litter she whelps. A bitch usually comes in heat for the first time between the ages of nine months and a year. This is too early to breed, for the bitch herself is still developing and needs all her strength for that purpose.

  Another good rule to follow is to allow the bitch to skip every third heat without breeding. Even though nature has fitted her to whelp a litter twice each year, it must be kept in mind that she uses up a lot of energy in producing the pups she brings to your kennels. If bred every heat, she never gets a chance to make a complete recovery before her next litter is on the way. If there is any doubt of this statement, observing the condition of her coat will prove its truth.

  Remember, your bitches are your producers—the equipment with which you make the articles which you intend to sell. If you do not take proper care of your equipment and put money back into your business, you cannot expect to go on drawing an income from it. So take the best possible care of the bitches. This includes limiting the size of the litters. Should a litter be too large for the bitch to feed without injury to herself, the weakest pups should be disposed of, or else a foster mother or supplementary feeding should be employed to aid the mother.
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