Chief Aim in Breeding
As I have said before, and cannot emphasize too much, the chief aim in breeding is improvement. If our dogs are not improving, they will be deteriorating. Therefore, do not aim to produce puppies like their sire or dam, but better ones. Study your bitch, know her faults and weaknesses, an
d then breed her to the best male you are able to locate, with the object of overcoming her faults. If you do not own a stud which fits these requirements, go outside your kennels and pay the fee for a dog that does. It is never an extravagance to use the sire best suited to your bitch, whatever his fee may be. The improvement in the pups will enable you to ask a higher price for them, and will more than offset the small increase in the cost of producing the litter.
If early results from breeding, do not come up to expectations, do not become discouraged. It requires a great deal of time, long hours of study on innumerable pedigrees, and the discarding of many specimens before a winning blood line can be established. To obtain this result is not easy; it cannot be done by jumping from one experimental breeding to another, but only by constant endeavor along one well-thought-out line.
One of the precepts we sometimes hear is that the sire of the sire should be the grandsire of the dam, thus joining the second generation on the male side with the third generation on the female. This breeding inside the family is what is known as line breeding, and as with inbreeding, should be carried out with good type specimens on both sides. Some breeders recommend crossing sire to daughter, then crossing this same dog to a bitch resulting from the first breeding, and finally taking a bitch from this litter and breeding her to a dog descended from a brother or sister of the original sire.
If there is a tendency to lack of bone or other basic faults, this can be corrected by breeding to another out-cross—another brother or sister of Dog 1—but both dogs should have two or more common ancestors in the fifth generation.
|Dog 1 (Sire) Brother of Dog 1|
Dog 1 bred to Bitch 1
Dog 1 bred to Bitch 2 Son—son—daughter—son
Dog 1 bred to Bitch 3
Bitch 4 bred to descendant of brother
However, do not be misled into thinking that the study of pedigrees is sufficient data on which to establish a blood line. To be good, a breeder must combine many things. He must study blood lines and be able to make a correct judgment of the prevailing type of his breed. But above all, he must not suffer from "kennel blindness, " that disease prevalent among dog fanciers which blinds them to the faults of their own dogs and shows up all the defects of those belonging to other breeders. The important thing is to follow a well-plotted plan of breeding. Blood lines must be taken into careful consideration, and at the same time the type toward which he is working must be kept in mind. Pedigrees are of vital importance, but no breeder can sit down like an architect at his drawing board and complete the design for a dog. It just can't be done, for dogs are flesh and bone and blood. The paper work is tremendously important, but there is endless experimenting and testing to be carried out by the beginning breeder.